GEOS 221
Examining Inconvenient Truths: Climate Science meets U.S. Senate Politics Fall 2018
Division III Writing Skills
Cross-listed GEOS 221 / ENVI 222
This is not the current course catalog

Archive Search

Class Details

Former President Barack Obama once said: “There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent threat of a changing climate.” While consensus regarding the causes and impacts of climate change has been growing steadily among scientists and researchers (and to some extent, the general public) over the past two decades, the U.S. has yet to confront this issue in a manner consistent with its urgency. This lack of action in the U.S. is at least partly due to the fact that science provides necessary but insufficient information towards crafting effective climate change legislation and the unfortunate fact that climate change has become a highly partisan issue. The primary objective of this tutorial will be to help students develop a greater understanding of the difficulties associated with crafting climate change legislation, with an emphasis on the role of science and politics within the legislative process. To this end, the tutorial will address how the underlying scientific complexities embedded in most climate policies (e.g., offsets, carbon capture and sequestration, uncertainty and complexity of the climate system, leakage) must be balanced by and blended with the different operational value systems (e.g., economic, social, cultural, religious) that underlie U.S. politics. Over the course of this tutorial, students will develop a nuanced sense of how and when science can support the development of comprehensive national climate change legislation within the current partisan climate. This course will take a practical approach, where students will craft weekly policy oriented documents (e.g., policy memos, action memos, research briefs) targeted to selected members of the current U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the committee that has historically held jurisdiction over a majority of the major climate change bills that have moved through the legislative process.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1643
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly papers and a final oral presentation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: second-year students, Geosciences and Environmental Studies third- and fourth-year students
Distributions: Division III Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GEOS 221 Division III ENVI 222 Division III
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses

Class Grid

Course Catalog Archive Search

TERM/YEAR
SUBJECT
DIVISION



DISTRIBUTION



ENROLLMENT LIMIT
COURSE TYPE
Start Time
End Time
Day(s)