HONORS 229L: Climate Change: Science, Economics, and Governance

Instructor: Ross Salawitch

Teaching Assistant: Walter Tribett

Mon & Wed, 5:00 to 6:15 pm, Atlantic 3408

Fall 2017: 3 units

Books:

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond

 

Earth: The Sequel: The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming by Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn

 

Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope by Ross J. Salawitch, Timothy P. Canty, Austin P. Hope, Walter R. Tribett, and Brian F. Bennett

Other resources for this class:

IPCC 2007 WGI Frequently Asked Questions

 

IPCC 2014 WGII Summary for Policy Makers

 

Tufts Univ GDAE Modules (we'll use two)

Another important resource:

http://www.ugst.umd.edu/courserelatedpolicies.html

Syllabus

 

ELMS Page

 

 

1. Description

2. Schedule

3. Grade Policy

4. Admission Tickets

5. Assignments

6. Office Hours

1. Description

This seminar will begin by examining how the sustainability of various societies has been affected by government decisions. We will then focus on critical examination of the science that underlies modern climate change, including discussion of the bridge between the “deniers” and the “believers”. We will then discuss the economics of possible large-scale adaptation of energy provision by means other than the combustion of fossil fuels. Next, we will examine governance issues, with a focus on the conflicting positions of the U.S., Europe, China, and the Least Developed Nations. During the final few weeks of this seminar, students will break into three groups representing Europe (surrogate for Developed World), China (Developing World), and the Least Developed Nations, with the assignment to formulate an energy plan for each entity that achieves the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Pre-requisites: None. This course will be taught at a basic level, without the use of advanced mathematics or high level economic theory.

 

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2. Schedule

Date

Topic

Reading

Admis. Tickets

Discussion Lead

Class Material and Video

Auxiliary Material
08/28 Class Introduction

None

  Salawitch

Class Overview

Video

Krupp Book blurb

Diamond Ted Talk

08/30

Overview of Climate Change  Discussion Poll AT 0 Salawitch

Climate Overview

Video

John Coleman, Denier

Al Gore, Believer

Ch 1, Salawitch book 

09/06

Past Societies, Failure:

Easter Island

 Diamond: Ch 2

(41 pages)

AT 1

Kevin

Template

Discussion 1

Video

Paper Desc

Nova Special

NPR Story

Rapa Nui Movie

09/11

Past Societies, Failure:

The Maya

 Diamond:

Prologue (24 pages)

& Ch 5 (21 pages)

AT 2

Satvik

Template

Discussion 2

Video

Calif Water Supply

Uncontacted Amazon tribe

Survival International

09/13

Past Societies, Success:

New Guinea, Tikopia and Japan

 Diamond: Ch 9

(32 pages)

AT 3

Rachel

Template

Discussion 3

Video

Today's Population Crisis
09/14

Learning Enhancement

8:30 am – 12:30 pm   Hart Senate Office Building, Room 902      

S.B. 3179

H.R. 3761

Allam Cycle

Petra Nova

09/18

Modern Societies:

Dominican Republic and Haiti

 Diamond: Ch 11

(29 pages)

AT 4

Brad

Template

Discussion 4

Video

Recent News
09/20

Modern Societies:

China

 Diamond: Ch 12

(20 pages)

AT 5

 Paper Desc

Julia

Template

Discussion 5

Video

Obama Xi announcement

Obama Xi commitment

Obama Xi Fact Sheet

Trump Reversal

Kuznets Curve

09/25

Roadmaps for Success or Failure

 Diamond: Ch 14

(22 pages)

AT 6   

Ross

Template

Discussion 6

Video

Silent Spring

Ozone Layer

09/27

Business and the Environment

 Diamond: Ch 15

(46 pages)

AT 7

Priya

Template

Discussion 7

Video

Nova Rare  Earth Metals

Chevron in Ecuador

Volkswagen DieselGate

Tricsolan Ban

Surui, Amazon

10/02

Introduction to Climate Change

IPCC 2007 FAQ

(36 pages)

AT 8

Ross

Template

Discussion 8

Video

Global Warming Animation

10/04

Climate Models:

Perspective of a Physical Scientist

Houghton, Ch 5

From pg 18 of PDF to top of pg 56

AT 9 

(optional)

Ross

Template

Discussion 9

Video

Houghton Interview
10/09

Climate Models:

Perspective of a Social Scientist

Nate Silver: Ch 12

(42 pages)

AT 10

Nate

Template

Discussion 10

Video

Salawitch Interview, Part 1

 Salawitch Interview, Part 2

10/11

Fossil Fuel Reserves

McGlade and Ekins, Nature, 2015 (16 pages; focus on material prior to "Methods")

Commentary on the McGlade and Ekins article

(2 pages)

Africa's Fossil Fuel Needs

AT 11

Brendan

Template

Discussion 11

Video

IPCC 2013 SPM - Carbon

10/16

Impacts of Climate Change

IPCC 2014 WGII SPM

(pages 4 to 25)

AT 12

Luis

Template

Discussion 12

Video

NY Times, Bangladesh

NY Times, Kiribati

Sci Am IPCC News

10/18

Solar Energy

Krupp & Horn: Ch 2 (30 pages)

*or*

Krupp & Horn: Ch 3 (29 pages)

AT 13a  (Ch 2)

*or*

At 13b  (Ch 3)

Gustavo

Template

Discussion 13

Video

Univ Park Community Solar

Solar Energy Systems wiki

10/23

Biofuels

Krupp & Horn:

Ch 4 & 5

(45 pages)

AT 14

Sarah

Template

Discussion 14

Video

UMd News

Biofuel wiki

10/25

Hydro, Geo &Wind

Olah: Secs 8.1 to 8.4

(24 pages)

AT 15

Anders

Template

Discussion 15

Video

Wash Post Wind Scotland

Tufts GDAE Doc 1 (page 1 to 16

GHG emissions from renewables study

10/30

The Economics of

Renewable Energy

Tufts GDAE Doc 1

(pages 17 to 42)

AT 16

Poiret

Template

 PPT with figs

Discussion 16

Video

Northfield Mtn Energy Storage
11/01 The Economics of Climate Change, Part 1

Tufts GDAE Doc 2

(assigned: pages 15 to 28)

(optional: pages 1 to 14)

AT 17

Ross

Template

PPT with figs

Discussion 17

Video

Stern Review 4 pg summary

Stern Review 27 pg summary

Nat'l Geo 
11/06 The Economics of Climate Change, Part 2

Tufts GDAE Doc 2

(assigned: pages 29 to 45)

(optional: pages 46 to 56)

AT 18 

Jisue

Template

PPT with figs

Discussion 18

Video

RGGI

Pacala and Socolow, 2004

US EPA Social Cost Carbon

11/08

Possible Solutions

Krupp & Horn: Ch 9

(43 pages)

AT 19

Kelly

Template

Discussion 19

Video

Calstar Update
11/13 The Paris Climate Agreement

Ch 3, Paris Beacon of Hope

(pages 115 to 137)

stop at Methods

AT 20

James

Template

PPT with figs

Discussion 20

Video

UMD publicity video
11/15

Implementation of the

Paris Climate Agreement

Ch 4, Paris Beacon of Hope

(pages 147 to 174)

stop at Methods

AT 21

Maggie

Template

Discussion 21

Video

Community Efforts

Campus Efforts

11/20

Organize Final Project

No Reading

First Paper Due

Meet in Groups

Get Organized

Discussion 22

Video

 
11/27

In Class Project 01

Tufts GDAE Doc 2

(pages 46 to 55)

start at "Climate Change Policy in Practice"

 

Meet in Groups

Action Day 1

Discussion 23

Video

China INDC

India INDC

US INDC

11/29

In Class Project 02

No reading

 

Meet in Groups

Action Day 2

Discussion 24

Video

 

12/04

In Class Project 03

No reading

 

Meet in Groups

Action Day 3

Discussion 25

 Video  

 

12/06

In Class Project 04

No reading

 

Meet in Groups

Action Day 4

Discussion 26

Video

 
12/11

Presentation of Energy Plans

Instructor Overview Final Paper Due      

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3. Grade Policy

Grades will be determined based on short writing assignments for each reading (40%), a mid-term paper (35%), evaluation of student led discussion and class participation during the semester (10%), and a brief final paper that reflects each student’s view of the energy plan that has been negotiated, defending (or perhaps critiquing) the treaty from their role in the negotiation, and connecting to the real world issues related to the governance of climate change (15%).

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4. Admission Tickets

To encourage completion of the reading assignments prior to class, there is an admission ticket due at the start of each class (with the exception of the first lecture). The admission tickets are a series of short questions related to the reading, the overall goal of the class, and the encouragement for each student to develop their writing and critical thinking skills.

Admission tickets will be posted on this website at least 24 hours prior to the start of each lecture. If an admission ticket for a particular lecture is not posted by noon the day prior to a particular lecture, there will be no admission ticket for that class. Also, if an item other than an admission ticket link appears in the admission ticket column for a particular lecture, there will no admission ticket for that class meeting.

The lowest three admission ticket scores will be dropped ... therefore you can skip 3 of the 21 readings and not try to "fake it" for the admission ticket, and still get a perfect score on the admission ticket portion of the class.

Please remember to hit the ''refresh'' button to see the latest version of this website each time you visit, as we intend to update the website file frequently during the course.

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5. Assignments

Three assignments:

1) discussion lead: each student will lead an hour long discussion during a specific class meeting.  This will be recorded and a link to the video will be posted on the class webpage.  You will receive an evaluation from your peers and the instructor and you are encouraged to meet with the instructor to watch the video

2) mid-term paper: 6 to 10 pages single spaced; must include references & can include figures, both of which are excluded from the page count, due 20 Nov 2017 that expands upon the topic of any class meeting, other than the class meeting you have led.  You are welcome and indeed encouraged to turn the paper in any time prior to the due date.

3) final paper: 3 to 5 pages single spaced. For the last few weeks of class students will break into three groups, select roles within each group, and assemble an energy plan. The plans will be presented Wed, 6 Dec. Final paper is due 11 Dec 2017 (last day of the semester).  The paper should reflect your view of the energy plan, defending or critiquing the plan from your perspective in the framing of the plan. You are welcome to also include commentary on the problems and/or success the real-world is having regarding a transition towards renewable energy. 

Each assignment will be described in greater detail as the course proceeds.

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6. Office Hours

Office Hours:

Ross (Atlantic 2403): Tues, 3:30 to 4:30 pm & by appointment

Walt (Atlantic 4100): By appointment

Phone:  Ross 5-5396

We strive to be accessible throughout the semester. Please either drop by or contact us via email to set up a time to meet.

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Website last updated on Tuesday, 05 December 2017