Ritically analyze USAs policies to mitigate anthropogenic climate change.

Below are the guidelines that the university has provided for the essay.

In the essays we are looking for critically engaged analyses of current climate policies or the ways in which negotiations have proceeded in the past (and might do so in the future). Therefore, it will be essential to explore some of the past policies countries or groups have adopted and how they fit into the more general arguments that were going on at the time (e.g. we will encounter during the course how the EU came to be the proponent of carbon markets in these negotiations). What we are not looking for is descriptions of past policies of a particular country, the current policies and some minimal conclusion about their position. This is not engaging with the debates sufficiently. We want your essays to be attuned to the ongoing discussions about the sciences and politics of climate change rather than a technical, policy description.

Last year, the students that did best were able to interrogate their country or group policies, or the international negotiations, using some of the literature discussed in the course e.g. the value of markets or not in reducing emissions, ecological modernization, the extent to which international negotiations open up rather than help solve international disputes/disagreements, the extent to which current negotiations were based on certain interpretations of justice and responsibility, and a critical angle on how the policies had historically developed and what kinds of  lock-in might have developed. In other words, they interpreted and analyzed the policies, rather than simply describing what policies exist and what they (are supposed) to do. Those students from more scientific disciplines please be aware of the criteria in our mark scheme, which is appended below for your reference. There is no reason that you cannot do well on the course, but you need to be aware of the guidelines here so that you are clear on the expectations. We particularly draw to your attention to the criteria around critical insight and independent thought. When you write your essays you want to argue a case, not just describe policies. To what extent have a country s policies or the international negotiations succeeded? For whom might they be said to have succeeded? What are the weaknesses in their approach? How might we understand that from the debates in science and social science on climate change?

Assessment Criteria for Masters Level Programmes, Dept of Geography
Classification/Mark Guidelines
Distinction Distinction: Outstanding
90-100% Surpasses the standards associated with the 80-89% level.
Outstanding contribution to the discipline which, with minor changes, is publication quality, in terms of content, approach, critical insight and presentation.

Distinction: Excellent
80-89% Surpasses the standards associated with the 70-79% level.
Superior work that demonstrates clear, independent thinking beyond taught elements of the programme/module. Excellent, critically perceptive and detailed contribution.

Distinction (A)
70-79% Distinction level that demonstrates clarity, exceptional understanding, analytical ability and critical thought, which are achieved through and evidenced by extensive reading, comprehensive analysis, original insights and thorough interpretation.

Pass Pass: Merit (B)
60-69% Clear understanding of the topic, and a well organised and informed approach. Evidence of good analytical skills, critical thinking and a logical argument, but does not display the critical acuity or originality of distinction level work.

Pass (C)
50-59% Overall satisfactory pass that presents some competent reproduction of ideas/concepts and demonstrates a general understanding, but is limited in terms of context and wider reading, and the lack of critical approach and independent evaluation.

Fail Fail: Marginal (D)
[Condoned pass potentially]
40-49% Shows some understanding of the topic and broader discipline, but provides little evidence of detailed knowledge and wider reading, and/or not sufficiently focused on the subject area.

Fail (E)
35-39% Presents a muddled or incomplete attempt that shows a partial understanding of the topic, but poor or limited and uncritical consideration of material.

Fail: Serious (F)
0-34% Fundamental lack of understanding of the topic and the context of the work required. Very poorly expressed and presented, with inadequate analysis and interpretation.
The science of climate change

A: IPCC, Climate Change 2007: Summary for Policymakers: The Physical Science Basis, Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ed. Solomon et al. (Cambridge University Press, 2007), p1-18.

B: IPCC, Climate Change 2007: Summary for Policymakers: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ed. Parry et al. (Cambridge University Press, 2007), p-1-18.

C: Maslin, M. Chapter 4: How do you model the future? In Global Warming: A very short introduction (second edition), Oxford University Press, (2008), p60-76.

D: M. Parry, J. Paluyokof, C. Hanson, and J. Lowe, Squaring Up to Reality, Nature, reports on climate change, 2 (June 2008): 3.

Models and climate science

Group A: Shackley, S., Young, P., Parkinson S. and Wynne, B. 1998. Uncertainty, complexity and concepts of good science in climate change modelling, Climatic Change, 38, 159-205.

Group B: Lahsen, M. 2005. Seductive Simulations? Uncertainty Distribution Around Climate Models, Social Studies of Science, 35, 6, 895-922.

Group C: Oreskes, N., Shrader-Frechette, K. and Belitz, K. 1994. Verification, Validation, and Confirmation of Numerical Models in the Earth Sciences, Science, 263, 5147, 641-646.

Group D: van der Sluijs, J., van Eijndhoven, J., Shackley, S. and Wynne, B. 1998. Anchoring Devices in Science for Policy, Social Studies of Science, 28, 2, 291-323.

Politics of climate science

Group A: Liverman, D.M. 2009. Conventions of climate change, Journal of Historical Geography, forthcoming (in forthcoming papers section if it s not been published)

Group B: Tol, R.S.J. 2007. Europe s long term climate target, Energy Policy, 35, 424-432.

Group C: Pielke, R.J. Jr. 2005. Misdefining  climate change , Environmental Science and Policy, 8, 6, 548-561.

Group D: Demeritt, D. 2001. The Construction of Global Warming and the Politics of Science, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 91, 2, 307-337.

International politics
NOTE: This week there will be no lecture. The discussions will be guided around your readings and what Kyoto was about, in view of setting up the group negotiations later in the course.

Group A: Grubb, M. 1999. The Kyoto protocol: A Guide and Assessment, Earthscan, 342pp (particularly focus on chapter 2; I will photocopy this ahead of the session as there s only 2 copies of the book in the library)

Group B: Grubb, M. 1999. The Kyoto protocol: A Guide and Assessment, Earthscan, 342pp (particularly focus on chapter 3; I will photocopy this ahead of the session as there s only 2 copies of the book in the library)

Group C: Prins, G. and Rayner, S. 2007. Time to ditch Kyoto, Nature, 449, 25th October, 973-975. AND dip into the longer version:  The Wrong Trousers available from: The+Wrong+Trousers+-+Radically+rethinking+climate+policy.htm, especially read section 2: Why did the Kyoto Protocol fail? p 8-24.

Group D: Christoff, P. 2006. Post Kyoto? Post Bush? Towards an effective  climate coalition of the willing , International Affairs, 82, 5, 831-860.

Ethics, responsibility, justice

Group A: Gardiner, S.M. 2006. A Perfect Moral Storm, Environmental Values, 15, 397-413.

Group B: Barker, T. 2008. The economics of avoiding dangerous climate change, Climatic Change, 89, 173-194.

Group C: Roberts, J.T. and Parks, B.C.