Discussion 4: The Climate Change (Global Warming) DebateBackground Information:The topic of climate change has been in the headlines for many years now. Because the temperatures on earth have increa

Discussion 4: The Climate Change (“Global Warming”) DebateBackground Information:The topic of climate change has been in the headlines for many years now. Because the temperatures on earth have increased since the early 1900s, many refer to this phenomenon as “global warming”. However, recently there has been ample controversy sparked over this topic. The main questions that are commonly debated are:

  • What has caused the earth’s temperature to increase and will the temperature continue to increase?
  • Is “global warming” mainly due to human activity or is it a result of natural processes on earth or in our solar system?

Many environmental-climate models and scientific data suggest that the earth’s temperature will continue to rise in the near future. Therefore, one might ask:

  • Are we entering into a global environmental crisis or is the media inflating the issue, thus, creating unnecessary fear?
  • Do humans encompass the knowledge and methods to intentionally change the earth’s climate for the good or bad?

Examine the pro and con arguments regarding the climate change debate by reviewing the following article: Is Human Activity Primarily Responsible for Global Climate Change?

Assignment Instructions:Part 1: Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist, associate professor, and devout Christian. Please watch this short video: Katharine Hayhoe Video

  • Video transcript (pdf) Video transcript (pdf) – Alternative Formats available for download

Dr. Hayhoe discusses that climate change is human-caused and explains that some of the natural causes of climate change cannot account for the rapid and intense climate warming that has been observed by scientists.Select one of the natural causes below and research the issue using credible scientific sources.

    1. Changes in the sun’s energy
    2. Natural climatic fluctuations
    3. Volcanoes

Do you believe this natural cause can account for climate change? Explain why or why not. What evidence do scientists point to that shows that climate change is human-caused?

To gain a better overall understanding of the various perspectives on this issue, you may wish to view the following resources:

The Globe Is Warming, But It’s Not Your Fault! (article)Evidence for Global Warming (article)Part 2: Watch this short video (2:49) on the “The Climate Change Evangelist”.Dr. Hayhoe claims that God is the God of love, not fear. Instead of acting out of fear we are to act out of love and protect the poor and the disadvantaged. Based on your reading in the Biblical Perspective, how should Christians respond to the issue of climate change?

Session 4 Water Quality PaperOnline and In-Seat Students:Select one of the following bodies of water:

  • Pacific Ocean
  • Lake Erie
  • Chesapeake Bay
  • Animas River, Colorado
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Cape Fear River, North Carolina

Research a pollutant found in the body of water that you selected.  Write a 1-2 page paper discussing the source(s) of the pollutant and how that pollutant might affect:

  1. Aquatic life
  2. Wildlife
  3. Humans

You should use the textbook and at least two other reputable sources for support. Format your paper according to APA standards — review these standards and requirements in the CAGS Writing Guide that is available in the Student Resources tab in Blackboard.Before submitting your paper, be sure your paper meets all the grading criteria presented in the rubric.Click the  Session 4 Water Quality Paper link to submit your assignment as an attachment by the posted due date.

Discussion 5: Hydraulic Fracturing Case Study (Role Play) Characters:

  • Farmer MacDonald—The MacDonald family has been ranching for 40 years. Their livelihood is raising cattle. They depend on the aquifer to water their cattle and irrigate their hay fields. They also get their drinking water from the groundwater aquifer.
  • Mr./Mrs. Jones—They live on the property adjacent to the MacDonald ranch. Energy for Everyone Corporation estimates that the Joneses could make 10 million dollars in royalties if gas was extracted using hydraulic fracturing on their land. They have three young children.
  • Dr. Miller is an environmental health scientist for the state health department.
  • Ronnie is an environmental regulator for the state Oil and Gas Commission
  • Mr. Smithers is the CEO of Energy for Everyone Corporation, a natural gas drilling company.
  • Billie has been unemployed for four years and was just offered a job in the gas field.
  • Commissioner Sanders is the county commissioner. The county recently had a budget shortfall and will have cut funding to the school district or consider raising taxes. The county could see a windfall in revenue if drilling occurs. Commissioner Sanders lives next to the Joneses and the MacDonald ranch. Commission Sanders has a daughter who suffers from asthma and is sensitive to air pollution.
  • Sunny Daze is an environmental activist and works for the Sierra Club.

Case: A gas-rich shale formation was discovered in the county by Energy for Everyone Corp (EFE).  EFE has submitted a proposal to the state oil and gas commission to drill and hydraulic fracture to capture the gas.  A town hall meeting was convened for stakeholders to express their views on EFE’s proposal. Present the viewpoint of your character by answering the following questions:

  • Do you believe that hydraulic fracturing should be permitted in the county? Why or why not? Use information from the course resources to support your viewpoint and incorporate what you discovered in this week’s Biblical Perspective.
  • Do you agree with the following statement? Explain why or why not.

Our national energy plan should not be a rigid set of production and conservation goals dictated by the Government. Our primary objective is simply for our citizens to have enough energy, and it is up to them to decide how much energy that is, and in what form and manner it will reach them.
~ President Ronald Reagan, (Message to the Congress Transmitting the National Energy Policy Plan July 17, 1981).

Final paper 5Choose a topic from the list below, or consult with your professor to choose your own topic related to what you have studied in class:

  • Environmental Systems and Feedback Loops
  • Human Population Growth and its Effect on the Environment
  • Environmental Health
  • Toxicology
  • Air Pollution
  • Water Resources
  • Water Pollution
  • Energy and Resources
  • Sustainability

Focus on an environmental problem related to your topic. Every chapter we have read in your book has started with a case study. You may choose one of them as a springboard for your topic and issue.Write a 3-5 page paper (not including the cover and reference pages) in APA format that:

  1. Describe the problem in detail. Set the specific problem you choose in the context of your overall topic, and in the context of the biblical principles for environmental stewardship discussed in this course.
  2. Describe the important factors that contribute to the problem you chose to discuss.
  3. Describe the people and/or environments that are affected by the problem.
  4. Evaluate the current strategies and solutions that communities, states, and the Federal Government have in place to address this issue.
  5. Discusses a reasonable long-term strategy to reach a more sustainable solution to this issue. Include:

    • Cost and benefits issues from your strategy
    • Required community, the federal government, and global support are needed for your strategy to be successful.
    • Biblical principles of environmental stewardship
  6. Cites and references at least four academic (peer-reviewed) sources to support your paper.

Writing Resources:You may find the following resources helpful when planning and writing your paper:

  • CCU Research Database Walkthrough
  • Proper Academic Sources and Where to Find Them
  • Student Resources tab in Blackboard: Click on the CAGS Writing Guide
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
  • APA Video Tutorials

    • Page Setup
    • Reference Page
    • In-text Citations

Click on the Session 5 Final Paper