My Thoughts On Critiquing

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I found the critiques I received to be extremely valuable throughout my policy development. I did not take offense to any criticism that may have been given because it gave me insight on how I could make my policy better. Drafting an entire policy started becoming very daunting as I learned how complicated policy formation can be.  I was unsure of how to put together a policy document; I didn't even know how to begin. The initial plan of attack for the policy formation incorporated many different components and was scattered in its focus. After being critiqued I began to rethink my policy because it offered information and questions that I never had the mind to consider. I was then able to reference my classmate's approach which was really helpful in showing me how to take on forming this document. As I read through more of my classmate's ideas I was impressed at how knowledgeable they seemed on energy policy implementation. I rethought my policy once again and I decided to focus on a subject that I knew a lot about and would be a practical solution to a real problem.  

Likewise, I also found value in critiquing my classmate's work and was glad to help with their policy development as well . At first it was difficult to find valuable suggestions for them to include because I did not know much about their topics or if my suggestions would hold any validity. This eventually became easier as the course progressed because I began to question the economic, social and environmental implications of policy mechanisms. It was interesting to read through the policies and then be able to recognize when a government body would need to be involved, or how prices would be affected, or even when interest groups would show opposition. I had to reflect on these sorts of considerations so often until doing so became second nature. I was able to give feedback on subjects that I was not knowledgeable on because the course taught me to recognize and question the involvement of other factors and I could apply this to any policy.

Policy Critique

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I really liked participating in the critiques for this course.  The peer review portion of this class was more heavily weighted and more frequent than most, but I thought it was really beneficial.  Every person you meet along the way knows something different, and has a different way of looking at things.  For peer reviews on our policy critiques, the person that gave me feed back on my policy report was able to offer different websites for sources.  When you create your own policy, despite trying to be unbiased, you sometimes think your report doesn't over look any scenarios.  When trying to determine the possible unintended effects of my policy, a partner is more likely to find things that I left out of my policy.  I can't imagine how much feed back you get at the state and federal level when it comes to people examining a policy.  A policy at a larger scale allows for more ideas and opinions to be thrown around and for the policy maker to keep the original goal of the policy but still make changes based on everyone's different feedback, is a real challenge.

Critiques

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Peer review through critiquing is definitely a valuable portion of this class. I know my project benefited from the process and I would venture to guess that others' did as well. Peer review puts you in the shoes of the grader, letting you view another's work from a new perspective. This process ultimately allowed me to see my project from a different perspective as well.

            Most of my peer review or critiquing experience at Penn State has not been on written work. Critiques I have done in the past are usually homework problems with right/worn answers marked or of a class presentation with comments out loud. Being able to both give and receive comments on written work in progress gave me the benefit of better writing in my project. I was able to see how detailed I need to be, as well as how well thought out a paper needs to be to get a clear idea across to the reader.

            It was a little awkward during the first critique. I know my partner and I both included similar comments like "Don't take this the wrong way" or "feel free to ask me for further explanation".  In the end I felt more comfortable giving a straight forward critique and in some ways wish that we could have been more honest without fear of hurting someone's feelings.

            Critiquing was definitely constructive and positive toward my Capstone project as well as my writing in general.

Critique Feedback

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Being critiqued by both Brandi and my critiquing partner was extremely important for the development of my policy overall. First, being critiqued helped a lot with sentence structure, including creating an appropriate tone, catching any grammar mistakes, and creating a professional, understandable document as a whole. Next, getting critiqued help carry specific ideas further, specifically, adding in more examples to explain the fining process for noncompliance. Finally getting critiqued helped to fill in missing gaps of the policy. For example, Brandi suggested that I add a conclusion section to my policy document. Adding a conclusion truly helped positively shape the document and tie everything together.


Feedback that I gave was definitely shaped by things I've learned in the course. First and foremost, the course has taught me to make my answers to questions very clear and thought out. As a result, I asked a lot of questions to the writer during my critiquing, to help clarify and add detail to all parts of the writing. Next, the lesson on policy implementation was extremely beneficial because it reinforced how strong the implementation section of each person's policy needed to be. I made an extra effort while critiquing to make sure the implementation section was realistic and clear to any reader.


Overall, getting a chance to read another policy document, as well as reading so much information throughout the semester in this course, truly allowed me to realize the plethora of energy challenges our country faces. However, it also showed me that there is a lot of potential and a vast number of issues that can be addressed through strong, feasible policies.

Capstone_Critiquing_Lesson_12

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As an adult learning perspective, I found the capstone critiquing extremely helpful both receiving the feedback from other students but also by performing the critique to have a better understanding and  Furthermore, it allowed me to gain experience to work collaboratively with other students that will be beneficial when applying this to real world applications.  Critiquing others work also required me to be open minded to others opinion and perceived interpretation of the assignment which allowed me to rethink portions of my work and reconsider my approach to its structure and content.  The only downfall was finding time to read other projects outside of the assigned critiquing group to gain even more understanding and ideas from the project. 

By collaborating with others via the critiquing forums also helped realizing other energy issues that are present in our society that are not generally covered in the course content.  It is a great channel to add content to the course structure without stressing to absorb all of the content on a required basis.  I've gathered information from the critiquing process without otherwise having the opportunity had the assignments of other students not been made available for these lesson activities. 

Critiquing

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                Throughout the semester critiquing our partners on their steps through the capstone policy was a great learning experience.  Not only was I able to learn to think outside of the box and try to help my partners, but I also got great ideas from my peers through their own policy.  At first, I was unsure how to critique efficiently and effectively.  By reading other people's works and thinking of what other ways they can think of their project helped both my partner and I.  I was able to take an idea of theirs and think are there consequences, is there a better way of thinking through this, will this be effective, what other events could occur if this idea succeeded, etc.  It was also interesting to see after critiquing them the first time what they have changed when the second and final critique happened.  I can see their thinking process and in turn helped me through my capstone policy.

                After reading other people's policies, it sparked great ideas that I never thought of for my policy.  This helped me think of better or different ways to present and think about my project.  It's easy to be stuck where you are thinking, but by looking at other people's thoughts can start a whole new outlook on ideas.  For example at first, I had trouble thinking of consequences for my policy.  After critiquing my peers, I was able to see how they were thinking about this subject and then it started some ideas of mine.  Also by having people critique mine, helped me think of other ideas as well.  Everyone has their own thinking process and thoughts that can always help expand your ideas and help you strengthen your own process.

 

Capstone Critique Feedback

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     The information I gained from my critiquing partners really helped narrow down my policy idea that started that was initially too broad.  The process also helped me see things in my policy that I did not see myself.  Obviously things such as grammar but more importantly holes in the policy.  Such holes that I overlooked were funding and which area of the government would be responsible for implementation and enforcement of the policy.  I enjoyed learning about the different policy mechanisms and the intended and unintended consequences related to them.  I was unsure of how I would be able to accomplish my policy and which mechanisms I would use to do so.   After that lesson activity and the discussion about policy mechanism I had a clear picture of which mechanisms I would use to implement my policy.  

     I also learned in general the vast views that everyone has on energy policy.  Since our class and country have such diverse views on energy policy I think it will be a struggle to write and pass effective policies because so many people and groups have such strong opinions.       The important thing about the course blog was that it gave us a platform to discuss our opinions.  Discussing our opinions and listening to others is the first and best step we can take at working together to formulate not just energy policy but all of our policies.  Although a classroom setting has a quicker pace of feedback on peoples ideas the blog allowed me to write and really think about what I was writing.  Several times I even changed my opinion on issues because of what I read from someone else.  

Policy

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I thought it was a very good idea for the critique during the capstone project. It helped me along the way with what I needed to fix and what I needed to take out of my paper. It's really informative to see where other students are coming from because sometimes they have the same opinions as you. They aren't as tough on you as teachers are because they are in the same position as the rest us and we like to see our peers succeed when we write our papers.  If I didn't have people critique my paper I would have left out some important concepts but with people helping me along the way it was easier. I also feel like it's easier getting feedback from my peers rather than the teacher because not everyone has the same writing style or skills to write a paper but will help you make it better.  It's also good gauge to read other students papers to see what they might have put in their paper, and then you can see what you would need to add and vice versa.  

After this class and all the lessons that we went through it was interesting to read the different policies students would put in place if they had the opportunity. We all know what the government does on a regular basis with the different policies out there but it was a nice change to see where our generation stands in regards to the various policies.  I probably didn't give as much feedback as I should have, but the feedback I got from the teacher and the students helped me greatly in shaping my paper.  I would like to thank the teacher and the students for being there every step of the way in completing the process. Without the criticism of others, this would just be a normal assignment.  

Reaction to Critiquing

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During the Capstone Project I have gained much more respect and knowledge for the creation of energy policies.  Many citizens only see the final product of an energy policy and how it is implemented, while creating my own energy policy I have experienced 'behind the scenes' work on the steps of each policy. 

Student Critiquing was a very helpful process in my Capstone Project.  One way that strengthened my paper was to critique another students policy.  This gave me the opportunity to see another student's policy was constructed and give me another point of view on a solution to a problem.  One problem with my paper was that I was too conversational.  By viewing my partner's project I was able to see another way to set up an energy policy which gave me some ideas to strengthen my paper.  While critiquing my own paper I felt that I was only rereading what I have wrote down and changing what was already there.  By critiquing another student's paper I gained another view point on how to attack a situation which lead to important changes in my own project.  Another reason why this was a helpful process was that it confirmed that my paper was on the right track.  Many times in other courses I find my self second guessing my work and questioning if I am going in the right direction.  Because I was able to see other students policies at work, I was able to confirm that I was on the right track.  If I was not going in the right direction it would help me make changes. 

Another helpful process was when my a student critiqued my policy.  Many times when I critique my own paper I miss errors because I am rereading my work.  By having someone else read my policy gave another point of view towards my work and provided suggestions to each section.  Although I do not use all suggestions that are given to me on papers, it gives me an opportunity to think differently and sometimes come up with new ideas that might help strengthen the end product. 

Critiquing Feedback Process

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mplementing the aspect of critiquing in this course was a very good idea. Although it was somewhat repetitive at some points, it was definitely beneficial. Constructive criticism goes a long way in developing a well-written paper, and I hope that no one took offense to anyone's comments. Firstly, receiving critiquing from my critique partner was very helpful for putting all the pieces together for my final document. I didn't get the full picture of what I was trying to establish until I received comments from Brandi, and my critiquing partner Diana. At first, I will admit I lacked confidence when I received the grade I did for my draft, given the amount of work and thought that I put into it. After reading through both of the comments on my draft I was able to get a better idea of what I was trying to say, what was expected, and finally made some kind of sense of it. After more research and listening to Brandi and my partner, I think I was able to come up with a good policy.

As opposed to critiquing my partner, that certainly helped as well. After reading through his I was able to see mistakes in his that were related to my own, allowing me to go back to my policy and fix these issues. One specific example was the conversational language I had throughout a document that was supposed to be formal. Critiquing someone else's paper allows you to help them develop a well-structured document, but it also helps you fix things that you may not have realized were present.

After doing much research and learning within energy policy, I felt more confident giving advice to my partner. I knew somewhat what I was talking about after completing all of the lessons. On the contrary, once I received comments relating to my policy I understood it much more than I would have on the first day of classes. Overall, the critiquing aspect of this course was very beneficial to me.

Critiquing Process

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Many of the courses I've taken have included some form of peer critiquing, but this semester has included quite a bit more than usual (in quantity, length, and overall grade weighting).  Two of my other classes this semester have had major assignments that required me to critique the work of my peers.

This class probably featured it more prominently than the other two I found the process to be both more challenging and more interesting than I had expected it to be.  It was challenging to ensure that my feedback was constructive and useful.  That's the ultimate goal of the process.  By opening up our work to others, we challenge ourselves and each other to improve our work.  This sort of collaboration is common in many settings within and beyond academia.

What I enjoyed most about the process (and what I found the most interesting) was the opportunity to see the work of my classmates.  Having to come up with a topic very early in the course placed a sort of creative pressure on all of us.  Had topic selection come later in the course, the topics we chose probably would have been much more similar and much less divergent.  I can't speak for everyone, but I know I also enjoyed looking through critiquing groups other than my own.

To my own surprise, I had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted to write about fairly early in the course.  Because of that, I'm not sure that my policy changed a great deal through the critiquing process.  However, the process did help me remind myself and others that the assignment had very specific requirements, and that it was critical to specifically link it to our other work in this course.  I know that I am often tempted to write too much about too many different things, and the critiquing process (in both directions) helped me to keep my focus.

Policy- A lesson learned by Michelle Miller

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I truly enjoyed participating in the critique process during my time in GEOG 432.  I enjoyed the sharing of ideas, perspectives, and experiences throughout the process.  In critiquing my peers work, I felt that it was incredibly important to play the "devil's advocate" role to challenge my peers view on their capstone policy.  It allowed me to critically analyze what aspects of the policy that I would want to see as a consumer and offer a perspective (different from theirs) that would potentially enhanced and widen their policy scope.  In receiving the review of my work, I felt almost handicapped because I did not receive a strong opinion or objections raised against my policy that would enable me to do the same.  In writing, sometimes I am so focus on my view that it becomes difficult to see anything beyond that view.  One important concept that I have learned in this course is that policies need a critical eye from different perspectives to ensure that the policy will do what it is intended to do.  While reflecting over my experiences during the capstone process, I could not help but to think how this process can be amplified on the state and federal level.  In the confines of the online classroom, the only pressure we really had was from the professor and ourselves.  Just imagine, being a representative working on a policy and the pressures they receive from many different sources and directions.  The one conclusion that I am left with is that writing a policy is not easy and the parties involved in the process must be open to sharing their ideas, perspective, and experiences.

Critiquing process

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The process of constructively and professionally critiquing another student's energy policy and also having my policy critiqued demonstrates how intricate and complex developing a policy can be. As I critiqued another student's rough draft, I realized there were other factors to consider in the development of my own project, which was extremely helpful when drafting my final project.  Having my own policy critiqued not only brought my attention to features I hadn't thought of before, but it allowed me to see what issues were important to others so that I could consider how those issues fit into my overall plan.

An objective critique of another student's policy was a helpful exercise in preparation for one day evaluating a colleague's work. It also reinforces the idea that effective communication is an essential part of the policy-making process and that one person cannot develop a policy alone, as various perspectives are needed to ensure certain details are not overlooked.

Policy Recap

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The process of critiquing others capstone projects, as well as peers critiquing my capstone project was the most important aspect in this class for me. The critiquing of my capstone project through out the semester helped mold my capstone project into something I became proud of. The progress I made from my first rough draft to my final copy of my capstone project was night and day, and through critiquing I discovered a few weaknesses in writing that I never knew existed. It is great to get different peer perspectives (other than the professors) to review the work that you have written, the peers who critiqued my project gave me clear, concise, and very helpful information to help me improve my paper. 

Critiquing my classmates papers went a long way in helping me develop critical thinking skills. There is a big difference between just reading a classmates paper and actually having to think about how the policy could have been improved. While I was critiquing I found myself writing down notes that would help my own project improve. This class, especially the critiquing aspect, helped me tremendously in writing, as well as critical thinking skills. I think moving forward this class should keep the critiquing aspect, because as much of a pain it was sometimes, it truly helped develop my skills significantly.

Benefits of the Capstone Critique Process

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The critique process was one of the greatest advantages I had this semester in regards to my Capstone project.

First, being able to critique a classmate's project really helped me visualize my project and incorporate other's ideas into my own. Specifically, the critique process helped me format my policy into a coherent and aesthetically pleasing presentation. Before the critique process began, my policy was void of any section headers, graphs, or charts; it read basically like an essay. However, after looking over some of my group member's projects and receiving their feedback, I was able to create something that looked and felt more like an actual policy.

Second, having other people critique my project allowed me the opportunity to see my project from an outside perspective. Furthermore, it gave us a chance to bounce ideas off one another. This exchange of ideas really helped me develop the specifics of my policy. For example, my critiquing partner was also using a gas tax in his policy, so I was able to analyze my policy in view of some of his ideas and use these concepts to improve my own.

These are just a few examples of how the critiquing process helped me improve my Capstone project. These advantages, along with the concepts I learned throughout the course, provided me with a great benefit. Lessons detailing the specifics of different alternative energies helped me make initial determinations for my policy, while concepts like hard and soft path energy plans helped me direct my project and focus my policy's goals. All of these factors helped me create an effective and coherent policy for my Capstone project.

Capstone Policy Development and the Critiquing Process

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The process of critiquing a fellow student's capstone policy was an exercise in critical thinking.  It is not an easy task to shift your focus from your own work to objectively assess the work of another.  I found it especially difficult because, though I have been a college student for the better part of a decade, this was unfamiliar territory.  Perhaps this is because there were times I struggled to master all of the course concept and felt unqualified to "judge" the work of another.  Also, while I became very familiar with the topic of my own policy, it is easy to find yourself critiquing a policy detailing concepts of which you have no prior background knowledge.  In my own situation, I found myself critiquing policies for different students and some I was more comfortable in my knowledge than others.  Doing the background research required to give a sufficient critique benefited me, in that I learned more about important topics.  

As far as shaping my own policy, I think that having access to the policies of others helped to assure me that I was on the right track in the development of my policy.  There are many times in courses where I have wished I had the benefit of knowing how others were handling the assignment, so that I could move forward confidently.  This alleviated any fears I had in that respect.  Because I am taking this course at the same time as the prerequisite, Policy Making and Evaluation, all of my in depth knowledge on the policy process has been happening concurrently and sometimes I wasn't sure about how to handle certain elements of the policy.  The critique process gave me the benefit of another student's perspective.  

Sometimes it is hard to accept criticism and suggestions from others, especially from people that you have never met face-to-face, but I think that it helps to break up the isolated feeling that can come from being an online learner.  The knowledge gained from this course was put to practical use by the critiquing process.

An example of policy following social and technological change

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Policy both leads and follows social and technological changes. However, as seen by many examples in this course, I think that policy first follows social and technological changes. For example, social and technological changes brought about the concept of Global Warming. People like Al Gore and other scientists decided to spread the word about Global Warming and climate change, and the government began to get involved and form opinions around climate change as well. Specifically, Gore's famous documentary about climate change, an Inconvenient Truth, was released in 2006. Subsequently, several policies and initiatives came about in the United States, including the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and different energy and environmental plans across US cities. Some examples include PlaNYC, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the Northeast (RGGI), and more.


After taking this course, I believe that we do owe something to future generations in terms of conducting energy and environmental research and coming up with various energy policies that are forward thinking. Historically, the path to the future is created in the past. Our generation must commit itself to constantly researching energy and environmental impacts of energy to come up with innovative information. More specifically, research in climate change and how human use of energy impacts climate change is very important for the future.

 

Additionally, policies need to be thought of, created, passed, and put into action properly. Based on the plethora of issues that we as a class have identified through our various energy policies, it is extremely apparent that there is a need for innovative policy for energy and climate change impacts in the US.  Since we are only students, it is amazing to see how we were all able to come up with these policies, and it shows that policy makers definitely have a lot of work to do going forward. Who knows, maybe we will see policies similar to the ones we created become implemented in the future.

 

Overall, it is important for policies to be created now for the future to look bright in terms of the way the United States uses its energy and regulates its emissions from energy overall. In the future, new policies will be created; however, they will need to assess the strengths and weaknesses of policies created today. This will be necessary in creating a sustainable environment and economy for the US.

 

To people already disproportionally affected by a changing climate, we owe constant research and effort to show that we will be helping them and helping to mitigate climate change impacts in the future. We must accept their affects as fact and stop trying to make excuses that state why climate change is not the reason for them.

No Voice for Climate Change

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Climate policy is virtually absent from both the Republican and Democrat party campaigns. Neither Obama nor Romney discussed their stance on climate policy during any of the three presidential debates.  The subject of "climate" is not even listed as an issue on either of the candidate's official web pages. To understand both Obama's and Romney's position on climate change we must look at the few statements each have made regarding the topic, as well as the actions taken in their past and current positions.

Mitt Romney has acknowledged that the planet is warming; however he does think it can be said that anthropogenic causes are primarily responsible for the changes. Early in the campaign he stated, "My view is that we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet, and the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try and reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us"[1]. He has since admitted that humans most likely play some role. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney set fees for corporations with high greenhouse gas emissions [2]. On the other hand, he has proposed policies that will in effect lower fuel efficiency standards and increase domestic fossil fuel production. He has replied to questions on climate policy with saying carbon pricing will hurt the economy and feels the focus should instead be on Chinas emissions. None of his proposed policies include taking measures specifically geared to climate change, though he has announced his support of domestic fossil fuel production.

President Barack Obama has also lacked in publicly establishing his stance on global warming or climate change during the current campaign. We can examine the past four years under the Obama administration to understand his intent. The Obama administration has the EPA begin regulating greenhouse gas emissions as one of the many efforts to curb emissions levels and has favored cutting subsidies to oil and gas and increasing subsidies for renewable energy.  Furthermore, he had intentions on signing a national carbon cap and trade system into law if it has not been blocked by the Senate [3]. Whether Barack Obama feels climate change is mainly human induced, he has publicly declared an urgency for a resolution by saying "we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe...The security and stability of each nation and all peoples--our prosperity, our health, and our safety--are in jeopardy, and the time we have to reverse this tide is running out" [5].

It seems we must look to each candidate's position on energy to understand their general viewpoint on climate policy. At the MIT Energy Initiative's Presidential Energy Debate, Joseph Aldy, representing Obama, made clear the President supports the development of all energy sources, oil, gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, and biofuels. Romney's representative, Oren Cass, emphasized Romney's support of energy independence through fossil fuel development. He later added, "There is no evidence, frankly, that the sorts of investments the president is making in green energy are superior to using the far more economically effective energy technologies we already have available" [4]. Not surprisingly, neither representative offered a position on federal policy concerning climate change.

 

Works Cited

1.      1. Harris, Richard. "On Climate Policy, Romney Walks a Tightrope." NPR. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www.npr.org/2012/10/25/163643430/on-climate-policy-romney-walks-a-tightrope>.

2.      2. Koch, Wendy. "Climate and Energy: How Do Romney and Obama Compare?" USA Today. Gannett, n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/29/obama-romney-climate-energy-records/1654979/>.

3.    3.   "Obama, Romney Reps Debate Energy and Climate Policy." Biomass Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/8161/obama-romney-reps-debate-energy-and-climate-policy>.

4.    4.   "Whose Climate Policy Proposals Are the Greenest? Obama, Romney, Stein, or Johnson." TreeHugger. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/climate-policy-proposals-greenest-obama-romney-stein-johnson.html>

5.      5. Phelps, Jordyn. "President Obama Says Global Warming is Putting Our Safety in Jeopardy". ABC News. Retrieved 2010-03-14.

Here's my policy brief!

Diana DiClemente Policy Brief.pdf

Doug Bush - Lesson 11 Blog

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Moving beyond our carbon intensive economy of today, I believe the best path forward has to be regulation. Regulation is the choice, because in my opinion regulation causes technological advance. What do I mean by "best"? I mean regulation will be best for both the environment and the economy, killing two birds with one stone. Regulation of pollution and emissions will undoubtedly help the environment now and for years to come, but as I said earlier regulation helps breed change and technological advancement. These technological advancements will help start new industries and create new jobs, something our economy is in dire need of.

Policy most definitely leads social and technological change. One example I can think of is the new CAFE standards for American automobiles. President Obama give automakers an ambitious goal of increasingly motor vehicles fuel efficiency and the automakers have responded very well. Without this policy, I do not think automakers would have the incentive to spend more money on research and development to improve their vehicles.

In my opinion with what we know today, we owe the future generations much more than we ever did. Before the world was ignorant of global warming and the affects it can potentially cause, pollution was viewed as acceptable. This is not the case now, we can not pollute the earth the way we have in years past knowing what we do now. We owe future generations at least an attempt to change our policies and actions to help preserve the earth the best that we can. That being said, we cannot forget about the present situation. If all funds and effort are used on cleaning up the environment, then we all will be suffering in the present. We need to find a balance that will help us prosper in the present, but also preserve posperity for the future generations.


Policy Brief

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Sorry for taking so long to post!

Littlehale_Carly_Capstone_PolicyBrief.pdf

Policy Brief

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A little late but here she is.

Policy Flyer

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Austin Ludwig Energy Policy Flyer

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flyer.jpg

Lesson 11: What do we owe?

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What, if anything, do we owe to future generations?  What about people already disproportionately affected by a changing climate? 

Lesson 11: Leading by Example

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The United States will lead by example - either good or bad.  How do we justify our carbon intensive lifestyles with a lack of policy innovation?  What could our potential inaction mean for the rest of the world's efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption and move toward a cleaner energy future?  What role do we play in helping the developing world on a path to clean modernization? Tie your discussion to recent and current international climate negotiations.

Lesson 11: Short term goals and long term solutions

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How do we reconcile short term goals and long term solutions?  Economic and political short term issues dictate how we develop energy policy.  How do we ensure that short term and long term objectives overlap?

Lesson 11: Leading or Following

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Does policy lead or follow social and technological change?   This is a question we've discussed before, so many of you have already done some research into this topic.

Lesson 11: Moving Beyond Carbon

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Moving beyond our carbon intensive economy of today - what's the best path forward (free market, taxation, regulation, voluntary action)?  Think about how we define 'best' - best for whom?  The environment?  The economy?  Our health?  Our lifestyle?

Modernizing the Federal Gas Tax

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Attached is my policy briefing for my Capstone Project.

Lukens_Matthew_Capstone_Briefing.pdf

Algae Biofuel in Transportation Act

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Reflecting on Geog 432 and the ESP Program Objectives

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The ESP program objectives (listed below) were developed to outline the BA program for Energy and Sustainability Policy which emphasizes energy industry knowledge, sustainability ethic, global perspective, analytical skills, and communication skills.  As was intended, Geog 432 largely focused on several of these areas (indicated by the bolded sections) and surpassed them to cover many of the overall program objectives. The following is my personal reflection on the topics covered in Geog 432 and the application of the objectives outlined in the ESP program.

 

Energy Industry Knowledge - The course offered an overview on basic energy concepts and the flow from producers to consumers. It also went through all of the energy types and the environmental considerations for each.  The course materials were very valuable for increasing student's knowledge of the energy industry. The combination of all the lessons which made up the course thoroughly covered the indicated topics for this area.  Along with the lesson content, supplemental resources were provided which gave students the opportunity to independently gather information from reliable sources. These resources were a combination of unbiased, official government documents and thoughtful opinion pieces, which encouraged students to question underlying motives and causes. Students also become familiar navigating official websites and documents to become comfortable recognizing misinformation and the use of propaganda.

 

The course went beyond the bold areas that were indicated to include a case study exemplifying energy and environmental economics. Incorporated into Lesson 5, "Case Study: Energy in Common" describes the development of a nonprofit organization which resulted from the failure of policy to economic and environmental issues. The case study showed how different organizations and market tools can be utilized to influence market and non-market values, such as greenhouse gas emission levels.

 

Sustainability Ethic - Geology 432 also surpassed the indicated areas in the ESP Program Objectives by featuring aspects of sustainability ethics in the lesson materials and required readings. The internal policies of various organizations were examined to gain an understanding of local level energy policy. For instance, it was seen that corporations like Bank of America or Molson Coors often choose to engage in sustainability ethics to agree with social and environmental interests. Adopting favorable energy and environmental policies helps the company's reputation as being socially responsible. Additionally, Lesson 2 incorporates sustainability ethics with a case study on environmental policy at Penn State University. The study explains all of the sustainability practices taking place around campus, providing an informational video and links for more information. As PSU students, the case study encourages the Penn State community to be involved in the University's efforts.

 

Global Perspective -Aspects of global perspective are present in a subdivision of Lesson 6 that focuses on public and private goods regulation of goods and services. A required reading was the Tragedy of the Commons by Garrett Hardin, which examined the exploitation and depletion of common goods. It explains the human pressures put on Earth's resources through overpopulation, private benefit, and a westernized lifestyle. This lesson also explains the The Precautionary Principle, first proposed in 1992 at the United Nations Conference, which was intended to protect the environment from human actions or inactions.

 

Analytical Skills - The course required students to reflect on historical events and the evolution of energy policy to understand how America's current energy policy came to be. For example, one of the first required readings was Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken, written in 1976 by Amory B. Lovins, which discussed the energy concerns of that time and the different paths the country could take. Personally, I felt this older 1970's piece allowed me to understand the view on energy during that time and the driving forces behind the formation of energy policy in the coming decades. This and a myriad of additional materials helped me to understand the complexity of policy formation and its effects on energy systems. Chapter 1 of American Public Policy was notably helpful because it focused on the many different forms public policy can take and showed just how intricate and fragile the effects on society can be.

 

Students were regularly prompted to consider the involvement of politics, economics, and the environment in policy formation. Lesson materials elaborated on the role of government in the various stages of development, those being formulation, implementation, and enforcement. They also had students consider the multitude of different organizations that influenced policy formation and their role in regulation. For instance, the roles of national, state, and local authority in resource regulation were put into perspective by looking at the Marcellus Shale. This example clearly demonstrated the difficulties companies face in adhering to local, state, and federal regulations. Additionally, we were prompted to consider the influence of states on federal policy and vice versa with readings like The Executive Summary of Climate Policy in the State Laboratory.       

 

Students also explore a timeline of major energy policy landmarks from 1920 to 2009 and learn the major components behind Renewable Portfolio Standards, ACES, Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and the Kyoto and Post-Kyoto International Agreements. It is then required to examine one of these policies and give a summary includes the policy's purpose, policy requirements, the agency responsible, a related federal court case, and major challenge of the policy.

 

Communication Skills - Penn State's World Campus allowed students from all regions of the world to enroll in Geology 432. To encourage active collaboration with fellow classmates, each student was assigned a discussion group with a forum for offering constructive feedback. As students worked through the components of their Energy Policy for the Capstone Project, they received critiques from students of diverse backgrounds. This feedback let students learn from one another by offering additional factors to consider in writing their policies. For example, my critiquing partner had experience in the natural gas energy, which was a central feature of my policy. He was able to give me practical criticism on how my policy could fail that otherwise would have gone unacknowledged.

 

Additionally, students participate in the course blog on a weekly basis and often had to reflect on the intended and unintended consequences of energy policy and regulation. The blog writing assignments consisted of exploring the factors which influence policy formation, implementation, and effectiveness. It was also required for students to comment on each other's posts to offer similar or conflicting viewpoints, which similarly required effective speaking to diverse audiences.  


 

ESP Program Objectives

Energy Industry Knowledge

  • Demonstrate broad and accurate business and technical knowledge of all major sectors of the energy industry, including conventional, alternative/renewable, and emerging technologies.
  • Recognize and correct misinformation about the energy resources on which society depends, the prevailing and emerging new technologies, policies and associated rules by which energy is produced and supplied, and the environmental and human implications of energy consumption.
  • Explain the requirements of private and public sources of financing of energy ventures in light of political, legal and regulatory considerations, tax and accounting policies, and warrantied performance of energy technologies.
  • Cite case studies to explain principles of energy and environmental economics, including pricing of non-market values, cap and trade, and social discounting.

Sustainability Ethic

  • Embody the conviction that corporate interests can be reconciled with social and environmental interests.
  • Advocate public participation in decisions whose outcomes affect environmental justice.
  • Make a business case for sustainable practices in the context of a particular energy business or utility.

Global Perspective

  • Illustrate and explain the geographic distributions of various energy resources.
  • Discuss case studies that reveal how global systems of energy production, distribution and consumption are linked with social and environmental systems in particular places (e.g. climate change, water scarcity).
  • Document pertinent insights gained from an overseas field trip, internship, or other relevant international experience. 

Analytical Skills

  • Find, read, understand, interpret and synthesize evolving energy policy and regulations.
  • Understand legislative processes within state, federal and international governments, including the roles of regulators, non-governmental organizations and other advocacy groups.
  • Prepare and critique quantitative benefit and cost analyses of proposed and existing energy business ventures.
  • Assure regulatory compliance of utilities and related entities.
  • Help identify advantageous sites and routes for energy generation, transmission and distribution.

Communication Skills

  • Effectively explain to diverse audiences - orally, in writing, and through maps and other information graphics - the intended and unintended consequences of energy policy and regulation.
  • Listen to and learn from other members of diverse teams.
  • Demonstrate competence in a language other than English.

 

The Biofuel Assistance Act of 2012

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Check out a flyer for The Biofuel Assistance Act of 2012 at http://lmb5306.edu.glogster.com/the-biofuel-assistance-act-of-2012


Doug Bush Capstone

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Pennsylvania Gas Shale Drill Site Emissions Plan

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Infrastructure Rehabilitation Policy Brief

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Policy Brief: Sticker System

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Policy Brief

Giusti Policy.pdf

Securing Renewable Energy Financing Act

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United States Coast Guard Wind Energy Initiative

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The Comprehensive Energy Transition Initiative

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Roundabouts: Investing in a Greener and Safer Pennsylvania

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                The ESP program objectives that were bolded are items that I have learned throughout the course.  For energy industry knowledge topic, we learned about technologies that are newer and emerging.  We took a look at how an energy policy is created by learning the rules and policies that are associated with the specific type of energy.  We also examined social, economic, and political roles that can effect energy policies as well as consumption.  Also in this topic, I feel we learned about broad business knowledge about the energy industry.  We didn't directly learn about this, but through the readings and research for blogs and lesson activities we learned more about the actual industry. 

                For analytical skills, we greatly learned how to read, understand, and interpret energy policies through multiple lessons.  There were many different types of policies we read which helped us create our own policy.  There also was a whole lesson dedicated to regulatory bodies and governmental organizations.  Overall, we learned how to analyze many different items including policies, our own and other's papers, and blogs.  Commenting on people's blogs about our thoughts of their blogs, helps us think out of the box and think deeper into the matter.  The critiquing of our discussion groups and asking for feedback is similar to the quantitative critique of energy business ventures.  Our policies are business ventures and we were able to read each other's and give them our opinion and think more about the subject in a in-depth way.

                The last topic, communication skills, was another big aspect of this course.  Communication is key to being successful in today's society.  The blog postings have helped our technical writing skills.  Being able to express our opinions in a technical aspect takes time to understand and be successful.  Also writing our policies and critiques have helped with our skills of writing clearly and effectively.  The video for our capstone project will show our oral communication which is also key in the business world.  There were many maps and graphs in the past lessons that enabled us to interpret and express our thoughts on the results.  Commenting on each other's blogs and critiquing other's policies have helped us learn from each other and listen to each other.

                A topic I feel we should cover is more about the main energies and some common knowledge.  This would help understand the policies that we come across over the lessons.  It can also be useful to learn other opportunities for policies.  We can explore different policies for a lesson activity.  In this activity we can analyze how this policy has effected society and if we feel it was successful.  I think this could help our analysis skills as well as learn more about how the energy industry works.  Examining policies with solar power, or wind power (more recent energy concerns) can also help us be in tune with the most recent concerns people have with energy.  This can help us become more knowledgeable with energy today and up to date on current events.

Capstone Policy Project Pitch

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I hope you guys enjoy learning a little bit about my policy.

Thanks,
       Sam


Advising the Advisor

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                The first thing I would like to say to Dr. Chu is 'thank you.' Thank you for your effort in the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, your work on reducing GHG emissions, and for allowing me to give share my ideas. As to the question, how can the U.S. reduce our oil imports over the next decade? I have some ideas.

                The current administration has already done a great job of increasing renewable energy production as a percentage of our electricity supply. We as a nation are reducing our use of oil to produce electricity, but we use massive amounts in our transportation sector. For this reason I would target the transportation sector for reduction in gasoline use. Hybrid vehicles, public transportation, and an increase in clean electricity production are areas I would target.

                Encouraging hybrid vehicles has already been a target of the administration. There were tax credits extended to consumers that chose to purchase hybrid electric vehicles. I think that approach can be repeated, as well as a new approach to encourage electric vehicle use, make hybrids cool. The auto industry must invest more time, money, and effort into manufacturing hybrid electric vehicles. Is it possible that since the government bailed out the American auto industry, they could mandate more models of hybrid vehicles enter the market? As of right now there are only a few models of electric vehicle to choose from. If the auto industry invested as much into electric vehicles as they did on SUVs, the marketability of hybrids would skyrocket. There could be pickup truck hybrids, sport hybrids, among other new, sleeker models. Americans love choices, and there aren't enough when it comes to hybrid vehicles.

                Another way to reduce the transportation sector's demand for oil is to encourage public transportation. Subways, trains, and natural gas fueled bus services would all reduce reliance on petroleum. States like California might be willing to invest in large scale public transportation projects with government assistance. The cost of public transportation projects could be paid for in a number of ways. A cost to ride (toll) could pay for a transportation project in the long run. Even a gasoline tax could both assist in paying for, and encourage a national public transportation project.

                Let's assume that both investing in rail transportation and encouraging hybrid vehicles, all while taxing gasoline (relative to other countries of the world) goes into effect. The demand for electricity would also increase. So how do we supply this new electricity demand with clean energy? Nuclear power is one solution, but Americans are scared of nuclear accidents despite our national safety record. Other countries in the world continue to expand nuclear power investments despite America's lack.

We know that Obama has had ongoing dialogue with Canada and Mexico to work together in producing more clean energy as a North American trio, so why further that dialogue. Mexico has commissioned reactors as late as 1990 and 1995. They are also already a net energy exporter. They may be willing to build another reactor if they know we were prepared to build transmission lines to California or Texas and sign purchasing contracts for electricity from a plant. The same goes for Canada, who is also a net exporter of energy, is flush with nuclear power, and already exports to the U.S. along transmission lines.

Basically, I am suggesting tow things. One, that the transportation sector should use more electricity, and two, that we can use nuclear imports from Mexico and Canada to provide additional electricity supply. I doubt that Dr. Chu has not already considered any thoughts that I put forward. However, it is extremely gratifying to know citizens may write to our Secretary of Energy with ideas. Thank  You.

What I would say to Steven Chu (Extra Credit)

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The Blue Print for a Secure Energy Future will continually be a work in progress, in my opinion.  We obviously need to make a change from the United States dependency on foreign oil.  But, as I state in the first sentence it will be a work in progress, we cannot make these changes over night and nor should we handicap businesses if they are unable to conform to a more "green energy" process in a short period of time.  

 

The increase in oil and gas production from new domestic geological discoveries will hopefully promote a boom in the natural gas industry for fuel our trucks and cars that travel the highways of this country.  Heavy research should be underway to promote this industry and to allow for the conversion of existing cars to convert over to natural gas at a reasonable price.  If people want to keep their existing vehicles there should be kits to allow for this conversion to be obtained at a reasonable price or to allow for the financing of these kits in the same manner as a loan from a bank to obtain a new car.  In addition, we need to keep reserves at higher levels as to not have increased costs when a natural disaster occurs to any US existing energy source.  In the short term we can build up reserves, eliminating risk and uncertainty going forward, while we still have some foreign reliance.  This will not put as much pressure on the domestic production to increase the reserves as well as keeping up with general demand, and then we can work toward independence.

 

I do believe that harnessing the wind is a great energy resource, and if we can harness this energy source beneficially it could be huge in regards to electricity production.  The coastlines where the winds are rarely silence would be an excellent area to supply the energy for some of our largest coastal cities, and the nation if need the ability is there.  Room in the ocean is almost limitless for creating wind turbines and windmill farms.  I see it as if we can have deep sea drilling rigs why cant there be will turbines/farms outs there, lay the power line underwater.  It would be relatively environmentally harmless.

 

One way of reducing the consumption of fuel in the short term would be to use more mass transit to transport people in and out of the larger cities, promote the use of high-speed mass transit, and the high-speed rail system.  If we could give incentives to our rail system for transporting goods we could eliminate a lot of truck traffic.   Research has shows that the rail system is the most fuel-efficient way to move goods over land.

 

 

One crazy idea that I have is our own human power to create energy.   If we could obtain energy from our own body movement to create energy for our own homes free of charge I think would create a movement to obviously get people moving but also bring this country out of the era of being an obese country.   The idea came from using a pedometer that tracks your steps, why could a meter of some sorts harness the energy that your own body creates to charge a battery or fuel a light bulb in your own home.   Many people go to a gym to work out, if we could somehow take the energy that a person uses on a treadmill to help generate the lighting in a building you could have the best of both worlds.  It's the same concept as some hybrid cars using the energy from breaking to charge the battery.  It's may seem a stretch but, I think there are good possibilities that could come from this concept if you people with the right minds working on it.

 

 

 I think the idea of getting the country involved in finding solutions to this problem is great, the free market is the best place to help make the change and to make it happen at a reasonable cost.

 

Following the Blueprint

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The blueprint outlined by the Obama Administration consists of three parts, listed as "Develop and Secure America's Energy Supplies," "Provide Consumers With Choices to Reduce Costs and Save Energy," and "Innovate our Way to a Clean Energy Future." In 2003 U.S. crude production reached it highest level since 2003 and we should continue to do this in a safe and responsible manner.  They are encouraging exploration for new areas of production and making use of our natural gas reserves and other domestic assets. They are also taking steps to decrease our dependence on oil with concerns of rising global oil demand. This is being done with steps like diversifying the fuel mix in our vehicle fleets an through efficiency, technology and conservation.  There is a lot of emphasis being put on the efficiency of vehicles to save consumers money at the pump and decrease our reliance on oil.  Under the Recovery Act, President Obama has made a lot of investments in advanced vehicle and fuel technologies, public transit, and high-speed rail. He has also set new fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, which will raise average fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.  This is supposed to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles covered.  President Obama also set a goal by 2015 to have 1 million electric vehicles and become a global leader in advanced vehicle technologies. He has proposed ways to improve the efficiency of air, highway, rail and water transportation, as well as develop alternative fuels for each.

            The Administration is also supporting a variety of programs to meet the unique challenges of residential, commercial, and industrial sectors to help cut electricity usage and increase energy efficiency.  The efficiency investments of the Recovery Act have led to about 350,000 projects that help reduce energy bills of lower income families. Also included is a "Better Building Initiative" that sets a goal of making commercial facilities 20 percent more efficient by 2020 and steps to promote industrial efficiency. By 2035 President Obama would like to generate 80 percent of our electricity from clean energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower, nuclear power, natural gas, and clean coal.  The Departments of Energy, Agriculture, and the Interior are offering grants under the Recovery Act to renewable energy manufacturers and developers. According to the Blueprint, we were on track to double renewable energy generation by 2012.

            The United States is on track with a lot of these goals, but to what extent is hard to tell. In 2010, domestic natural gas production reached its highest level in over 30 years.  Over the past two years the administration has offered millions of acres of public land and Federal waters for oil and gas leasing and for the first time in ten years, imports were less than half of what we consumed.  We are expanding natural gas production on a global scale by leading an Unconventional Gas Census for the Asia Pacific. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency took part in the Global Methane Initiative to reduce methane emissions while expanding growth. The Clean Energy Ministerial was also launched with initiatives that will eliminate the need to build over 500 power plants in the next 20 years and bring improved energy services to over 10 million people by 2015.  Also, the aggressive fuel economy standards set in 2009 that will raise average fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon and save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles.  The allowable levels of ethanol used in gasoline have been increased and more grants and loans are offered for the production of biofuels.  The number of hybrid vehicles in the Federal fleets doubled in 2010 to help meet the clean fleet goals of President Obama's Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. The Administration plans to finalize national fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for commercial trucks, vans and buses. There will be continued research and development into innovation transportation and fuel technologies and initiatives in creating more livable communities and increasing economic competitiveness to support infrastructure projects in an efficient and sustainable way.

 

House of Representatives Hearing Charter- Extra Credit

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After reading and investigating more about the climate charter I have become a skeptic on many aspects of the hearing.  I don't disagree that humans have some impact on climate change however; I think we should continue to scrutinize aspects of the research. 

                The first aspect that needs to be reviewed is whether or not the science community generally accepts and rejects the data.  The leaked email documentation regarding climate change and polar ice caps size is a sign that many prominent climate scientists disagree that global warming is the largest contributor to shrinking polar ice caps.  "Though semi-permanent sea ice exists around the North Pole, fringing sea ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic is an annual, seasonal feature. Fringing sea ice is therefore particularly susceptible to fast advance or retreat depending upon local oceanographic and atmospheric changes. Even quite major sea-ice changes are not necessarily due to climatic change."[1] Should we rely completely on some data, when there are still many skeptics within the scientific community?  And if we do decide to rely on this data, what happens if in several years it turns out to be false.  If there was a disagreement, and controversy over the data and these emails document the disagreement, should we also trust the sources of the actual research.  If there is corruption going on and it has been documented, I am not going to trust the data where that information comes from.  The climate researchers providing the data are also subject to bias and political influences.  Studies by the heartland institute have proven zero change in see ice since the loss of some artic ice has been equal to the gain in other geographical areas.  This is one instance where here must be more due diligence taken when researching global climate change.

                The hearing also explains that the data found may not be high quality data since it lacks adherence to general guidelines pertaining to the collection of data.  If it is poor data then the research itself must be reexamined.  If scientists are not closely following procedure, we simply cannot trust that what they are saying is true.

                Since the global climate debate has begun there has always been criticism regarding the legitimacy of data, procedures, and the conclusions.  The hearing charter in March, 2011 proves that there have been many discrepancies with the research and data behind the conclusions.  We must ensure as a nation and world that if we continue to move forward and spend money on trying to reduce climate our impact on climate change, that are efforts are actually impacting his problem.

[1] Bredenberg, Al. "The Climate Change Controversy Is Arctic Sea Ice Really Shrinking?" Green and Clean. Thomasnet.com, 6 June 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <http://news.thomasnet.com/green_clean/2012/06/06/the-climate-change-controversy-is-arctic-sea-ice-really-shrinking/>.

 

[2] "Full Committee Hearing - Climate Change: Examining the Processes Used to Create Science and Policy." Welcome to Committee on Science. N.p., 31 Mar. 2011. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <http://science.house.gov/hearing/full-committee-hearing-climate-change>.

Governor Romney and President Obama's Policies

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I'm writing this quite a bit late due to Sandy and then the election, so this information is a bit stale now that the election is over.

In any case, Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have very different philosophies about climate change.

At his acceptance speech at the RNC, Governor Romney made light of President Obama's pledge to "slow the rise of the oceans" and to "heal the planet," instead pledging to "help you and your family."  With evidence that climate change is already affecting Americans, it is safe to say that these issues are not mutually exclusive.

It's hard to say exactly what Romney's exact stance on climate change was, or how he would have governed on that issue if he had been elected.  In his book "No Apology: The Case For American Greatness," Governor Romney indicated that he felt that global warming was real and that humans were causing it.  However, he later expressed skepticism, suggesting that we don't know what's driving the change.  The issue was not prominent in his official campaign issues, and his energy policy was oriented towards greater fossil fuel production and consumption.  He opposed the new raised standards for automobile fuel efficiency.  The official 2012 GOP party platform only mentions climate change once.  The platform criticized the Obama administration's stance that climate change represents a national security threat.  This is in spite of the fact that the Pentagon has itself found that climate change and energy security are indeed related and real threats to national security.

The Obama campaign was also not especially forthcoming about climate change.  It was not a prominent issue this year, with much more focus on economic issues.  The Obama campaign did and does champion green energy, however, it does so alongside promoting increased domestic natural gas and oil production.  The Obama campaign also endorses "clean coal" technology, which is very much still a nascent industry.

However, the administration has also championed aggressive improvements in fuel economy.  The stimulus bill also provided billions and billions of dollars for green energy.  It represented one of the most significant investments in sustainability in our nation's history.  The Obama EPA has also taken steps to regulate CO2.  This stance was adopted partially due to the failure of Congress to pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as Waxman-Markey or cap-and-trade.

Even though the election is over, it's still not clear how aggressively President Obama will pursue climate change as a policy.  The first issue will surely be the "fiscal cliff."  Pundits are suggesting that the GOP's poor showing among many minority groups will put immigration back on the agenda.  However, one thing the election did prove is that pundits who rely on gut instincts and subjective assessments were wildly inaccurate compared to the Nate Silvers and Sam Wangs of this world.

Political forecasters who relied on objectivity and statistics were also winners of this election.   But, we can and do use numbers to make judgments about other things too.  Climate change is one of the things we try to predict with models.  The scientists who do this are nearly all in agreement that climate change is real, that humans are causing it, and that it will profoundly affect humanity now and for generations to come.  Will the media listen to the scientists?  Will our politicians?  I hope so.

Obama/Romney's Positions on Climate Change

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President Obama believes in Climate Change and at the G8 Summit on the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate he stated, "Climate Change is one of the defining challenges of our time.  The science is clear and conclusive, and the impacts can no longer be ignored...Every nation on this planet is at risk, and just as no one nation is responsible for climate change, no one nation can address it alone."[1]  It is evident he has taken a leadership role and involved the United States in multiple international negotiations such as the 2009 Copenhagen Accord and Cancun agreement.  Multiple national efforts have been made to combat Climate Change like investing unprecedented amounts in clean energy technologies and policies.  Also for the first time in history the Obama administration launched an online tool that contains comprehensive greenhouse gas emission data for 29 different industrial categories and other mains sources of greenhouse gas pollution.  He also directed the Federal Government to decrease direct green house emissions by 28 percent by 2020 and indirect sources by 13 percent by 2020.  He also requested the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force to make suggestions for federal policies and programs in combating risks associated with climate change.[2]  With the elections quickly approaching, the recent Hurricane Sandy devastation that hit New York prompted Governor Bloomberg to support Obama in the upcoming elections because of Obamas stance on Climate Change.[3]

Romney's stance on climate change and policies are more unclear then Obama's.  During his time as Governor in Massachusetts, Mr. Romney opposed joining a regional cap-and-trade system.  He also opposes Obama's air quality regulations, would renegotiate the auto efficiency standards, and opposes the steps involved in regulating emissions from power plants and vehicles.[4]  The opposition of these smart GHG combating policies gives me the impression Romney doesn't believe in Climate Change or instead just chooses not to invest in these policies and keep our current practices in place.

 

References:

[1] https://www.cdproject.net/EN-US/WHATWEDO/Pages/world-views-climate-change.aspx

[2] http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy/climate-change        

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/nyregion/bloomberg-endorses-obama-saying-hurricane-sandy-affected-decision.html

 [4] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/us/politics/climate-change-nearly-absent-in-the-campaign.html?pagewanted=all

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