User Scenario: Negotiating CO2 emissions in an Earth Summit

Local to global, negotiating CO2 emissions in an Earth Summit
Author unknown

Students, in groups, select a country, learn about the country, and develop a CO2 emissions target that reflects the needs and goals of that country.

Learning goals:
1. Understand the major variables that influence global CO2 emissions
2. Understand the science claims are often "spun" to reflect a particular agenda.
3. Learn how to use scientific evidence to support a policy recommendation
4. Gain an appreciation for other country's viewpoints

The activity is probably appropriate, with modification, for middle school and above. It could be taught in the context of a science class, but would more profitably be taught in combination with a science and social studies (global studies) class.

Learners will need to engage in activities that support their learning about their chosen country. Factors that will be important are: birth rate/population growth, greenhouse gas emissions, fuel imports/exports, and development plans. There are many other factors, and the most important ones will need to be identified. Learners will also study global warming, the evidence, and the possible consequences.

Each country group will create a position paper that includes a) global warming science, b) predictions of the effects on their country c) prediction of the effects of reduced CO2 emissions on their country, and d) their CO2 emissions level negotiating position. All country negotiating positions will be aggregated to produce an estimated global temperature rise. Unrepresented countries will be aggregated by region and given the parameters chosen by countries that represent the region.

Data needs:
1. Country information: CIA Factbook, CDIAC, CIESEN.
2. Sea level rise predictions for coastal countries
3. Global temperature change predictions (climate model outputs)
4. Greenhouse gas and global warming data (paleoclimate data-ice cores/tree rings/etc, greenhouse gas data, temperature data)

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