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Climate Game

All written work will be graded on the basis of mechanics (spelling and grammar), good argumentative writing skills (clarity, conciseness, effective use of evidence), and incorporation of the scholarly literature and valid data as grounds for your arguments. For all assignments, but especially for the final paper, you should cite readings from the syllabus and in-class activities, as well as external sources as necessary, in supporting your arguments.

Final Team Paper

Write an 8- to 12-page, single-spaced paper analyzing the forces that shape the development and adoption of a currently available technology (e.g., electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, smart electric metering, nuclear power, fracking). We expect you to:
  1. Analyze your technology from at least two social science perspectives (e.g., economics, history, sociology, political science) and two levels of social aggregation (i.e., individual, household, firm, nation or another level) identifying the various actors it may affect. We want you to identify possible consequences and concerns of your technology for the potentially affected actors and how you might address them (or not).
  2. Analyze the policy implications of the technology you have selected. What are the policy issues that determine how your technology has been and will be developed and deployed? How will these issues affect the impact (or lack thereof) of your technology on energy consumption, carbon emissions, and overall environmental impact? What are the obstacles to achieving a good solution in terms of energy use/environmental efficiency? How should we choose among possible policy alternatives and how might we overcome the obstacles you have identified?
Please carefully distinguish your normative assessment of your technology – and its development, adoption, and impact – from the "facts on the ground." That is, we want you to define your criteria for assessing appropriate development and use. Specifically, you should distinguish your preferences (particularly, the grounds for your preferences and the choices you would make) from your account of the situation, relying on the best available evidence.

Specifics for the Detailed Outline

Prepare a one- to two-page account of the paper you plan to write. Include brief discussions of the following elements:
  1. the technology you will consider in the paper
  2. the forms of social science analysis (perspectives and levels of aggregation) you will employ
  3. the normative position you will take in assessing this technology (if you already know) and the supporting arguments and material for this position
  4. the data on which you plan to rely
  5. provide a summary paragraph and an outline of the paper
  6. a bibliography of at least 5 publications with full citations and abstracts, indicating how you plan to use them in your paper

List of Final Paper Deliverables

Team roster (3-4 students) and topic (technologies)0%
Detailed outline10%
Final paper25%
Short oral presentation5%