I have copy and pasted below a section of the attachments. The directions are very laid out. There is a part where you can pick which topics, and free to choose what you want. Thank you very much. Also on the attachment, there is a section on how it wants to be cited.
On June 26, 2009, the US House of Representatives passed a Carbon Cap and Trade Bill by a narrow 219 - 212 vote. The closeness of the House vote shows how divided the country is on this issue. A Cap and Trade policy is strongly supported by the Obama administration. Meanwhile, the US Senate has delayed a vote on Cap and Trade until sometime this fall.
If it becomes law, Cap and Trade would require that the United States severely reduce its emissions of Carbon Dioxide over the next four decades to a level 83% below what the US emitted in the year 2005 by the year 2050. Of course that would be great if there were no costs involved. However, there is little doubt that this would greatly increase the cost of energy. Those in favor of Cap and Trade generally believe this or similar action must be taken now to avoid or at least reduce the potential harm from human-caused global warming and climate change that will occur if we do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Those against Cap and Trade either do not think emission controls are necessary at all (not worried about potential human caused climate change) or that Cap and Trade is too expensive to justify against the possible benefits.
This issue is obviously relevant to all of us. I think it is important to learn about Cap and Trade and personally decide whether or not it is a good plan. Armed with this understanding, we can then discuss our feelings on this issue with our elected representatives and other concerned citizens.
Your assignment is to research the cap and trade concept and write a short term paper, 4 double-spaced pages. Your paper should be written in a way that the general public can easily understand. This is not meant to be a strongly technical or scientific paper. Approach the paper as if you are writing a short article for a non-technical publication, such as a newspaper or magazines like TIME or even Rolling Stone.
The paper should consist of three main sections: an introduction, which clearly describes the basic premise of cap and trade, including the difference between an auction system and a grandfather system (for example, see http://www.grist.org/article/cap-and-trade-another-notion-thats-past-its-use-by-date for definition of grandfather and auction systems) for distributing or assigning carbon credits; the body of the paper, wherein you will choose two or more specific debatable issues concerning cap and trade, describe the pros and cons for the specific issues, then wrap it up by giving your opinion on the issue (a partial list of specific issues is provided in the supplementary information for the term paper available under the homework link on the class web page); and a conclusion, wherein you provide a brief summary of your paper and state whether or not you support a cap and trade policy for the United States. Additional information about each section of the paper is contained in the supplementary information for the term paper. Please read it before you start to write your paper!
In doing your research, you may come across papers that are highly technical and difficult to understand. You do not need to include this material in your paper. You should be able to find plenty of understandable reference material. A simple web search will find thousands of articles and links concerning cap and trade. One issue that you will have to consider while doing research for your paper, especially for internet-only articles, is that the author of an article may be biased. In trying to push a personal agenda, some authors will misrepresent supporting and refuting evidence. You should try to avoid referencing such material.
Requirements and Assessment
Your objectives in writing this paper are to inform the readers about the basics of cap and trade as well as to come to a personal decision about whether or not the United States should enact a cap and trade policy. Your article should be composed of an introduction, body, and conclusion as described above. The individual sections need not be labeled separately.
It should conform to the following requirements:
• Paper should have a title
• 4- 5 pages typed, double-spaced, 12 point font suggested, excluding graphs or charts and bibliography. You are free to include any graphs, tables, or figures that you consider necessary in your paper. These do not count against the page limit. The maximum page limit for text is 5 pages.
• Bibliography or list of references cited correctly along with parenthetical citations when needed. In other words you MUST cite references where required. Given that this is a research paper, you should have at least several references in your bibliography. There are no strict formatting rules for in-line citations or the bibliography, however, you MUST reference where required and the reader should be able to easily locate the material listed in the bibliography. A simple format for in-line citations is suggested below. The bibliography does not count against the page limit.
• No grammatical or spelling errors. Besides using a spell checker, it is a good idea to have one or more others read over your paper before you turn it in. If necessary, you should work with a writing tutor.
We will use the criteria above in addition to the following to assess your work:
• Is the paper easy to understand? Are the basics of cap and trade well described?
• Did you discuss two or more specific issues in more detail? Are the pros and cons of each specific issue clearly presented?
• Are your opinions clearly stated?
• Overall, is the paper well written and laid out? You must use your own words unless you are directly quoting from a reference. Copying phrases directly from reference material without proper citation will be dealt with severely.
• You are not graded on the length of your paper (unless it falls outside the 3 – 5 page range), so don’t feel like you must write 5 pages to get a good grade. It is more important that you write your paper well. Don’t unnecessarily repeat yourself.
Some additional information about the contents of each section of the term paper is provided below.
Clearly describe the basic premise of a cap and trade policy. Explain why proponents favor a cap and trade policy, i.e., what is it supposed to accomplish and how? I also would like you to explain the difference between an auction system for carbon credits (supported by the Obama administration) vs. a grandfather system for distributing carbon credits (utilized in the European Union cap and trade scheme). This is meant to be a simple definition of cap and trade without influence from your personal opinions. You will be able to inject your opinions later in the paper. So even if you are totally opposed to cap and trade, refrain from making cynical statements like “the real intent of cap and trade is a huge government expansion of power and control over citizens” even if that is what you believe.
Cap and Trade Questions
You should select and focus on 2 – 4 debatable issues concerning cap and trade. A list of some possible issues is given here. If you think of any others, please let me know and I will add them to this list. You will need to do some research here. I expect that you will find reference material for both sides of the issue. You should clearly define the issue, provide pros and cons relative to enacting a cap and trade policy, and wrap it up by giving your opinion on the issue. The reason I want you to focus on a small number of issues is that cap and trade is somewhat complex in that there are too many individual concerns to try to tackle all of them.
1. Cap and Trade in the United States will not be very effective in reducing worldwide CO2 emissions unless all countries participate, since many energy intensive industries will simply move to a country that does not have a cap and trade policy, particularly China and India. –OR- Should we do it anyway either because it is the right thing to do or continue to try to convince them to enact a similar policy.
2. It is important that the United States act quickly before the UN Climate Change summit in Copenhagen this December to send a message to rest of world that we are serious about combating the global warming issue. – OR – it is better to move slowly on this issue and make sure we do what is best for both the environment and the United States, and not worry so much about what the rest of the world may think.
3. A government run cap and trade system will not work well because of bureaucratic waste, fraud, and corruption. This is common in many government programs. This includes lobbyists who may push for things like extra free emission credits be given to my corporation. – OR – the government is the only entity that can administer a cap and trade program. We will just have to be watchful for fraud.
4. A cap and trade policy will raise the price (possibly by a large amount) of almost everything since almost everything we buy or do requires energy. – OR - We should pay for the environmental damages related to our actions of using energy that produces greenhouse
5. There is so much that we do not understand about the Earth’s climate and possible human caused climate change that we should not act now or until we know for sure that our actions are or will cause future environmental disasters. – OR – we know enough now that action is immediately necessary or even if we don’t fully understand our climate system, why take the risk? There are many who don’t think humans have caused much if any climate change due to CO2 emissions. This in itself is a huge debate: “Are human activities causing significant climate change?”. Please do not write your entire paper around this issue.
6. Even ardent supporters of CO2 emission reductions admit that even if the United States meets the recently proposed goals of by 2020 emitting 14% less than we did in 2005 and by 2050 emitting 83% less than we did in 2005, the predicted effect (based on climate model projections) on global average temperature would be less than 0.1° C by the end of this century. Some say all this effort and cost increase is not worth the small affect on global average temperatures. – OR – while US action alone will not be a huge effect it is an important first step for us and important in getting the rest of the world on board with us.
7. The increased costs of energy and goods will most hurt the poor who simply cannot afford any increase in cost of living and therefore cap and trade should not be done. –OR – everyone should share in somehow paying for potential harm to the environment. Also note that the current versions of a US cap and trade policy have provisions for using some of the revenue to government to help the poor deal with higher energy costs. Maybe you think this is what the government should do.
8. Politicians are incapable of running a hard cap and trade scheme that will work to significantly reduce emissions because once prices go up, individuals, companies, and lobbyists will complain to their elected politicians. Politicians do not like unhappy constituents, so they will make allowances for special interests, which in effect turns the hard cap into a soft cap and emissions are not reduced as originally intended. – OR – This is just something we will have to trust politicians to administer and not cave in to special interests. Perhaps you believe that some fraud is inevitable, but more important to start an emissions control policy rather than worry about stopping all possible fraud and special interest pandering.
9. Some people think that all we need to do is spend some money and get serious about using renewable energy (like wind and solar) to replace our existing fossil fuel use. However, current solar and wind energy technologies are not capable of replacing the energy we now produce by burning fossil fuel. It is entirely possible that solar and wind will not be able to provide a large part of our energy demands. Thus, if we try to hold fast to future reduction goals, and we are unable to produce enough reliable energy from wind and solar, there may be future energy shortages and/or extremely high energy prices. Bottom line is you cannot just legislate how energy is produced, the technology must be capable of providing the energy demands of the people. – OR – the technology will surely improve due to the economic incentive to reduce carbon emissions. And it need not be wind and solar, perhaps a currently unidentified method of energy production.
10. The European Union Greenhouse Gas
Emission Trading System (EU ETS) began operation in 2005. How has it worked so far? Present good and bad points. Does this tell us anything about the potential effectiveness of a cap and trade policy in the United States?
Here you state whether or not you support a cap and trade policy for the United States or what parts of a cap and trade policy you would support and what parts you would not support. You may want to restate and combine together the opinions you expressed at the end of the subsections you wrote above. Perhaps you would rather support an alternative emission reduction scheme, such as a carbon tax system rather than cap and trade. Or you may believe that no emission controls are necessary.
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