Cooling Off a Warming Planet: Analyzing the Tradeoffs in Policies for Climate Change

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Science and Technology, Social Sciences
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
Case Study Teaching in Science
Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division

This role-playing case on climate change policy is designed to engage student groups in parallel discussions on policy instruments and packages for controlling greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, student groups discuss cap-and-trade and carbon tax policies for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Each group has four students representing one of the following characters: climate scientist, economist, political sociologist, and the staff expert on science related policy. Students study the policies from a holistic perspective and explore related social, economic and environmental issues. In the end, each group drafts a statement for the senator that includes choices and recommendations based on these different views. This case is appropriate for introductory environmental studies and environmental economics courses once students have been introduced to the basic technical and scientific information on climate change.

Material Type:
Activities and Labs, Case Study, Lesson Plans
Media Format:
Downloadable docs, Text/HTML