Climate Gate

Information about environmental issues is in the news pretty much constantly.  Some of this information is well-founded in science, but some of it is of questionable scientific validity, even when the information is reported on by reputable news outlets.  Determining the reliability of information can be even harder when the source of a claim is of unknown reputation or when the source itself is unknown. Below are three sources making claims related to environmental issues.  You will select ONE of the topics and write a three-page position paper, critiquing the claims made in the source.  Note that, in this context, critique does not necessarily mean criticize or disagree with.  It means to critically examine.   You have, essentially, three choices: 1.     You can argue that the claims made by the source are essentially accurate. 2.     You can argue that the claims made by the source are essentially inaccurate. 3.     You can argue that some parts of the claim are accurate, but others are not.   In making your argument, you need to be SPECIFIC about what claims are correct or not and why.  You must find references from reputable sources to support your argument.  In other words, this argument is not based on what you personally believe but on what can be shown based on reliable work.   The three topics you can choose for are: 1.     Negative Health Effects from Wind Turbines – this article argues that wind turbine noise is a health risk and needs to be mitigated, including by shutting down wind turbines at night.1 2.     Climate Gate – This article argues that the e-mails leaked from the University of East Anglia’s Climactic Research Unit in 2009 reveal a large-scale conspiracy to manipulate the public into believing that climate change is real and that human activity is behind it.2 3.     Sun Activity Causes Global Climate Change – This article argues that solar activity, rather than anthropogenic CO2 emissions, is a more plausible culprit for global climate change.3   Note that the above brief summaries only cover a tiny fraction of the arguments made in the articles.  You need to read the articles for yourselves, select their main points, and critique those points in your paper.   Your paper must be AT LEAST three pages in length (three full pages, not counting heading information or references).   Standard formatting requirements apply (Times New Roman 12-point font, one-inch margins, double spaced, etc.).   You MUST use at LEAST five sources in this paper, and at LEAST two of these must be papers from the primary literature (peer reviewed journal articles).  If you do your research well, however, exceeding these minimums should be very easy.   In college-level work, you should be looking to primary sources for your references, so you should not cite any encyclopedia-type source (including Wikipedia).  That doesn’t mean you cannot use such resources for initial background reading, but any information you find in a secondary source like Wikipedia should be traced back to its primary source, and that primary source should be cited, instead.   You will, of course, need to cite the original source of these claims in your paper.  As the initial source for some of these claims are web sites, you will need to be able to cite those web sites in your paper (while the Climategate article is accessed through the web, it is actually cited as a newspaper article, as it appeared in print, as well).  When citing websites, you will need to make sure that you use a properly formatted, ACS-style reference.  You can do this relatively easily through Zotero.  Be aware that web pages rarely have identifiable authors.  If no author is apparent, leave that field blank.  Note that you need to include a separate citation to each web page that you use, even if they come from the same organization.   Be careful in citing web sites as your sources for information or analysis, however.  Some sites are more reliable than others.  It will be up to you to gauge the reliability of ALL of the sources that you use, but pay particular attention to determining the validity of web sources.   Web sites should NOT be the only source of information related to the scientific validity of the claims made, however.  You need to find at least two sources from the primary literature that address the scientific claims, in addition to any other sources that you find.   Example citations for the article sources are included below.      References   (1)       Lange, S. World Health Organization: Wind Turbine Noise as a Health Hazard (opening recognition likely to lead to more acknowledgement) – Master Resource (accessed Aug 12, 2019). (2)       Lindzen, R. S. Climate Science In Denial. Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition; New York, N.Y. New York, N.Y., United States, New York, N.Y. April 22, 2010, p A.23. (3)       Craven, S. Michael. Sun May be Causing Global Warming—Seriously? (accessed Aug 12, 2019).

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