The Geopolitics of Energy and Global Climate Change

For each question, your answer must state your thesis and be  supported with detailed information, including dates, specific examples,  and material from your reading. Your conclusions should follow  logically from the information you have presented. Any quotations,  specific information, and ideas drawn from your reading must be cited  and referenced in APA format. Each essay should be at least 2 pages (500 words) in length, not including references.

The Midterm Exam questions are as follows:

  1. Review Figures 5 and 6 [PDF, File Size 222KB] from the International Energy Agency’s CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion publication of 2014. These figures depict world total primary energy supply (TPES) and CO2  emissions by fuel type for 2012. In considering the information in  these figures and your broader reading across the first four modules of  the course, please address yourself to these questions. When you compare  the role of coal and oil in energy use and CO2  emissions, what differences do you find in the share of global energy  for the fuel type compared to the fuel type’s share of global CO2  emissions? When you do the same for “other,” which includes renewables  and nuclear, what do you find? What explains the disparities between the  fuel types’ energy shares and their CO2  emissions shares? As you consider the consequences of energy use over  time, how is the special problem of the planet’s reliance on coal a  difficult obstacle to overcome? Do you believe it can be overcome?
  2. In these first modules, you have examined instances of contemporary Russian influence over natural gas supplies to Europe and US  influence over global oil supplies since the post-World War I era. In  your considered assessment, how does energy affect the geopolitical  relations among states? Is political rivalry over energy resources a  constant feature of international politics, or is energy resource  sharing and cooperation more the norm? Be sure in your answer to use and  cite specific examples from your readings.
  3. You have reviewed a great deal of material on global warming and  climate change, yet there is still popular suspicion as to whether  global warming is occurring. What consequences of warming and climate  change do you find to be compelling evidence for the finding that  climate change is occurring? For example, what changes in the earth’s  climate system can you identify as evidence in support of the scientific  community’s assessment that the earth is warming? Alternatively, what  counter evidence can you offer against the finding of global warming and  climate change? On balance, do you find evidence of the consequences of  climate change to support the claim of global warming?
  4. In your review of energy’s vital role in economic and political  power, you have seen how energy can be used to tie nations together,  establishing influence and future utility as a political weapon. In the  specific case of Russia, how did the Russians use oil and natural gas  after World War II to bind Eastern Europe to the common cause of a  Russian-led political system in the Eastern bloc? How have the Russians  used oil and natural gas to continue to influence Eastern and Western  Europe since the 1970s? Is Russia’s energy-based influence a permanent  feature of European politics, or might wind, solar, and electromobility  systems based on their power generation set Western Europeans free, if  not Eastern Europeans?

Be sure each essay is in APA  format, with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Cite your text or  use of outside materials, and provide proper references. It is suggested  that you write or print out the essay questions for handy reference as  you develop your responses. Be sure to submit your essay exam in one  Word document.

 
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