Geography Lab

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 Politics in Climate

From the various topics we’ve covered in lecture, it’s clear that the term “climate science” and discussions of climate change can mean a wide variety of things. It could be quantitative and refer to changes in specific motions of atmospheric circulation cells, or qualitative and refer to case studies of environmental racism and the fight for environmental justice.


Furthermore, climate change has been politicized in our communities on a global scale. Politicized in good ways, such as the formation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, of which the Conference of Parties meetings are organized each year. The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement came out of the COP2015 conference, for example. However, issues of climate change have also been negatively politicized, such as the proliferation of politicians who actively state it is a hoax. 

Labs this course revolve around political and individual contributions to climate change, respectively. Follow the prompts below to complete this Lab. 

The Rise and Fall of General Motors’ Electric Car:

For this lab, please watch the documentary Who Killed The Electric Car? – available on YouTube for free here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlwwLisGjH8 

This documentary follows the creation of the EV1, an electric car built by General Motors, and the intervening politics with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that led to its confiscations and demise. It’s a fascinating story of how volatile this arena can become.

 Please answer the following questions to complete this Lab 

1.    Briefly explain the history of electric cars in this country. 

2.    What was the motivation for General Motors to create the EVI in the first place? 

3.    What is the California Air and Resource Board (CARB)? Why did CARB become involved? What was their “stake” in this arena? 

4.    What happened with CARB and General Motors that resulted in the confiscations of purchased EV1s? 

5.    Expand this case study to something occurring in the news right now – find an example of the entanglement of politics and climate change and provide and synopsis of what is occurring. Connect common themes between your case study and the EVI-CARB case study.  

Due after 22 hours

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