This discussion will focus on climate change and energy resources in the United States, and give you a chance to express your views on current US energy policy. Please answer all parts of all 4 questions. For the questions that ask what you think of certain practices, please back your opinions up with evidence. A simple “yes” or “no” answer will not receive full credit.
1) Humans are releasing about 10 Gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide (36 Gt of CO2) a year. List 3 impacts of this release and provide evidence for how the impacts are related to CO2 (for example, wildfires are related to drought which is caused by increased evaporation due to warmer global and regional temperatures related to increased atmospheric CO2). Please cite your references.
2) In order to alleviate our dependence on foreign oil, do you favor exploring for new oil and gas reservoirs in deep offshore waters? Should we allow natural gas exploration offshore of New Jersey? What is your view on the Keystone pipeline?
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3) What are the positive and negative impacts of fracking? Should fracking be banned? How should we dispose of fracking fluids and what is the impact of disposal (Google “Oklahoma fracking”)? Should it be mandatory for government agencies to provide the public with accurate scientific information, regardless of economic consequences?
4) Is nuclear energy a safe method for energy production? Should we be building more nuclear plants as a low-carbon emission alternative for power plants? What are the major concerns with nuclear energy?