Report requirements

Critical Essay

The critical essay is to be based upon several articles related to the subject of climate change. The earth's climate is changing dramatically and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It is changing to such a degree that our civilization is likely to undergo life-threatening alterations on a scale never before seen in recorded history. It presents an enormous challenge to the political institutions of the United States and to the world to respond in ways that may hopefully mitigate potentially catastrophic consequences.

It is not the purpose of this essay to evaluate or debate the characteristics of global warming. That has and continues to be done by climatologists, whose research has shown beyond doubt that the phenomenon is occurring, and that it is caused by the activities of
mankind.

The purpose of this essay is to critically evaluate American political institutions and ideology in terms of the ability of the United States to respond to the crisis. We have studied the Constitution of the United States and the principles of the balance of power and compromise that are embedded in that document. We have looked at the development of a two-party political system during the Jacksonian era. We have seen that the American ideology includes a profound distrust of government, and a laissez faire capitalist ethos, which exalts private enterprise.

After reading the selected articles related to global warming, write a critical evaluation of the pros and cons of America's ability to respond to the crisis. Include in your analysis, a discussion (1) of the Constitution, and (2) characteristics of the Age of Jackson. Identify and label each of these two parts of your essay. In your discussion, demonstrate your knowledge of these two characteristics of American society and how they may contribute to or interfere with solutions to the crisis of climate change by reference to specific examples, as outlined below:

(1): the Constitution: In your answer explain how specific checks and balances limit the power of government. Give examples of checks and balances between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government.
Give examples of checks and balances between the federal and state governments. Explain how these checks and balances may affect the ability of the government to respond to the climate crisis.

(2): characteristics of the Age of Jackson: Explain how the controversy about the U.S. Bank reveals populist distrust of government regulation of the economy. Explain how the politics of the two party system affected the controversy about the U.S. Bank, and how it might affect dealing with the climate crisis. Explain how the laissez faire attitude of the American ideology makes it difficult to respond to the climate crisis.

The essay must have a minimum of 5, double-spaced, typewritten pages.