Doing Economics: Measuring Climate Change

Project Assignment: Doing Economics: Measuring
Climate Change (30% of Module Mark)

Deadline: Friday 1st November 2019, 11.59pm
Submission: via Canvas
Word Limit (Essay): 1200 words (give or take 10%, excluding references)

Learning objectives
In this project you will:
 use charts and summary measures to discuss the extent of climate change and
its possible causes
 use line charts to describe the behaviour of real-world variables over time
 summarize data in a frequency table, and visualize distributions with column
charts
 describe a distribution using mean and variance
 apply what you have learned so far about economics to discuss the
relationship between economic growth and the environment.
Skills Developed
In this project you will develop the following transferable skills:
 Data management and handling
 statistical analysis and data visualisation
 critical thinking and analysis
 written communication skills.

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Overall the project will be worth 30% of your overall grade for the module broken
down as follows:
Part 1: Data Replication Exercise (10%)
Submission of all replicated graphs/tables and quantitative questions from the Doing
Economics: Measuring Climate Change project parts 1.1 and 1.2 using Microsoft
Excel. You are not required to replicate any material from part 1.3 of the project
(although you are of course free to explore yourself). This part of the project will be
graded on a pass/fail basis. If you successfully reproduce the required material you
will receive the full 10%.

Part 2: Discursive essay (20%)
Submission of a 1200 word essay (word count is plus or minus 10% and excludes
references) based on the following statement:
“Economic growth and development inevitably comes at the expense of the
environment.”
Discuss this statement drawing on material covered so far in the course (up to Unit 4)
as well as the questions in the Doing Economics Measuring Climate Change exercise
from part 1.

Submission details:
Part 1: Data Replication Exercise (10%):
*** Submission deadline: Friday 1st November, 23:59 ***
Students should upload a clearly labelled excel worksheet showing the replicated
graphs/tables/figures. Each graph/table/figure should be replicated on a different
tab of the worksheet. A template will be made available to you in advance through
Canvas that you need to use. Solutions to the project are provided here so that you
can compare your output (note: some small differences may occur as the dataset has
been updated by NASA since these solutions were made – this is fine). However you
cannot just copy and paste the graph images into the worksheet you are submitting,
they must be generated from the data within your submitted spreadsheet. A
submission that fails to show how graphs/figures were generated will not pass! It
should be possible to see how all graphs/tables were generated using Excel’s formals
and in-built functions.

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Part 2: Discursive essay (20%):
*** Submission deadline: Friday 1st November, 23:59 ***
Students should submit their 1200 word essays through Canvas (via Turnitin).
With a relatively low word limit you will need to be concise and to the point
throughout. For this reason I recommend that when you have written your essay you
go back over it several times. I assure you that, though somewhat painful, this process
of revision will lead to improvements. In addition, you can give it to someone else to
read (friend, family) and ask them: did you understand what I wrote? This way you
will know whether your writing is up to scratch. If the answer is no, then revise it
again until you get a yes! The best piece of advice on writing that I ever received was:
“write without fear, edit without mercy”. This short piece offers some good advice
and examples. If you are looking for more guidance on how to prepare, structure and
write an academic essay, the QUB Learning and Development Service also provides
helpful guidance here.

 

General Guidance
Referencing and Plagiarism
Examiners cannot assess your ability if your written work is largely made up of
extracts from the literature, even if these are slightly modified or even if they have
quotation marks. Attempts to copy-and-paste from online sources and other people’s
work and trying to pass it off as your own will be automatically detected by Turnitin.
It is therefore very important that students familiarise themselves with the process of
referencing. If an idea or quotation comes from someone else (i.e. is not your own)
then it must be referenced properly. Some links are provided here and here to help
you get to grips with this practice. Referencing can seem difficult at first but the earlier
you learn a system of doing it properly, the less likely you are to run in to problems
later on in your university career.
N.B. The Harvard referencing system should be used. Please refer to the Conceptual
Equivalents making scale (link in Unit 1 lecture slides on Canvas), against which your
work will be assessed. I suggest you examine this before you submit to get a clearer
understanding of what is being asked of you in the assignment. In-text citations (i.e.
Bloggs, 2018) will count towards the word count but the bibliography (list of
references at the end) will not.