Archive for March, 2010

Research Proposal

The topic I chose to do my research paper on is global warming. My first thought on my potential focus was to concentrate on two or three different countries and discuss what they are doing individually to prevent global warming. After doing a little bit of research, I had decided to focus on the top ranked and lowest ranked countries and explain what caused them to be at the top or bottom of the list of countries doing most to prevent global warming.

My focus hasn’t changed as much as others in my group. I stayed on the topic of other countries and their involvement with global warming. After doing a lot more research, I have decided that I mainly want to talk about Saudi Arabia. I arrived at my current focus because of an article I read that explained Saudi’s obstruction and corruption during climate change negotiations because of their fear for their economy if the fights against climate change progresses. I thought this was interesting because I didn’t think about other concerns that are considered to be greater than this environmental issue. I was even more certain that I wanted to focus mainly on Saudi Arabia after reading another article that explained Saudi’s goal of promoting global warming and becoming greener. I thought this was a little bit strange because I kept coming across articles that discussed Saudi’s opposing view on fighting against global warming and now they recently want to become “green.”

In my research paper, I want to begin with a brief description of Saudi Arabia. I will mainly discuss its land and Saudi being known for its oil, which accounts for the majority of its economy. I’ll then move on to how Saudi’s oil is contributing to global warming. I might give a brief description of what global warming is but I will mostly focus on the effects of global warming, more specifically, the effects it is having on Saudi Arabia. From there, I’ll explain why Saudi has little motivation to participate in the climate change regime despite the effects it is having on their country. Most of my research paper will be on Saudi’s obstructionism in the Kyoto Protocol negotiations. I can explain their belief that fighting climate change would damage their economy, which is the only reason for causing corruption in the climate change negotiations. I want to discuss the tactics Saudi’s delegates used during the Kyoto Protocol negotiations to slow down progress and how successful they were. I’m not sure if I want to include the information about Saudi’s recent goal of promoting environmental awareness and their wish to become greener.


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The first article I found is called “Arabs are More Than Oil, Says Lebanon’s IndyACT before Copenhagen Climate Meeting.” I found this article through bing.com. The article discusses Saudi Arabia’s and other Arab states’, obstructionism in climate change negotiations and how activists from IndyACT organized a protest against Saudi’s inactive participation in the negotiations. The activists held signs and banners and passed out leaflets to express how Arab states are more concerned about protecting their oil trade than protecting against the impacts of global warming.

In the article, “Arabs are more than Oil,” it claims:

Saudi Arabia considers the war against climate change as a threat to its oil trade, its main source of economical and political power.

This article could be useful for my focus because I’m thinking about talking mainly about Saudi Arabia. This article shows that Saudi still played an obstructive role since the beginning of the Kyoto Protocol negotiations. Their obstructionism has caused activist to protest against them. I can compare this article, which was submitting in December of 2009, to a more recent article I chose previously that talked about Saudi’s goal of becoming greener.

I found this article through a different article I found using bing.com. I clicked on one of the links with the text and found “Arabs are more than Oil,” This article seems to be reliable because there are links within the text, which can be compared to citing sources. Also, at the bottom of the article, there is a brief description of the person they quoted. The website I got the article from seems like it would be helpful for my focus because it is a news site that reports on environmental issues in the Middle East. The site seems reliable but almost anyone can write for their website.

I found a website through bing.com, which I think would be helpful for my focus. The website is National Geographic. From this website I found a section on global warming under the “environment” tab, where I can obtain a few articles from on the subject. Also, since I’ve decided to focus mainly on Saudi Arabia, the website offers information on the country. Looking through the website, I found an article that discussed global warming and its effects on Saudi Arabia. The article is called “Desert Threats”. It’s a short article that lists the threats to deserts and solutions to those threats.

In its brief introduction, it states:

But even small changes in temperature or precipitation could drastically impact plants and animals living in the desert.

I could use this article to show how Saudi Arabia is being affected by global warming. The article provides me with a few examples of the threats, which I could begin my research paper with and later go into how these threats aren’t as big as the threat to its oil trade in Saudi’s point of view.

This website seems reliable because National Geographic has a long history of providing information about the world. It says on their site that they have been inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888. They are also one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Although the site seems reliable, the articles I read don’t mention who wrote it. Also, there isn’t any citation of where they obtained their facts.

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News Articles

The first article I found is called “Cleaner and Greener Saudi Arabia.” I found it through Google news, searching “global warming in Saudi Arabia. The article is about Saudi Arabia’s goal of promoting environmental awareness and their vision of having a greener Saudi Arabia because there isn’t much coverage on the issues of global warming and the environment. I thought this article was interesting because the last article I read was about Saudi Arabia’s opposing view on reducing climate change. This article could be helpful because I can discuss how Saudi Arabia was determined to slow down negotiations in the Kyoto Protocol and how they want to promote global warming awareness and become greener. I think this article is reliable because its editor-in-chief is a well known analyst and it comes from a website that claims to the first choice among executives. It is also very recent, being published on March 10, 2010.

The other article I found is called “Saudi Arabia, U.S. Named World’s Worst ‘Climate Sinners’ by Environmentalists.” I found this article through digg.com. The article is about the ranking of countries based on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and their climate policies. It also mentions an international accord to succeed the Kyoto pact. This article could be helpful in giving me quick facts about countries that I might discuss in my research paper. I’m thinking about focusing on Saudi Arabia and the U.S. and this article gives a brief explanation of why they are the world’s worst “climate sinners” This source is reliable because it comes from the Fox News Channel’s website, which has a reputation of being reliable. It’s relatively current because it was published at the end of 2007. Within the article, there are links to other related topics and further discussion of the issues in the article.

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Journal Article

Global warming has been a growing concern for many countries over the past couple decades. About 180 countries agreed that serious action should be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Kyoto Protocol was launched after this agreement and was signed by about 40 countries. Saudi Arabia was one of the countries taking part in the negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol.

If global warming is a danger to our planet, why are some countries working hard to slow down the negotiation? In the article “Striving for No: Saudi Arabia in the Climate Change Regime,” Saudi Arabia works to prevent any progress to be made in the negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol. The article displays how this country fears for their economy and is determined to stop the climate change regime.

As the article “Striving for No: Saudi Arabia in the Climate Change Regime” states:

Minister Al Naimi predicted that by 2010, Saudi Arabia would “lose at least $19 billion a year as a result of the policies the industrialized nations will adopt to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”


I thought this was a good article because I never considered the negative impacts or the other concerns that different countries have that they consider are bigger issues than global warming, especially those who are dependent on their greenhouse gas emissions. The article mentions that Saudi Arabia is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the Kyoto Protocol.

The article states:

Responding to the climate change will badly harm the Saudi economy.

This article displays all sides of the issue. It discusses Saudi Arabia’s views on climate change, explains the tactics Saudi uses in the negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol and how the other countries tackle Saudi’s obstructionism, and also shows how effective Saudi was in their tactics. It provides a reasonable amount of information regarding Saudi Arabia’s view and involvement on the climate change regime.

I haven’t figured out exactly what my focus is going to be. I do know that I want to talk about other countries and what their response is regarding global warming. I can use this article to discuss how Saudi Arabia is against the climate change regime because their economy depends on it. It would be good to talk about one country that is actively involved in preventing global warming and compare it to another country, like Saudi Arabia, that is intentionally preventing any progress to be made. This article would give me a lot of information on Saudi’s tactics and why they oppose the climate change regime.

I found this article on the day we did the library session so I don’t remember exactly how I found it. I used the academic search premier from the UNLV library website to find an article. I searched “global warming” and clicked on one of the publications listed on the left. The article I chose, “Striving for No: Saudi Arabia in the Climate Change Regime,” comes from the Global Environmental Politics journal.

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Library Books

One of the books I chose is called Global Warming and East Asia. I decided to pick this book because it has several chapters mainly on China and another part focusing on Japan. I though it would give me good information one these countries that I can use for my focus. I think this source is reliable because it is edited by a professor at a University in Hong Kong and he is also a director of the Project on Environmental Change and Foreign Policy. Also, there is a list of references at the end of each chapter.

This book is about how East and Southeast Asia are being affected by global warming and climate change. It’s also about how their economies grow, making these problems work. The book mostly focuses on China and Japan, but it also talks about other countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines and how they are fighting the problem.

The other book I chose is called Global Warming the Last Chance for Change. I picked this book because it seemed like it gave a lot of information about global warming and what’s going on in the world. This book seems reliable because it is published by Reader’s Digest. Also, a lot of organizations took part in creating this book.

This book is about how the impact of global warming has already been felt around the world. It talks about the causes and effects of climate change and what we need to do to avoid the worse effects of global warming. It provides information about people in different countries on how climate change has affected their home.

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Article and Book

Using Google, I found an article that ranked countries on their climate change efforts. It named the top countries that are doing the most to protect against climate change. It also states the worst countries helping to prevent climate change. They based their ranking on how much each country is emitting harmful gases. The US is one of these countries that are doing the worst. Towards the end of the article, it discusses more about the US and President Bush’s involvement.

In Google scholar, I found an online book that discusses people’s concern for global warming in different countries. Also, what issues they thought were most important. These results came from a number of surveys conducted. From these surveys, they are able to conclude the general concern on the topic, their understanding of global warming, and their willingness to spend on environmental problems.

I can use the article to determine what countries I want to write my paper on. It provides percentages of harmful gases that are being emitted by the worst countries and gives some information of what the top countries are doing to prevent global warming.

The online book relates to my focus because it gives me an understanding of the issues of global warming that other people in different countries are concerned about.

The first source seems reliable. It comes from an organization dedicated to stopping global warming. The quotes used within the article come from spokesmen for the White House. It is more current compared to the online book. The book includes a works cited at the end. It also cites within the text. There was a lot more information provided in the second source compared to the article.

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Search Results

The first search engine I used (google.com) came up with websites where people post their own opinion or answer to someone’s question on the topic. Google scholar came up with books on the subject. Google.com came up with more search results compared to Google scholar and Google scholar gave me fewer results on my topic. Google scholar seems like the most useful search engine because it’s more credible even though they gave me fewer results for my subject.

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