Climate Emergency – GEOG 202

Photo credit: Leslie Kennah

We are in a climate emergency. Imagining and enacting a just and sustainable future requires an understanding of what makes up the emergency, the challenge it presents and the set of strategies that already exist to address it. This course takes a critical approach to examining the state of scientific knowledge about the climate emergency and the policy challenges and pathways it presents. We will engage in topics such as impacts and associated emissions scenarios; the development of global climate change agreements; the challenge of decarbonization and how this transition must be shaped by equitable, socially just outcomes; the role of the courts and legal strategies in achieving climate mitigation and climate justice, and more. The course will draw on current state of knowledge and policy on key issues and will feature a series of guest speakers with expertise in relevant topics. The course is interdisciplinary, addressing elements of, and interactions among, climate science (e.g., impacts of 1.5 degree temperature rise), social science, and policy (e.g., mitigation, adaptation).

Beyond being a source of knowledge about the climate emergency this course actively teaches climate action. There will be opportunities to develop skills, engage with organizations in the climate community and hear from leaders. This course prepares students to be hopeful, positive agents of change in their communities and the larger climate movement.

Alec Blair

 “Together we will explore the basis of, and challenges arising from, our current climate emergency, and, using an interdisciplinary approach, examine ways to address this exigency within academia and beyond.” 

Naomi is a white woman with shoulder length brown hair and blonde hair. She is smiling at the camera with her arms folded. She wears glasses, a white shirt and a dark blazer.

Naomi Klein

You can expect a mix of lectures from us, virtual class visits from key players in the climate justice movement, and lots of time for discussion in smaller groups as we reckon together with the multifaceted climate emergency and the many possible responses to it.”

This course is a requirement of the Certificate of Climate Studies and Action