Climate Change Science and Solutions: A Practical Guide for protecting our Climate Winter 2023

Class Details

The course couples climate change science with a rigorous investigation into solutions that are fair and equitable, economically and technologically feasible, and supported by research in social psychology and behavioral change. It covers the physical basis of global climate change, measurements and climate models, and links them with the psychology of risk perception, social influence, and collective action. The course is motivated by the fact that despite broad scientific consensus on the origins and risks posed by climate change, public and governmental mobilization around the issue has remained remarkably limited. The course is conducted seminar style and includes individual and group projects. We start with the global carbon cycle and the role of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Climate scientists use powerful models and large amounts of data to track past and predict future changes in the climate. We will look at the building blocks of these models and how they feed into reports such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment. Next, we will examine climate change solutions. In individual and group projects we will take a look at renewable energy, sustainable farming and forest management practices, dietary changes, and more to assess their potential for reducing carbon emissions, costs, socio-economic fairness, and political acceptance. This will help us become knowledgeable in designing climate solutions at different scales, for diverse communities and various cost constraints. I also plan for us to visit a few sites and hear from guest speakers. Your final project will be a presentation of a realistic and impactful action to combat climate change that uses the scientific, technical, cultural, and climate justice knowledge gained in the course. Your peers will have the opportunity to critically examine your proposal, ask questions and together practice being effective advocates for climate change action.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 30
Expected: NA
Class#: 1291
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: Short paper and final project or presentation; Final project or presentation
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: 24, if over-enrolled, student selection will be by timestamp of enrollment record or by random selection
Unit Notes: As director of the Zilkha Center, I have deep knowledge of climate change science & policy, experience teaching in higher ed (faculty member), and an active research record. I hold a PhD in envi stats & policy and have worked at UN, NRDC, think tank.
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses
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