Climate Change

This course develops an interdisciplinary understanding of the social, political, economic and scientific perspectives on climate change.

About The Course

What is Climate Change? How should we respond to Climate Change? These questions are complex, not least because the responses available to us depend upon who is providing the answers and the particular perspective they take. The economist sees the economic challenges and opportunities of Climate Change; the scientist sees the need to describe and explain Climate Change; the policy-maker and social scientist see Climate Change as a social problem. Therefore, the first step to understanding Climate Change and what we do about it is to see how experts from different disciplines engage with the issue. The second step is to appreciate how our response to Climate Change depends upon the interplay between these different approaches.

This course offers you an introduction to different disciplinary perspectives on Climate Change to help you think about how Climate Change affects you as an individual, as a member of your local community, as a citizen of your country and as a member of the global community. We have designed the presentations, discussions, activities and assessment tasks in this course to help you understand what Climate Change is and what you – and we – should do about it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What resources will I need for this class?

    There are three kinds of resources you will find useful in this subject. 

    Firstly, there are the collection of readings that have been chosen by each of the instructors in this subject to help support your discussions and assignment work. These will be made available to you electronically.

    Secondly, there are the resources available to you in the many and varied texts on climate change in the public domain (social media, news sources, periodicals, literature, film, works of art, etc.). Although these should be examined critically before being incorporated into the arguments you make, they do give you access to information about current and rapidly changing events.

    Finally, there are your own experiences and interests. Draw upon these in your discussions, debates and assignments. 

  • What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?

    You will learn that the issue of Climate Change is incredibly complex, however it can also be very accessible if you can see it from different perspectives and approach it with an open mind and a willingness to engage in discussion and action along with others.

    • Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

    A Statement of Accomplishment will be offered to those students who successfully pass the assessments as laid out in the syllabus. A verified Statement of Accomplishment will be offered to those students who enroll in the course using Signature Track and who successfully pass the assessments.

Recommended Background

No background is necessary. This subject is designed to be accessible to students from any discipline.