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(Offered as ENST-314 and SOCI-314) A 2020 survey of nearly 21,000 adults in 28 countries conducted by the World Economic Forum and Ipsos found that 86% of people want to see a more equitable and sustainable world after the pandemic. Action on climate change is central to these goals. But what kind of action do we take? What are the targets of effective climate action? How can each of us contribute to the larger-scale changes needed to address global warming and work toward climate justice now? The goal of this course is to answer these questions by taking as our point of departure the 2022 report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which provides the most comprehensive overview available of the international social science of climate change mitigation. This report shows real possibilities for keeping global temperatures below the more dangerous thresholds expected with “business as usual” if we take more urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) across sectors. The report highlights that “collective action and social organising are crucial to shift the possibility space of public policy on climate change mitigation” and that explicit consideration of the principles of justice, equality, and fairness enables the acceleration of the transition to sustainability. Therefore, we focus on the evidence regarding how our actions to address climate change can improve lives and contribute to the just and fair society most of us want by transforming critical sectors, including, for example, transportation, electricity, and land use. This course involves experiential learning.
How to handle overenrollment: Priority to students who have taken recommended coursework, ENST and SOCI majors, seniors and juniors.
Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on written work, reading, independent research, oral and visual presentations to broader publics on and off-campus, field trips (sometimes outside normal class meeting times). Students should expect to present their work to the public on and off-campus. We will speak with people engaged in research and collective action toward climate change mitigation and climate justice throughout the course.