This summer we are updating some of the course material for the Terry Class, ASIC200. It’s a course that puts students of the arts and students of the sciences together to explore some big global issues–including climate change, genetically modified organisms, and personal genomics.
I thought, why not crowd source some of these revisions? In particular, the unit on climate change. The course explains climatology, and then it explores the humanities side of the question (environmental economics, behavioral and psychological theory, international governance, etc). Do any very important recent journal articles come to mind when you think of these topics? Bear in mind that this class is targeting second year undergraduate students.
We would love to hear your suggestions!
I’m currently working my way through this APA report on the psychology of climate change, and it’s making be despondent. The psychological barriers are so profound. Certain cost/uncertain benefit, immediate cost/delayed reward… I don’t think I could imagine a more difficult political problem. A list of other concerns, from the abstract:
Many psychological and social structural barriers stand in the way of behavioral changes that would help limit climate change. Many people are taking action in response to the risks of climate change, but many others are unaware of the problem, unsure of the facts or what to do, do not trust experts or believe their conclusions, think the problem is elsewhere, are fixed in their ways, believe that others should act, or believe that their actions will make no difference or are unimportant compared to those of others. They may be engaged in token actions or actions they believe are helpful but objectively are not. They have other worthy goals and aspirations that draw their time, effort, and resources, or they believe that solutions outside of human control will address the problem. Some or all of the structural barriers must be removed but this is not likely to be sufficient.