Climate Change

Climate Change and Questions of Justice

In recent years, international attention to climate change has surged. Most students today are aware of melting ice caps and the plight of polar bears. Yet we often struggle to see this apocalyptic-sounding environmental problem as an immediate social issue. Climate change involves more than just rising sea levels and UN conventions. It presents a wide range of complex problems that transcend national boundaries and affect individuals around the world in drastically different ways. The impacts of climate change on society range from reduced access to food and water to increased risk of natural disasters and disease.

Negotiations about how to respond to climate change at national and international levels have been fraught with political disagreement. Colonial history, economic development, resource consumption, and disparities in wealth and power are some of the many controversial topics that dominate discourse about the state of the environment. Climate Change and Questions of Justice explores the causes and effects of global warming and delves into questions of who is most responsible for and vulnerable to the changing climate. Students grapple with how to respond to climate change at local, national, and international levels in ways that are both effective and fair.

Introduction: The Challenge of a Unified Response

Part I: The Causes and Effects of Global Climate Change

Part II: Responses to Climate Change

Part III: Case Studies

Lesson: Climate Change’s Effects on Living Things

Lesson: Policy in the Media

Lesson: Data Analysis: Carbon Dioxide Emissions

The Options Role Play

Synthesis: Taking Action on Climate Change

Featured Scholars

Tim Herbert photo
Brown University
Naveeda Khan photo
Johns Hopkins University
Amanda Lynch photo
Brown University
Simone Pulver photo
Brown University