Welcome to the blog of the course and textbook Facing up to global warming: What is going on and what you can do about it. This course is run by Professor Nick Gray of the Trinity Centre for the Environment at Trinity College Dublin.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Broad Curriculum Course for 2011/12

Course Outline

New Broad Curriculum Course for 2011/12

The course begins by exploring the scientific background to the key global environmental problems facing us today (i.e. climate change, biodiversity, pollution, natural resources, population, socio-political divisions).  We will be investigating whether these threats are real and identifying what the actual challenges facing us are from a global, regional, local and personal perspective. What will post-climate change society be like?  Is global change as much of a moral issue as it is an environmental or economic one? Sustainability is central to dealing with these global problems and this concept is examined in detail, including the key mechanisms to achieve it.  In doing so we will examine our own contribution to environmental change and explore how this can be mitigated.  The course takes a hard critical look at the mechanisms for change (i.e. offsetting, recycling, renewables, travel etc.) and looks at what can be done. The course provides a platform for you to create your own action plan to deal with a changing planet.

Course Aims
Broad Curriculum courses aim to develop curiosity and analytical ability, creativity and reflectiveness, adaptability and breadth of reading, ethical responsibility, international outlook, articulacy, literacy and numeracy.

Course Objectives
By the end of the course, you should be able to:
1. Explain the scientific background to current global environmental change.
2. Describe how global change may affect ecosystems and human populations.
3. Understand the concepts that form the basis of sustainability
4. Know how to measure global impacts and how to reduce them.
5. Have a clear plan of action as to how you can live more sustainably and help mitigate global environmental change.

The course involves set reading as well as a number of personal actions.  Assessment will involve a series of interactive activities including preparing a short statement about your concerns for the future; completing on-line surveys; producing personal carbon and water footprints; designing a personal action plan; and contributing material for either the blog or website. The course is equivalent to 5 ECTS.

The object of this course is to change the way you live or to make you very angry, possibly both.

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