In 2019 the world finally woke up to the grave challenges that global warming will confront us with in coming decades. Climate change, or should it be climate crisis, is coming to the fore as the key political, social and environmental issue of our age. School strikes, Extinction Rebellion, and even parliaments have pushed the seriousness of what we face on to our TVs, newspapers and laptops.
But why now? The United Nations tells us that we have until 2030 to stave off catastrophic risks of extreme floods, decaying oceans, extreme droughts and extreme heat.
The facts are stark according to NASA, 19 of the warmest years on record have all come since 2001, an extraordinary statistic worth pausing and thinking about, plus the six warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010. It is time to act and plan for the future, as we still have time, but time is running out.
Climate change and global warming, long pushed to the back of the political agenda in the last 20 years, has burst back on to the scene. Here in Ireland we saw extraordinary fluctuations in weather last year from Storm Ophelia to the ‘Beast form the East, to an unusually long & hot summer. Similar weather ‘events’ (Storms, typhoons, flooding, droughts) are playing out with ever more frequency and duration, across the world.
The need to act decisively is growing. A recent IPCC report notes we have 12 years to act to seriously curb our fossil fuel addiction. After WW2 the Marshall Plan rebuilt Europe with aid after the wreckage of conflict, now we need a global Green Marshall Plan. A plan built on a transition away from fossil fuels to a more just and sustainable future for all.
In exploring all of this the course will take a global and interdisciplinary perspective covering the above topics focusing on political, ethical, sociological and environmental questions and, hopefully, some answers too. This course will be a continuation of last year’s course but will cover some similar ground at the beginning.
We live in a time of political, social and environmental uncertainty. Events are unfolding quicker than many have expected. This course will look at how we got here and more importantly where we could possibly go from here.
Climate change is a unique and complex problem. It will need all our creative, technical and social ingenuity to bring it under control. In light of this, the course aims to employ broad teaching methods, for example, the use of documentary clips and online (and class) debates to enhance & enrich understanding of the environmental, political and economic issues.
Classes will be delivered online on Wednesday 7-9pm for eight weeks from 29 September to 17 November.
Week 1: Introduction and history of climate change
Week 2: Can global politics respond in time to the climate crisis?
Week 3: The political power of climate change denial & the power of the fossil fuel divestment movement
Week 4: What is meant by the term climate justice?
Week 5: Can we get to a net-zero emissions economy and what does this even mean?
Week 6: Richard Heinberg and the end of economic growth based on cheap energy
Week 7: A Green New Deal for the world?
Week 8: Time to decarbonise the global economy
Mr Mark Kernan BSc (International Development and Food Policy) LLM (International Human Rights Law and Public Policy) is an independent researcher and freelance writer who has published academic and non-academic articles in publications such as Village magazine, Open Democracy, Truthout, Global Policy Journal and CounterPunch on issues of climate change, development, politics and human rights.
Blogs: andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com; robertscribbler.com; kevinanderson.info/blog.
Websites: The Guardian; DemocracyNow.org; New York Times; Trócaire. policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/our-work/climate-change; www.foe.ie; www.greenpeace.org/international Books: Collapse, Jared Diamond; The End of Growth, Richard Heinberg; This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein; Merchants of doubt, Erik Conway & Naomi Oreskes; Climate Changed: A Personal Journey through the Science, Philippe Squarzoni; Facing the Anthropocene, Ian Angus.
Books: Collapse, Jared Diamond; The End of Growth, Richard Heinberg; This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein; Merchants of doubt, Erik Conway & Naomi Oreskes; Climate Changed: A Personal Journey through the Science, Philippe Squarzoni; Facing the Anthropocene, Ian Angus.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old at course commencement.
Short courses are not assessed. Students will receive a UCC Certificate of Attendance upon completion.
Closing Date for Application
Friday 17 September
Contact Details for Further Information
Regina Sexton, Phone: 021-4904700, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org