22 November 2013

Another class for Spring 2014

An SAS honors seminar is being offered this spring on ‘Climate change and justice.’ The instructor is looking for a diverse and lively group, including qualified students not in the honors program – meteorologists, political scientists, geographers, earth scientists, activists, undecided freshmen, etc! So if you advise or work with any students you think might be interested, please let them know about this 3-credit offering (that also satisfies the ‘WCd’ SAS Core writing requirement). They should email the instructor, Melanie McDermott so she can help them with the process of getting into the class. 

The details:
 01:090:295:03 Climate Change, Justice and Equity: from the Tropical Rainforest to the Jersey Shore
T 02:15-05:15PM, Hickman Hall Room 129

The initial premises of this course are that climate change poses a grave threat to humanity, and that those who have contributed least to generating the problem -- i.e., the global poor, future generations, and non-human species, are the most vulnerable to its impact. This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the implications this challenge raises for notions of justice and equity.

We begin by examining the fundamental question, ‘what is justice?’ Our understanding shifts when we focus first on injustice and how it is produced and reproduced in social relationships.  In what ways are inequities among nations and social classes related to the drivers of fossil fuel and forest combustion? How might inequity be exacerbated not only by the impacts of climate change, but by policies designed to combat or adapt to them?

Our discussion will be focused by in-depth consideration of two major case studies. The first concerns the various paying-poor-people-not-to-cut-trees policies under the rubric of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (or REDD), and the second looks at Hurricane Sandy impacts and responses on the Jersey Shore.  Finally, through the lens of literature and performance art we will examine how this crisis makes us feel, and the course as a whole will lead us to confront what we – as individuals and as Rutgers University, can do about it.

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