Climate change is the most pressing global issue of our time. How humans have historically lived, played, and dreamed is changing. The impact of climate change is felt in every issue facing humanity: health, finance, security, migration, water supply, sanitation, food security, agriculture, and gender to name several. Given the integration of climate into every facet of life, the way humans think and problem solve must change.
This online course begins with a basic overview of the science behind climate change. What do scientists mean when they talk about 1.5 or 2 degrees of warming? What is actually happening between the sun and the earth to cause this warming? What are greenhouse gases and how do they contribute to climate change? After establishing a base of scientific understanding, the course will, using case studies, focus on particular areas that climate change will impact. For example, we will explore:
- how water resources are being impacted by climate change
- how the changing climate impacts the safety and security of women
- special considerations of cities and how those who live in informal settlements in the Global South are impacted by increased intensity of severe weather events
- social inequalities that are caused by climate change
- how climate change is, in fact, a human rights issue
Toward the end of the course, there is an emphasis on understanding some of the main international policy agreements meant to combat climate change before focusing on what individuals and communities are doing to prevent and cope with changes in climate. The course finishes by focusing on what individuals can do on a daily basis to create positive change.
By the end of this course, participants can expect:
- Greater understanding of basic science of climate change;
- Deepened knowledge of international policies that have influenced climate change over the past 25 years;
- Widened comprehension of how climate changes are impacting people across the world—whether they are living in the Canadian arctic or an informal coastal community in Bangladesh;
- Understanding of how and why climate change is a human rights and a social justice issue;
- Increased awareness of measures taken to combat climate change; and
- Insight into how climate change impacts a variety of sectors.
Learning Objectives of the Course:
- Learn basic climate change science
- Grow knowledge of international climate change policies via a comprehensive review
- Examine how climate change impacts communities around the global
- Obtain comprehensive understanding of adaptation and mitigation
- Develop analytical skills to engage in climate change debates
- Develop understanding of climate change and confidence to be able to engage in meaningful action
8 hours per week, for 7 weeks
- Computer or laptop
- Reliable internet access (high speed is recommended)
- Speakers and microphone
The Online Learning Experience:
As a blended model of delivery, participants will have the opportunity to engage in learning activities mainly through asynchronous discussion forums via Moodle and also through live discussion via Blackboard Collaborate. Each week, participants will engage online in small and whole group forums when it best fits their schedules. Once a week, there will be a one-hour session in Blackboard Collaborate where participants will gather for a real-time, facilitated discussion with peers and the course facilitator. If unable to attend the live session, participants will be expected to download the recording and to engage in follow-up conversation on the session topic in the asynchronous forum before the end of the week. Course readings can also be downloaded to read offline. Participants are expected to engage with their peers in the online space at least two or three times a week and to complete course assignments on time.