Tue & Thu, 10:30-11:45am, 129 Planetary Hall
Goals of Course:
Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. This course provides a survey of weather and climate processes, and the global and regional impacts of human-induced changes in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The course will focus on the phenomena of climate variability and change, both observed during the past century and projected for the next century, that have impacts on human society and natural ecosystems. The course provides sufficient scientific background to enable students to critically examine arguments about climate change and possible solutions being discussed by policymakers and the public at large. This Mason Core course satisfying the Natural Science requirement will also review the roles of science, politics, international negotiations and the media in the current debate on what to do about climate change. The classes will consist of lectures, guest lectures, movies, in-class discussion and student presentations. Students will have an opportunity to survey recent literature on the impacts of climate change in Virginia to advise the Governor on risks and strategies for adaptation and on various policy alternatives and commentaries and review policy and commentary documents relating to climate change policies and solutions. Students also will have an opportunity to formally debate whether global warming is a fact or an alternative fact and whether reducing greenhouse gas emissions will save the planet or kill jobs.
Last modified: August 2017