Goal: For students to understand the central concepts of Western ethical theories and be able to relate them to climate change policies. Objectives



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Climate Change Ethics and Policy

NRSM 449/CCS449

TR 12:40-2:00

Health Science 441

Instructor: Dane Scott

Office: Mansfield Center. MLIB 464

Phone: 243-6632

Email: dane.scott@mso.umt.edu

Office hours: TR: 3:00-4:00
Goal:


  • For students to understand the central concepts of Western ethical theories and be able to relate them to climate change policies.

Objectives:

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of various concepts and theories of justice

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the roles of justice in international negotiations aimed at:

  1. Mitigating green house gases

  2. Adapting to the consequences of global climate change

  3. Reducing the impacts of climate change through geoengineering

Texts:


Tests & Assignments:

  • Attendance and Participation: 20%

  • Test 1: 25%

  • Test 2: 25%

  • Short Essay 1: 10%

  • Short Essay 2: 10%

  • Short Essay 3: 10%

The short essay assignments will be graded on how well students have mastered writing an argumentative essay and basic writing skills. Essays will address timely controversies dealing with ethical issues arising from climate change. Possible exercises will involve responding to arguments presented in Op Ed pieces that appear in national newspapers. Students will engage in peer review exercises that will provide them with the opportunity to develop several drafts before turning their essays in for a final grade.
Schedule

Week 1

8/26: Introduction

8/28: Sandel, Chapter 1, “Do the Right Thing”

Posner & Weisbach, Climate Change Justice, Introduction and Chapter 1, “Facts and Predictions”



Week 2

9/2: Video: “Climate of Doubt”

9/4: Minteer, “Move it or lose it? The Ecological Ethics of Relocating Species under Climate Change”

Discuss “Climate of Doubt” in Groups



Week 3:

9/9: Ron Sandler, “The Value of Species and the Ethical Foundations of Assisted Colonization”

9/11: Class does not meet. Students attend Mansfield Conference

Week 4:

9/16: Sandel, Chapter 2, “The Greatest Happiness Principle / Utilitarianism”

Short Essay 1 Assigned, Due 9/25

9/18:” Singer, “One Atmosphere”



Week 5

9/23: Shue, “Global Environment and International Inequality”

Discuss short essays in groups

9/25: Sandel, Chapter 3, “Do We Own Ourselves / Libertarianism”

Adler, “A Conservative's Approach to Combating Climate Change”

Discuss Adler’s essay in groups


Week 6

9/30: Sandel, Chapter 4, “Hired Help / Markets and Morals”

Naomi Klein, “Capitalism vs. the Climate”

Discuss Klein’s essay in groups

10/2:

Film: “Cool It”



Week 7

10/7: Sandel, Chapter 5, “What Matters is the Motive / Immanuel Kant”

Short Essay 2 Assigned, Due 10/28

Discuss “Cool It” in groups

10/9: Caney, “Climate Change, Human Rights and Moral Thresholds”

Discussion groups in preparation for Test 1



Week 8

10/14: Test #1

10/16: Sandel, Chapter 6, “The Case for Equity / John Rawls”

Week 9

10/21: Hartzell, “Climate Change and Global Justice, Extending Rawls’ Law of People”

10/23: Sen, “Development as Capability Expansion”

Discuss Essay 2 in Groups



Week 10

10/28: Sen, “Global Warning is Just One of Many Environmental Threats that Demand Our Attention”

Discuss Sen’s essay in groups

Essay 2 Due

10/30: Bear, et al. “Greenhouse Gas Development Rights”

Week 11

11/4: No Class

11/6: Posner and Wesibach, “Global Welfare, Global Justice and Climate Change”

Week 12

11/11: No Class

11/13: Broone, “The Ethics of Climate Change”

Research Projects Due

Week 13

11/18: Bear, “Adaptation to Climate Change: Who Pays Whom?”

Paavola & Adger, “Fair Adaptation to Climate Change”

11/20: Mann, “How to Talk About Climate Change so People Will Listen”

Discuss Mann’s essay in groups

Short Essay 3 Assigned, Due 12/4



Week 14

11/25: Science Communication Exercise



Week 15

12/2: Keith, “Engineering the Planet”

Robock, “20 Reasons Why Geoengineering is a Bad Idea”

12/4: Preston, “Ethics and Geoengineering: Reviewing the Moral Issues Raised by Solar Radiation Management and Carbon Dioxide Removal”



Short Essay 3 Due

Finals Week

Test 2: Monday, 12/8, 10:10-12:00

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