2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Climate Solutions


Spring quarter

Faculty: Rob Cole physics

Fields of Study: ecology, law and public policy and sustainability studies


Credits: 16(S)

Class Standing: Sophomore - Senior

Offered During: Day


This program will explore the causes of global climate change and study the many actions and social behaviors that we can take to minimize human contributions to it. We will examine the scientific evidence for global warming and the efforts to discredit that evidence. We will study the role of multinational corporations in global climate change and how they influence public opinion. We will focus on how to respond to global warming in a fashion that works toward sustainability and equity in the ecosystems that support life on the planet. We will pay particular attention to issues of justice between humans, and how humans interact with other species.

In order to understand actions we can take, this program will explore sustainable lifestyle strategies as well as how to resist corporate influence on consumer consumption. We will study the approaches of biomimicry, sustainable architecture, renewable energy generation and the smart grid, equitable distribution of food and shelter, minimal-impact industrial processes, local food production, less toxic methods of producing, using and disposing of products from clothing to computers, and a variety of low-impact lifestyles.

We will examine the methods advocated by visionary groups like Second Nature, Climate Solutions, Slow Food, and Cradle-to-Cradle. Students will complete a series of audits of their personal consumption and waste-generation patterns, and we will examine similar audits for the campus, the local region and the nation. We will study methods of computing carbon dioxide budgets including carbon sequestration methods, the intricacies of carbon capping and offsetting strategies, and opportunities to reduce net carbon dioxide production. Students can expect to do research on emerging technologies and strategies that move us to carbon neutrality while fostering sustainability and justice.

In addition to gaining an understanding of how we can all lessen our impact on global climate change and move toward equity, students can expect to sharpen their critical reasoning, writing and speaking skills, as well as their ability to work with quantitative methods and to interpret quantitative data from a variety of sources.

Maximum Enrollment: 25

Preparatory for studies or careers in: carbon budgeting, climate change, ecosystems dynamics, environmental studies, public policy, sustainability and justice studies, and systems science.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program Revisions

Date Revision
January 27th, 2011 Rob Cole will be teaching Creating Sustainable Businesses in the 21st Century.