GENED 1167. Climate Crossroads

What one thing is changing everything in your lifetime—and for generations to come? It’s changing what you eat; it’s changing buildings you live in; and it’s changing politics, the arts, and finance. The change is accelerating. This course reveals fundamental alterations that climate disruption is bringing to multiple human activities and natural phenomena.

The course represents a crossroads in two senses. First, it’s a crossroads of disciplines. Climate change affects science, society, culture, government policy, biodiversity, and environmental justice. To understand it is inherently interdisciplinary and requires standing at the crossroads of several approaches. Second, humanity itself is at a new crossroads. Because global climate is shifting rapidly, this prompts new views of humans in geologic time, as well as new thinking in economics, law, finance, and science.

Climate change isn’t just “global warming.” It’s an alteration of conditions on Earth to which all creatures and societies are adjusting. What is the science of climate change? Why can’t understanding and dealing with climate change be confined to science?

Through materials and assignments that address quantitative understanding and qualitative judgment, you’ll learn why it’s unwise to seal the interrelated issues of climate change in separate disciplines; conversely, why it’s necessary to use separate disciplines to acquire the knowledge and applications needed to formulate policy and actions. You’ll learn about climate adaptation (adjusting to changing climate), mitigation (reducing the speed and severity of climate change), and resilience (e.g., recovering from extreme weather events). You’ll discover how careers in many different areas increasingly involve thinking about climate.







Course ID: 


Subject Area: 

General Education
  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2020-2021 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

Connect with us

Follow HUCE to stay updated on energy and the environment at Harvard and beyond.

Subscribe to our mailing list