Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

Power, Justice, and Climate Change

Brown University

Environmental Studies

Spring 2017

Prof. Timmons Roberts

Undergraduate seminar

Documentary Video / Films,Simulations

Climate change creates injustices in who caused the problem, who is suffering worst and first, and who is taking action. Power between nations and social groups drives unequal disaster risks and the “compounded vulnerabilities” of poor peoples and nations, and has led to gridlock in United Nations negotiations. The course reviews social and political dimensions of local and national adaptation efforts, media dynamics, collective and individual denial, and the rise of climate social movements.

The human emissions of billions of tons of gases known to trap heat in the atmosphere is a massive experiment on the systems that support our species. Human civilization has developed in a remarkably stable period of global temperature and precipitation, but the climate impacts are rising and projected to get much worse in the decades ahead. Are we helpless? Who is suffering first and worst from climate change?