University to offer half-credit course on climate change

Sarah Baldwin, Editor-in-Chief

Throughout March and April, the geography department will be offering a half-credit teach-in course that explores the intersection between art, activism and climate science. The goal of a teach-in is to examine various political issues in a participatory way while proposing plans for action. This specific course, #ArtScienceClimate Now, will be composed of dinner discussions and visits to the climate change exhibit that is showing in the Samek Art Gallery until March 22. The culmination of the course will be dedicated to planning an intervention event for Earth Week, which takes place from April 16-22.

“Science is clear on climate change: what we’re seeing now is real, we’re the cause, and the business-as-usual path we’re on now ends ugly for humanity. There’s still time to avoid that, and we have enough knowledge, technology, capital and people to do it,” said Associate Professor of Geography Duane Griffin on the importance of the course. “Especially here in the United States, the public and leaders have been able to ignore the problem – to literally not see it. Beyond that, we have a hard time imagining the world being different than it is now. Science isn’t good at providing that kind of vision, but it’s one of the things the arts do best.”

Griffin, who will be teaching the course, views the Samek exhibit as an excellent opportunity to discuss climate change and connect it to broader themes. “‘Against Time’ is a perfect chance to explore that idea, talk about relationships between art and science and how artists of all kinds are engaging climate change, and then take what we find out and try our hands at some sort of intervention during Earth Week. The timing is perfect, because Earth Day turns 50 this year, and it’s the 30th anniversary of the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s] first climate assessment report,” he said.

While classes are expected to take place Thursday evenings starting March 5, these may be subject to change based on students’ schedules. There will be an informational meeting on March 2 at 5 p.m. in Academic West 203 to further discuss the course and propose new times if needed. There are only 12 spots available in the course, and no prerequisites are required. Interested students should email Professor Griffin at [email protected] for more information.

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