The textbook provides a complete self-directed course in understanding global warming and how to start mitigating its effects at a local and personal level.
The course begins by exploring the scientific background to the key global environmental problems facing us today (i.e. climate change, biodiversity, pollution, natural resources, population, socio-political divisions). We will be investigating whether these threats are real and identifying what the challenges facing us actually are, not only from
a global and a regional perspective, but locally and as individuals. What will post-climate change society be like? Is global change as much of a moral issue as it is an environmental or economic one? Sustainability is core to dealing with these global problems and this concept is examined in detail, including the key mechanisms to achieve it. As we move through the lectures/chapters we will examine our own contribution to environmental change and explore how this can be mitigated. The course takes a hard critical look at the mechanisms for change (i.e. offsetting, recycling, renewables, travel etc.) and looks at what can be done. The course provides a platform for you to create your own action plan to deal with a changing planet.
By the end of the course, you should be able to:
1. Explain the scientific background to current global environmental change.
2. Describe how global change may affect ecosystems and human populations.
3. Understand the concepts that form the basis of sustainability
4. Know how to measure global impacts and how to reduce them.
5. Have a clear plan of action as to how you can live more sustainably and help mitigate global environmental
The course consists of 15 two-hour lectures (equivalent to a single chapter) which are designed to be read at your own pace using either the text or ebook. Each lecture has a series of links and references which should be explored in full. it is also important to do the set homework at the end of each lecture. There are also a number of open-access films dealing with the key issues. Use the lecture updates in the right hand column on this page to check that book links are active and for more information, links, updates and news.
The course involves set homework which build up to form a personal portfolio of information and data based around your individual and/or family lifestyle. Assessment will involve a series of surveys; producing personal carbon and water footprints; designing a personal action plan; and contributing material for either the blog or website.
More details can be found on the Springer website
Doing the course
The module can be done as an integrated course in College or as Book Club, or individually by simply working through the text completing the homework sections. Some guidance is available in the updates to help you. You are encouraged to send material for the blog, including your original definitions of sustainability (i.e. homework at the of lecture/chapter 2). Please use the contact page to send general emails and blog posts directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions for the blog should be sent as a Word file with full links (not embedded). A maximum of two images with copyright source/permission in either a jpeg, png or gif format only (maximum image size 500 mb) can be included. All contributions are subject to review before publishing and must be original.
Each chapter is a lecture and the updates are based on the actual content headings for each chapter section. More general links are found in the left hand column of each update page. Click on the chapter headings below or use the drop down menu
1. Defining the problem
2. What is sustainability?
3. The concept of resources
4. Global warming and CO2
5. Measuring and offsetting CO2 emissions
6. The real cost of carbon
7. Ecological footprint
8. Energy - green or otherwise
9. Travelling here, there, everywhere
10. Having enough to eat
11. Where does water fit in
12. Waste not, want not
13. Planet health
14. Your health and wellbeing
15. In your hands!