Each student taking the 3500 word project shall meet with me to discuss the topic and discuss the plan of research. The topics should be relevant to this module. You are encouraged to take the lead in thinking a project question, which should be as specific as possible. Or you can decide to choose a question (or a close version) from the following list.
- Discuss different means of climate change communication: visual, textual, quantitative, graphical. What are the advantages and limitations of each of these means?
- Discuss the extent to which it is appropriate to explain the Syrian crisis in terms of climate change?
- Did climate change disappear during the Covid-19?
- Was COP21 (Paris) a major event in the history of climate policy? Why or why not?
- Discuss recent art addressing climate change. What is its meaning? How does it differ from other artistic themes and iconographies? Should climate art work to facilitate policy?
- Can a global switch to non-fossil fuels provide enough energy for current demand?
- Does ‘climate grief’ provide enough incentive for a more effective climate policy?
- Why is the representation of future climate change sometimes framed in apocalyptic imagery?
- In what sense can it be said that climate change is an economic opportunity? Who are the supporters of this view and what is their background?
- Evaluate the ethics of geoengineering.
- With reports suggesting the world is locked into 1.5 degree warming, climate action should be focused on tackling adaptation rather than mitigation of climate change. Assess this claim
3. Writing the essay
The first paragraph should introduce the overall aims of the essay, and the last paragraph should briefly summarise your conclusions. If you can, state your argument/your position early one, even in the very first paragraph )think of a movie trailer that summarizes the movie content).
In order to help the reader, your paragraph structure should mirror the structure of your argument. Avoid a succession of very short paragraphs (one or two sentences) or long ones (more than one page).
Think about signposting. Signposting are brief sentences meant to alert the reader where they are (much like traffic signs indicated the distance from the next city). They help the reader to know what to expect.
Although your essay may refer briefly to required readings or lectures, your argument will need to go well beyond these sources. Simply re-iterating points already made therein will not help you improve the quality of your essay.
To repeat: avoid redundancy! Avoid clichés! Avoid repetition.
4. Citing sources
If you use an author’s argument or evidence, you must cite the author and title of the work you have used. You may cite these sources at the bottom of the page (footnotes), at the end of the essay (endnotes) or in the text in brackets (….). Since the full reference will be in your bibliography (see 4d below), you need only use an abbreviated form of reference, e.g. ‘Pickstone, Medicine & Industrial Society, p. 123’.
Do not bother to quote an author directly unless his/her particular phrasing is important for your argument.
If you do take text directly from a work, however, you must signal that fact; failure to do so constitutes plagiarism (see above). Quotes of 3 lines or less should be enclosed with inverted commas; longer quotes should be indented as a bloc. In addition you must cite the author’s name, title and the page where the quote appeared.
Attach a bibliography at the end of your essay. Include only those sources you have used, following this model
Book: J.V.Pickstone, Medicine and Industrial Society (Manchester 1985).
Article: D.Edgerton, “Science and Technology in British Business History”, Business History, vol.29 (1987), 84-103.
Use your sources critically. Simply reproducing what an author says does not impress markers. Noticing where an author’s argument is weak does.
References-below (incorporate them depending on question chosen (Note: at least 14 need to be from required section,12 from the preffered and the rest any related you want to choose , and can be taken from each section)
The Empire of Climate
James Fleming and Vladimir Jankovic (2011). ‘Revisiting Klima.’ Osiris 21: 1-15. Provides a range of answers to the above questions and introduces the concepts of agency and index.
Vladimir Jankovic (2010). ‘Climates as Commodities.’ Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. DOI:10.1016/j.shpsb.2010.07.008
Mike Hulme (2016). Climate and its changes: a cultural appraisal, Geography and Environment 2015 DOI: 10.1002/geo2.5
Heymann, Matthias. “The Evolution of Climate Ideas and Knowledge.” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (July/August 2010) 1.4: 581-597.
James Fleming (1998). Historical Perspectives on Climate Change. Oxford.
Karen Ordahl Kupperman (1984). ‘Fear of Hot Climate in Anglo-American Colonial Experience.’ The William and Mary Quarterly 41: 213-240. This is a significant article with profound implications for contemporary thinking and should be read in conjunction with:
Sam White (2105). ‘Unpuzzling American Climates: New World Experience and the Foundation of a New Science.’ Isis 106 (30: 544-566.
What are the first known discussions on the anthropogenic climate change? How have such discussion become the subject of natural sciences? And what theories and institutional setups have led to the contemporary understanding of human-induced climatic variations.
Mike Hulme, ‘Reducing the Future to Climate: A Story of Climate Determinism and Reductionism,’ in James R. Fleming and Vladimir Jankovic (eds), ‘Klima,’ Osiris 26 (2011): 245 – 266. https://bit.ly/3zK8oJC
Spencer Weart, ‘Impacts of Climate Change,’ in his Discovery of Global Warming https://history.aip.org/climate/impacts.htm
NOTE: Spencer Weart’s website https://history.aip.org/climate/index.htm provides a wealth of information on the history of climate change. It’s internally and externally hyperlinked so you can easily follow topics of interest. You are encouraged to use this site as much as often as you wish, it will give you a rich background to themes covered in the unit.
Spencer Weart (2003). Discovery of Global Warming. Harvard. The book is the basis for Weart’s popular website covering all major events in the development of climate science.
James Fleming (2016) Inventing Atmospheric Science. MIT. The most recent intervention into the personal and institutional histories of modern meteorology.
Andrew Dessler (2011). Introduction to Modern Climate Change. Cambridge. A textbook providing an effective, jargon-free coverage of most scientific and policy aspects of recent research and political discussions on the subject.
Paul Edwards (2010). A Vast Machine. Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming. MIT. An excellent, but demanding account of the developments in climate modelling and data management technologies.
Clark Miller and Paul Edwards (eds) (2001). Changing the Atmosphere: Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance. MIT. A valuable collection featuring articles by renown historians and STS scholars.
Joshua P. Howe (2014). Behind the Curve: Science and the Politics of Global Warming. Washington University Press, chapter 3-4. A new account of the history of climate change research from the American point of view.
Kerry Emanuel (2013). What We Know about Climate Change. MIT.
David M. Hart and David G. Victor (1993). ‘Scientific Elites and the making of US Policy for climate change research,’ Social Studies of Science 23 (4): 648.
Joseph Masco, ‘Bad Weather: On Planetary Crisis,’ Social Studies of Science 40 (2010): 7-40.
Recent Manchester PhD by David Hirst is one of the more detailed accounts of the events predating the foundation of IPCC. If you’re interested to see it for your project, please contact me and I will provide you with a copy. The literature on IPCC, and more general, on the scientific articulation of global climate change is growing. An early piece is:
Shardul Agrawala, “Context and Early Origins of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change.” Climatic Change 39 (1998): 605-20. The standard, authoritative account, an excellent introduction to the contexts and complexities of science-making in climate communities and beyond.
Amy Dahan-Dalmedico, ‘Climate Expertise: Between Scientific Credibility and Geopolitical Imperatives,’ Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 33 (2008): 71-81.
David Demeritt (2001). The Construction of Global Warming and the Politics of Science. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 91 (2): 307-337. Recommended for those working on the ‘scientific’ emergence of climate change. See also:
Mike Hulme and Martin Mahony (2010). Climate Change: What do we Know about IPCC. Progress in Physical geography 34 (5): 705-718. A recent update on ‘what we know’ about the structure, mandate, origins and ramification of IPCC as a unique scientific conglomeration.
Shackley, S. and B. Wynne (1996) ‘Representing Uncertainty in Global Climate Change Science for Policy: Boundary-Ordering Devices and Authority’, Science, Technology and Human Values 21(3): 275–302. The classic, much quoted articles by the leaders in the field of science and technology studies. On ‘what is STS,’ see http://sts.hks.harvard.edu/about/whatissts.html For an example of how to approach climate change from STS perspective see:
Jasanoff S. (2010). A New Climate for Society. Theory, Culture & Society, 27(2-3), 233–253. http://doi.org/10.1177/0263276409361497.
Joshua P. Howe, ‘The IPCC and the Primacy of Science.’ In Behind the Curve: Science and the Politics of Global Warming, chapter 6.
Agrawala, Shardul “Structural and Process History of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change,” Climatic Change 39 (1998): 621-42; Agrawala, Shardul (1999).
Jonathan Ross (1991). Is Global Culture Warming. Social Text 28: 3-30. A provocative narrative about the politics of climate science that links several contexts in a convincing account; prescient in many ways.
Naomi Oreskes (2004). Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change. Science 306: 5702
Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway (2012) Merchants of Doubt. Bloomsbury. A very popular and much cited book, an excellent example of informed advocacy for the cause. It has been made into a film.
Elisabeth Rosenthal (2010). ‘Sceptics Find Fault with UN Climate Panel’. New York Times Feb. 8. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/09/science/earth/09climate.html The article explains the criticism levelled at ‘sloppiness’ of IPCC and refers to work of Roger Pielke Jr., whose blog http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.co.uk/ deals and explains the many controversial issues relating to the scientific legitimacy and institutional politics of climate science. His post-legacy, short lived Climate Fixblog is https://theclimatefix.wordpress.com/
1. importance of science in the discovery of climate change
2. importance of climate science in the context of Cold War and institutional and intellectual developments during the period between 1960-1992
3. become familiar with the terminology of models, scenarios and uncertainty
Paul N. Edwards, ‘Simulation Models and Atmospheric Politics, 1960-1992,’ in Edwards, A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming (MIT Press, 2010), 357-396. This chapter will give you the scientific context and background information crucial to understanding of how and why science and simulation models came to inform knowledge about the social, political and otherwise consequences of climatic change.
Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, ‘How Climate Science Became a Victim of the Cold War,’ in Robert Proctor and Londa Shienbiger, Agnotology: The Cultural Production of Ignorance (Stanford University Press, 2008).
Martin Mahony and Mike Hulme, ‘Modeling and the Nation: Institionalizing Climate Prediction in the UK, 1988 – 92,’ Minerva 54 (2016): 445-470. An insightful and important contribution to understanding the role of climate science modelling within the the UK institutional structures.
R. Knutti (2008). ‘Should we believe model predictions of future climate change?’ Philosophical Transactions 366: 4647-4664. A very focused but somewhat technical intepretation of the key issues behind the question on whether we can trust climate mode;s.
Jon Agar (2015), ‘Future Forecast – Changeable and Probably Getting Worse: The UK Government’s early response to anthropogenic climate change,’ Twentieth Century British History doi: 10.1093/tbch/hwv008.
Amy Dahan (2010). ‘Putting the Earth System in a Numerical Box? The Evolution from climate modeling toward global climate change,’ Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41: 282-292.
Paul Edwards (2010) Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming (MIT Press)
Matthias Heymann, G Gramelsberger, Marton Mahony (2017), Cultures of Prediction in Atmospheric and Climate Science (Routledge).
G Betz (209). ‘Underdetemination, model-ensembles and surprises: on the epistemology of scenario-analysis in climatology,’ Journal of General Philosophy of Science 40: 3-21.
J. Katzav (2014). ‘The epistemology of climate models and some of its implications for climate science and the philosophy of science,’ Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 46: 228-238.
Frigg et al., ‘Philosophy of climate science: Modelling climate change,’ Philosophy Compass 10: 965-977.
W Parker, ‘Predicting weather and climate: uncertainty, ensembles and probability,’ Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41: 263-272.
I Held (2005). ‘The Gap between simulation and understanding in climate modeling,’ Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 86: 1609-1614.
1. principles of policy-making in select national contexts?
2. the principles of mitigation, adaptation, technological change and technological intervention
3. to become familiar with the actors in the policy debates, including the politics behind climate contrarians.
Daniel Sarewitz (2011). ‘Does Climate Change Knowledge Really Matter?’ WIREs Climate Change 2 (4): 475-481.
Harriet Bulkeley and Peter Newell, ‘Governing Climate change: a brief history,’ in Governing Climate Change (Routledge, 2015). NOTE: read only pages 23 – 40.
The literature on climate adaptation mitigation and other policies is vast. Some titles appear in the above list of general readings and some are listed in the appendix below. Your research projects looking at this topic will benefit from case studies in the national/regional/urban contexts, especially if they involve comparative research. Some of these can be found in Bartlett and Sathertwaite (eds), Cities on a Finite Planet (see below in the background readings for WEEK 9) or in Ensor J and Berger R (eds) (2008 ). Understanding Climate Change Adaptation: Lessons from Community-Based Approaches. Practical Action Publishing.
Neil Carter, (2014). The Politics of Climate Change in the UK. WIREs Climate Change 5: 423 – 433. A summary of policies enacted and proposed in the UK in the ten years, and a critical commentary on the underlying assumptions. This is an excellent source for a project topic.
Steve Vanderheiden (2008). Political Theory and Global Climate Change. MIT.
Grundmann, Reiner (2015). Climate Change as a Wicked Social Problem. Nature Geosciences 9: 562-563.
Daniel Bodansky (2001) The History of the Global Climate Change Regime. In Urs Luterbacher and Detlef F. Sprinz (eds), International Relations and Global Climate Change. MIT. An early study of the organizational and international theory approach, still relevant today.
Marcus Taylor (2015) The Political Ecology of Climate Change Adaptation (Routledge, New York)
Joseph F. C. DiMento and Pamela Doughman (2014). Climate Change: How the World Is Responding. In De Mento and Doughman (eds). Climate Change: What it Means for us, Our Children and Our Grandchildren. MIT. An excellent survey of policies.
Ulrich Beck (2010). Climate for Change, or How to Create a Green Modernity? Theory, Culture & Society, 27 (2-3), 254–266. http://doi.org/10.1177/0263276409358729 A provocative piece questioning the accepted views on climate action plans and sustainability.
Mary Pettneger (ed), The Social Construction of Climate Change (Ashgate, 2007).
Harriet Bulkeley, Matthew Paterson, Johannes Stripple (eds) (2016). Towards a Cultural Politics of Climate Change. Cambridge.
Weaver, Andrew and Edward Parson (2006) The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change, A Guide to the Debate. Cambridge.
1. the ethical obligations of the emitting nations in the policy process
2. nature of responsibility in the matter of global policy
Tim Hayward (2012). ‘Climate Change and Ethics.’ Nature Climate Change 2 (12): 843. A level-headed survey of issue that would give you food for thought.
Dan Boscov-Ellen, ‘A Responsibility to Revolt? Climate Ethics in the Real World,’ Environmental Values 29 (2020): 153 – 174.
Dale Jamieson (2012). Ethics, Public Policy and Global Warming. In Allen Thompson and Jeremy Nendik-Keymer (eds). Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change. MIT. See bibliography at the end: a very good selection of readings to navigate in this vast field.
Stephen M. Gardiner (2012). ‘Are we the Scum of the Earth? Climate Change, Geoengineering, and Humanity’s Challenge.’ In Allen Thompson and Jeremy Nendik-Keymer (eds). Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change. MIT. This paper, from a leading climate ethicist, discusses the metaphors of our ethical involvement in the debate with focus on the ideas to technologically fix climate change. You can read it in conjunction with the first Jamieson’s article, below.
Jamieson, Dale. 2010. Climate Change, Responsibility, and Justice. Science and Engineering Ethics. 16(3): 431-445.
Stephen Gardiner (2011). A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. Oxford University Press.
Gardiner, S. (2010). Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Oxford.
Garvey, J. (2008). The Ethics of Climate Change: Right and Wrong in a Warming World. Continuum Press.
Skrimshire, S. (2010). Future Ethics: Climate Change and Apocalyptic Imagination. Continuum Books.
Bradley C. Parks and J.T. Timmons (2010). Climate Change, Social Theory and Justice. Theory, Culture, Society 27 (2-3). Provides a comprehensive theoretical introduction the South/North problematic relying on theory of international relations.
Arnold, D. (ed.) (2011) The ethics of global climate change Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Irwin, Ruth. 2010. Climate Change and Philosophy: Transformative Possibilities. London: Consortium International Publishing Group.
McKinnon, C. (2000). Runaway Climate Change: A Justice-based Case for Precautions. Journal of Social Philosophy 40 (2):187-203.
Nolt, J. (2011). Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Domination of Posterity. In Arnold, D. The ethics of global climate change (see above).
Wardekker, J.A. et al (2009). Ethics and Public Perception of Climate Change: Exploring the Christian Voices in the US public debate. Global Environmental Change 12 : 512-521.
On geoengineering: Much has been printed on the topic and the titles below are only a starter kit. Watch out for the blogosphere wilderness and stay clear off the chemtrails.
James R. Fleming (2010). Fixing the Sky: A Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control. Columbia.
David Keith (2013). A Case for Climate Engineering. MIT.
Mike Hulme (2014). Can Science Fix Climate Change? A Case Against Climate Engineering. Polity. The ‘anti-symmetry’ of these book titles is not random. Hulme’s a direct response to Keith’s argument, debated at Oxford an can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXaxMRyRIlU
1. basic concepts used in the literature on the economics of climate change
2. the principles of ecological modernization and the rise of green economy
3. economic analyses act as main climate policy drivers
Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg, ‘Climate Change and the Corporate Construction of Risk,’ in Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg, Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations, chapter 3, pp. 47 – 72.
John Browne (1998) Climate Change: The New Agenda. In Andrew Hoffman (ed). Global Climate Change. New Lexington Press.
NOTE: As BP CEO, John Browne caused controversy in 1998 when he acknowledged the existence of climate change and the need for his and other carbon-based companies to take into account the game-changing results of scientific research. Could be read in conjunction with Mackenzie Funk’s Windfall (see below).
Newell and Paterson (2010). History of Climate Change, Histories of Capitalism. In Newell and Paterson, Climate Capitalism, chapter 2. This chapter is downloadable from https://www.dawsonera.com/abstract/9780511785627 it is a readable, elementary introduction covering historical and conceptual ground, form the leading authorities on climate economics.
Stern, N. (2006) The Economics of Climate Change – Executive Summary. Cambridge.
Jankovic, V. & Bowman, A. (2013). After the Green Gold Rush: The construction of climate change as a market transition. Economy and Society. This article explores how some businesses use climate change as profit-making mechanism; it contains an introduction to eco-modernist ideas favoured by climate entrepreneurs such as Al Gore.
Chatterjee, P and Finger, M. (1994). The Earth Brokers: Power, politics and world development. London: Routledge.
DeCanio, S. (1997). The Economics of Climate Change. San Francisco: Redefining Progress
McKenzie Funk (2014). Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming. The Penguin Press.
William Nordhaus (2013). ‘The Economic Origin of Climate Change,’ in William Nordhaus, Climate Casino, Chapter 3. Nordhaus has been for many years involved in economic modelling of climate change scenarios. He disagrees with Stern on discount rates.
Hoffman, A. (1998), Global Climate Change. The New Lexington Press. Hoffman is a champion of ecological modernization.
Hoffman, A. (2006). Getting ahead of the curve: Corporate strategies that address climate change. Arlington, VA: The Pew Centre on Global Climate Change
Hoffman, A. and Woody, J.G. (2008). Climate change: What’s your business strategy? Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
William Nordhaus (2008). A Question of Balance. Weighing the Options on Global Warming Policies. Yale.
Barbie, E. (2010b). A global green new deal: Rethinking the economic recovery. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Samuel Randalls (2011). Optimal Climate Change: Economics and Climate Science Policy Histories (from Heuristic to Normative). Osiris 26: 224-242
Boyd, E., Boykoff, M. and Newell, P. (2011). The ‘new’ carbon economy: What’s new? Antipode, 43(3), 601–611
John Llewellyn and Camille le Chaix (Lehman Borthers), The Business of Climate Change.
Nelson, J. A. (2011). Ethics and the Economist: What Climate Change Demands of us. Ecological Economics 85: 145-154.
Lohmann, L. (2011). Financialization, commodification and carbon: The contradictions of neoliberal climate policy. In L. Panitch et al. (Eds.), Socialist register 2012: The crisis and the left, (pp. 85–107)
Boyd, E. (2009). Governing the clean development mechanism: Global rhetoric vs. local realities in carbon sequestration projects. Environment and Planning A, 41(10), 2380–2395
Bachram, H. (2004). Climate fraud and carbon colonialism: The new trade in greenhouse gases. Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, 15(4),
Bailey, I. and Wilson, G. A. (2009). Theorising transitional pathways in response to climate change: Technocentrism, ecocentrism, and the carbon economy. Environment and Planning A, 41(10), 2324–2341.
During the 1970s, USA and USSR came close to a diplomatic conflict over imports caused by the hemispheric-wide droughts, blamed for destroying staple foods and livelihoods. CIA issued a 1972 report on climate and food security, a decade before the scientific community began advocating action against greenhouse emissions to stop dangerous climate change. Today, it has become (almost) commonplace to link military conflicts or civil unrest to environmental factors (oil, diamonds, water, land) – and in some cases ‘climate change’ is cited as the main factor in causing political turmoil, including the latest Syrian exodus and devastation. In this session, we probe into how and why social scientists and the media make connections between climate, neoliberalism, neocolonialism and militarization.
1. survey the history of climate/conflict nexus
2. socio-natural mechanisms held responsible for conflict
3. use Syria as a case study the validity of the climate/security/conflict nexus
Jeroen Warner and Ingrid Boas, ‘Securitisation of Climate Change: The Risk of Exzaggeration,’ Ambiente & Sociedade 20 (3) (2017): 203- 224.
Jan Selby et al (2017). ‘Climate change and the Syrian civil war revisited,’ Political Geography 60 (2017): 232-244.
Peter H Gleick (2017). ‘Climate, water, and conflict: Commentary on Selby et al., 2017,’ Political Geography 60 (2017): 248-250.
Christian Parenti (2011). Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence. Nation Books.
Ingrid Boas, Climate Migration and Security (Taylor and Francis, 2015).
Daniel Abrahams and Edward Carr, ‘Understanding the Connections between Climate Change and Conflict,’ Current Climate Change Reports, 2017.
Jeroen Warner and Ingrid Boas, ‘Securitization of climate change: How invoking global dangers for instrumental ends can backfire,’ Politics and Space 2019 (37): 1471 – 1488.
CNA Corporation (2007). National Security and the Threat of Climate Change (Alexandria, VA: CNA Corporation, available at <http://www.npr.org/documents/2007/apr/security_climate.pdf
M. Williams and D. McDuie-Ra, ‘Constructing Climate Security in the Pacific,’ in idem., Combatting Climate Change in the Pacific (Palgrave, 2017).
Kurt M. Campbell, Jay Gulledge, J. R. McNeill, John Podesta, Peter Ogden, Leon
Fuerth, R. J. Woolsey, Alexander T. Lennon, Julianne Smith, and Richard Weitz (2007). The Age of Consequences: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Global Climate Change. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Center for a New American Security. available at <http://csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/071105_ageofconsequences.pdf
WBGU (2007) World in Transition: Climate Change as a Security Risk. Earthscan.
Collectiff Argos (2010). Climate Refugees. MIT.
Frnaziskus von Lucke et al. (2014). What’s at Stake in Securitising Climate Change? Geopolitics 19 (4): 857-884. A theoretical review of six different approaches to securitization and ‘riskification’ of climate change: i.e. why is climate change pronounced of importance to national and global security?
Rita Floyd (2010). Security and the Environment: Securitization Theory and US Environmental Security Policy. Cambridge University Press.
Rita Floyd (2012). Climate Change, Environmental Security Studies and the Morality of Climate Security’, e-International Relations, 20 Jan. 2012, available at <http://www.e-ir.info/2012/01/20/climatechange-
Maria Julia Trombetta (2008). Environmental Security and Climate Change: Analyzing the Discourse’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs 21 (4): 585–602.
Ed Young (2013). Climate Change and Violence. The Scientist, 1 Aug. 2013, available at
Nicole Detraz and Michele M. Betsill (2009). Climate Change and Environmental Security: For Whom the Discourse Shifts. International Studies Perspectives 10 (3): 303–320.
Indur Goklany (2012). Is Climate the Number One Threat to Humanity. WIREs Climate Change 3: 489-508. A comprehensive overview of several key areas in which the title claim can be made and the discussion on why such areas receive scant attention from ‘impact scientists.’
Richard A. Matthew (2014). Climate Change and Human Security. In De Mento and Doughman (eds). Climate Change: What it Means for us, Our Children and Our Grandchildren. MIT.
Harald Welzer (2012). Climate Wars: Why People Will be Killed in the 21st Century. Cambridge.
Jon Barnet (2001). Security and Climate Change. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Working Paper 7.
Nordås R., & Gleditsch N. P. (2007). Climate change and conflict. Political Geography, 26(6), 627–638. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2007.06.003
White S (2010) The climate rebellion of the early modern Ottoman Empire. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (forthcoming)
Barnett, Jon, and Adger, Neil, ‘Climate change, human security and violent conflict.’ Political geography 26.6 (2007), p.639-655.
Readings on Syrian conflict:
Marwa Daoudy, The Origins of the Syrian Conflict (Cambridge University Press, 2020).
Breisinger, Clemens, Tingju Zhu, Perrihan Al Riffai, Gerald Nelson, Richard Robertson, Jose Funes, and Dorte Verner, ‘Global and Local Economic Impacts of Climate Change in Syria and Options for Adaptation:.’ IDEAS Working Paper Series from RePEc (2011), p.1-34.
De Châtel, Francesca, ‘The role of drought and climate change in the Syrian uprising: Untangling the triggers of the revolution.’ Middle Eastern Studies50.4 (2014), p.521-535.
Femia , Francesco and Caitlin Werrell, ‘Syria: Climate Change, Drought and Social Unrest’ The Centre for Climate and Security (2012).
Kelley, Colin, ‘Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought.’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112.11 (2015), p.3241-3246.
Reuveny, Rafael, ‘Climate change-induced migration and violent conflict.’ Political Geography 26.6 (2007), p.656-673.
Weinthal, Erika, Neda Zawahri, and Jeannie Sowers. ‘Securitizing Water, Climate, and Migration in Israel, Jordan, and Syria.’ International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 15.3 (2015), 293-307.
During 2019, climate activism erupted with renewed power and through unorthodox means. The rise of Schools movement, Greta Thunberg’s celebrity status, and the controversial actions of Extinction Rebellion mobilized citizens and intellectuals to react to the state of climate policy and the role of direct and representative democracy in coming to terms with the climate crisis. The declaration of a ‘climate emergency’ has led many into a rhetorical overdrive with apocalyptic overtones, enhanced by the presence of the high-profile, media-established celebrities joining the call for immediate climate action on part of governments. This session looks into the activities surrounding the culture of emergency and in particular the media framing of Greta’s message and the political premises of Extinction Rebellion. Back to timetable
Dan Brockington, ‘The Tropes of Celebrity Environmentalism,’ Annual Reviews 12 (6) (2020): 1-24.
O. Berglund and D Schmidt (2020). ‘XR and Anarchism,’ in idem. O. Berglund and D Schmidt (2020), Extinction Rebellion and Climate Change Activism: breaking the Law to Change to World (Palgrave).
Mucha Mkono, Karen Hughes, and Stella Echentille (2020). ‘Hero or Villain? Responses to Greta Thunberg’s activism and the implication for travel and tourism,’ Journal of Sustainable Tourism 28: 2081-2098.
O. Berglund and D Schmidt (2020) Extinction Rebellion and Climate Change Activism: breaking the Law to Change to World (Palgrave).
Peter Hass, Robert Keohane, and Marc Levy, Institutions of the Earth (MIT 1993).
Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth,‘Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict’ International Security 33 (2008) 7.
Michael Jacobs, ‘How Civil Society Created the Paris Climate Agreement’(2016) Juncture 31 (2016): 22
Paul Gilding,‘The Extinction Rebellion: A Tipping Point for the Climate Emergency?’ Resilience (20 November 2018).
Elena Vavilov, ‘Lessons about activism from a Swedish high school student: A rhetorical analysis of Greta Thunberg’s public speeches on climate change,’ Diva Portal: https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A1353725&dswid=-612
Neil Gunningham, ‘Averting Climate Catastrophe: Environmental Activism, Extenction Rebellion and Colations of Influence,’ King’s Law Journal 30 (2010): 194-202.
J Smith and J Patterson, ‘Global Climate Justice Activism: ‘the new protagonists and their projects for a just transition,’ Ecologically Unequal Exchange Environmental Injustice in Comparative and Historical Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018
Sarah Portway, Climate justice isn’t sexy: The double failure of sustainable fashion marketing and activism,’ Fashion, Style and Popular Culture 6 (2019): 49-67.
N. Stenhouse, ‘Breaking Negative Sterotypes of Climate Activists: A Conjoint Experiment,’ Science Communication 41 (2019): 339-368.
Janet K Swim et al (2019). ‘Climate Change Marches as Motivators for Bystander Collective Action,’ Frontier Communication 4: 1-18 https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomm.2019.00004
The general and social media are the main channels of climate communication. The media provide the ‘frames’ to which to understand climate change, the requisite context for how to ‘feel’ about it, and the information on how the world is handling the challenge. It comes as no surprise that the images of climate change fashioned by media outlets replicate any interests of their owners and the ‘bottom line’ logic of a large portion of media content: news, preferably scary, and extraordinary news. Much is lost in such portrayals, but much is gained in the effect that such portrayals have on the public at large. Are the media helping or distracting the masses? How can they report without simplification, distortion and sensationalism? And does it matter what the media have to say, anyway?
Andrew C. Revkin (2014). ‘Climate Change as News: Challenges in Communicating Environmental Science.’ In Di Mento and Doughman (eds), Climate Change. MIT. A widely known environmental American journalist (eg New York Times), offers personal reflections on difficulties and opportunities in communicating climate change in the media.
Jankovic, V. & Schultz, D. (2016). ‘Atmosfear: Communicating the Effects of Climate Change on Extreme Weather.’ Weather Climate and Society 2016.
For a bibliography on climate change in the media, see the list compiled by Mike Hulme here.
Elke U. Weber (2016). ‘What Shapes Perception of Climate Change.’ WIREs Climate Change 7: 125-134.
Gavin, Neil T. 2009a. “Addressing Climate Change: A Media Perspective.” Environmental Politics 18.5: 765–780.
Kate Manzo (2010). Beyond Polar Bears? Re-envisioning Climate Change. Meteorological Applications 17: 196-208.
Boykoff, M. (2011) Who speaks for the climate? Making sense of mass media reporting on climate change Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 228pp.
Sheppard, S. (2011) Visualising climate change: a guide to visual communication of climate change and developing local solutions Earthscan, London, 320pp
Whitmarsh, L., O’Neill, S.J. and Lorenzoni, I. (eds.) (2010) Engaging the public with climate change: behaviour change and communication Earthscan, London.
In her book Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein claimed that capitalism needs global threats to control the labour market. In her recent book, This Changes Everything, Klein claims that climate change is the threat to our existence and way of life. Is her position contradictory? Is climate change a unique, one-off end of nature as we know it, or should it be contextualised as another case of the ‘millenarian’ thinking, another case of the society facing a wicked problem, similar to terrorism, wars, pollution, exploitation, racism? In this final lecture we explore climate change as a ‘wicked problem’ and analyse the social and political usefulness of the scenarios and other forms of predictive thinking employed to depict future state of Earth’s climate. Back to timetable
Ted Nordhaus (2019), ‘Empty Radicalism of the Climate Apocalypse,’ Issues in Science and Technology 35 (4): 69-70, 72-78. Try this extraordinary provocation and think whether and how you would reply to the author.
Swyngedouw E. (2010), Apocalypse Forever?: Post-political Populism and the Spectre of Climate Change. Theory, Culture & Society, 27(2-3), 213–232. http://doi.org/10.1177/0263276409358728
As related to the subject of catastrophe (not mandatory) see this review of Andreas Malm’s Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency: https://bura.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/21348/2/FullText.pdf
The Elsevier journal Futures is a hub for all interested in future studies as an academic field. Climate change and environment are well represented and if you wish to pursue a project on the topic, browsing through this journal is the first point of reference.
Maddox, J. (1972a) The Doomsday Syndrome. London: Macmillan.
Jorg Friedrichs (2013). The Future is Not What It used to Be. MIT.
Thomas, L. et al (2006), ‘Does Tomorrow Ever Come: Disaster narratives and public perceptions of climate change,’ Public Understanding of Science 15 (2006): 435-457.
Philip Catney and Timothy Doyle (2011). The Welfare of Now and the Green (post)politics of Future. Critical Social Policy 31 (2): 2011.
Eric Paglia (2016). The socio-scientific Construction of global Climate Crisis. The Northward Course of the Anthropocene. Stockholm.
Skrimshire, S. (ed.) (2010) Future ethics: climate change and apocalyptic imagination Continuum, London, 320pp
Pelling M., & Dill K. (2009). Disaster politics: tipping points for change in the adaptation of sociopolitical regimes. Progress in Human Geography, 34(1), 21–37. http://doi.org/10.1177/0309132509105004
Li, M. (2011). The 21st century crisis: Climate catastrophe or socialism. Review of Radical Political Economics, 43(3), 289–301.
|Class||Descriptor Incorporates the categories of •Structure and Argument •Knowledge and Understanding •Use of Sources and Data •Style and Presentation||Mark|
|Upper First||Exceptional work of the highest quality. It is exceptional in all or most of the following respects: accuracy and depth of knowledge and understanding; cogency, originality and logical development of argument; structural clarity and integrity; sophistication of methodology or theoretical framework; use of technical vocabulary and notation (where relevant); understanding and successful application of concepts; analytical accuracy and incisiveness; clarity and originality of thought; perceptiveness of insight; methods of data collection and/or analysis (when required); selection and presentation of examples; use of and critical engagement with sources; accuracy, lucidity and fluency of writing style and presentation, including word length, use of academic and referencing conventions (footnotes, bibliography, etc.) and formatting conventions (example numbering, interlinear glossing, etc.). The essential material is presented thoroughly, accurately and weighed appropriately. The work is highly authoritative and amply demonstrates very advanced knowledge and a very advanced ability to integrate the full range of principles, theories, evidence and techniques. The work attains all of the learning objectives of the unit and adheres to all guidelines.||100|
|Mid First||Outstanding work of a very high quality. It is outstanding in all or most of the following respects: accuracy and depth of knowledge and understanding; cogency, originality and logical development of argument; structural clarity and integrity; sophistication of methodology or theoretical framework; use of technical vocabulary and notation (where relevant); understanding and successful application of concepts; analytical accuracy and incisiveness; clarity and originality of thought; perceptiveness of insight; methods of data collection and/or analysis (when required); selection and presentation of examples; use of and critical engagement with sources; accuracy, lucidity and fluency of writing style and presentation, including word length, use of academic and referencing conventions (footnotes, bibliography, etc.) and formatting conventions (example numbering, interlinear glossing, etc.). The essential material is presented thoroughly, accurately and weighed appropriately. The work is very authoritative and amply demonstrates very advanced knowledge and a very advanced ability to integrate the full range of principles, theories, evidence and techniques. A further refinement of the argument, analysis, structure, style and/or presentation is needed to make the work exceptional. The work attains almost all of the learning objectives of the unit and adheres to almost all guidelines.||88|
|Lower First||Excellent work of a high quality. It is excellent in all or most of the following respects: accuracy and depth of knowledge and understanding; cogency, originality and logical development of argument; structural clarity and integrity; sophistication of methodology or theoretical framework; use of technical vocabulary and notation (where relevant); understanding and successful application of concepts; analytical accuracy and incisiveness; clarity and originality of thought; perceptiveness of insight; methods of data collection and/or analysis (when required); selection and presentation of examples; use of and critical engagement with sources; accuracy, lucidity and fluency of writing style and presentation, including word length, use of academic and referencing conventions (footnotes, bibliography, etc.) and formatting conventions (example numbering, interlinear glossing, etc.). The essential material is presented thoroughly, accurately and weighed appropriately. The work is authoritative and demonstrates advanced knowledge and an advanced ability to integrate a wide range of principles, theories, evidence and techniques. The work attains most of the learning objectives of the unit and adheres to most of the guidelines. A further refinement of the argument, analysis, structure, style and/or presentation is needed to make the work exceptional or outstanding.||78|
|Upper 2:1||Good to very good work, which exhibits an above average degree of knowledge and understanding; cogency, originality and logical development of argument; structural clarity and integrity; methodological or theoretical sophistication; use of technical vocabulary and notation (where relevant); understanding and successful application of concepts; analytical accuracy and incisiveness; clarity and originality of thought; methods of data collection and/or analysis (when required); selection and presentation of examples; critical engagement with sources; accuracy, lucidity and fluency of writing style and presentation, including word length, use of academic and referencing conventions (footnotes, bibliography, etc.) and formatting conventions (example numbering, interlinear glossing, etc.). The work addresses the specific topic very well and exhibits very sound skills of argument, analysis, critical engagement, expression and management of sources/evidence. The work attains many of the learning objectives of the unit and adheres to many of the guidelines. A further expansion, deepening, exemplification and/or refinement of the argument, analysis, structure and/or presentation is needed to raise the work to a higher standard.||68|
|Upper 2:2||The work is good in parts and exhibits a reasonable degree of knowledge and understanding; cogency, originality and logical development of argument; structural clarity and integrity; methodological or theoretical sophistication; use of technical vocabulary and notation (where relevant); understanding and successful application of concepts; analytical accuracy and incisiveness; clarity and originality of thought; methods of data collection and/or analysis (when required); selection and presentation of examples; critical engagement with sources; accuracy, lucidity and fluency of writing style and presentation, including word length, use of academic and referencing conventions(footnotes, bibliography, etc.) and formatting conventions (example numbering, interlinear glossing, etc.). The work goes some way towards addressing the specific topic and exhibits adequate but flawed skills of argument, analysis, critical engagement, expression and/or management of sources and evidence. The work attains some of the learning objectives of the unit and adheres to some of the guidelines. A more competent demonstration of knowledge and understanding and a further expansion, deepening, exemplification and/or refinement of the argument, analysis, structure and/or presentation are needed to raise the work to a higher standard.||58|
|Upper Third||The work exhibits sufficient knowledge and understanding; accuracy; clarity; analytical coherence; methodological or theoretical awareness; skills of data collection (when required) and/or analysis; presentational skills, including referencing and formatting conventions; and use of appropriate sources and evidence to warrant a basic pass. The work attains some of the learning objectives of the unit and adheres to some of the guidelines, but falls short of others by a significant degree. The work goes some way towards addressing the specific topic but exhibits markedly flawed skills of argument; critical engagement; expression and/or management of sources and evidence; data analysis; and use of technical vocabulary and notations (where relevant). Among the work’s deficiencies are some or all of the following: failure to address the question adequately; overly descriptive content; lack of detail and depth; simplistic or un-nuanced argument; inaccurate or unsupported claims; problems with the application and exemplification of concepts; inept handling and analysis of data; poor critical engagement with sources; poor expression; failure to adhere to prescribed word lengths. A much more competent demonstration of knowledge and understanding and of argument and analysis are needed to raise the work to a higher standard.||48|
|Compensatory Fail||The work demonstrates insufficient knowledge, understanding and skills in the specific topic and does not merit a pass mark. The work does not demonstrate adequately the study skills required at this level and fails to attain the learning objectives of the unit. Although the work shows some awareness of the topic, it omits many important facts and concepts, displays a lack of understanding of theoretical concepts, technical vocabulary and notation conventions (where relevant) and includes major errors of fact and analysis. There is little or no attempt to present and critically evaluate evidence or analyse (and collect) data (when required). The argument is difficult to discern and the content is mostly irrelevant. The work has minimal underlying structure and is frequently confused and incoherent, and/or there are problems with the word length. Extensive improvement is required in all of these areas of deficiency to raise the work to a higher standard.||38|
|Fail||The work demonstrates inadequate knowledge, understanding and skills in the specific topic and does not merit a pass mark. It does not demonstrate even a basic awareness of the subject matter and manifestly fails to attain the learning objectives of the unit. The awareness of principles, theories, evidence is insufficient, as is the understanding of concepts, technical vocabulary, notations and techniques of data analysis and exemplification (where relevant). There is little or no evidence of critical engagement or ability to apply concepts. The argument is non-existent, partial and/or unsubstantiated and the work is badly structured. Insufficient attention is paid to the quality, range and appropriateness of sources and evidence. The level of style and expression is markedly inadequate for this level of study and/or there are problems with the word length. Very extensive improvement is required in all of these areas of deficiency to raise the work to a higher standard.||28|
|Fail||The work demonstrates severely inadequate knowledge, understanding and skills in the specific topic and does not merit a pass mark. It shows little or confused awareness of the appropriate principles, theories, evidence and techniques, or of the understanding of concepts, technical vocabulary, notations and techniques of data analysis and exemplification (where relevant). The work manifestly fails to attain the learning objectives of the unit. There is little or no evidence of critical engagement or background reading or data collection (when appropriate). The arguments are unsubstantiated, unstructured, poorly presented, misrepresent and/or fail to demonstrate an understanding of the subject. The use of evidence and sources is inappropriate or non-existent. The level of style and expression is severely inadequate for this level of study and/or there are problems with the word length. Very extensive improvement is required in all of these areas of deficiency to raise the work to a higher standard.||15|
|Fail||The work is profoundly inadequate and does not merit a pass mark. It does not demonstrate any significant awareness of the subject matter and manifestly fails to attain the learning objectives of the unit. The work is confused and incoherent and does not address the question posed. There is little or no evidence of critical engagement or background reading or data collection (when appropriate). The arguments are unsubstantiated, unstructured, poorly presented, misrepresent and/or fail to demonstrate an understanding of the subject. The use of evidence and sources is inappropriate or non-existent. The level of style and expression is severely inadequate for this level of study and/or there are problems with the word length. Very extensive improvement is required in all of these areas of deficiency to raise the work to a higher standard.||5|
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