What to Expect
In this assignment, you will be working collaboratively with your peers to either expand on existing action plans or propose possible political strategies addressing the ethical challenges or opportunities associated with climate change. "Important: This is a public forum, anyone can view and/or edit your Wiki pages."
Prior to the First Session
- Review the Using the UBC Wiki how to guide “how-to” videos and tutorials
- Read and understand required readings:
- Chapter 10 from Global Ethics textbook,
- Background material of the Global Climate Justice Case
- Working action plans proposed by previous students at the bottom of the Global Climate Justice Case
- Decide on whether you would like to expand on existing action plans or to create your own proposal prior to Friday
- Bring a laptop or other suitable device to discussion sections on Friday so you can edit existing and/or add your proposal to the wiki (you will be able to share in groups if you don't have one yourself).
Friday Tutorial (more details below)
- You will either expand on previous action plans or create proposals to address ethical obstacles or opportunities to address global climate change; this will be written directly into the Wiki
- You are encouraged to edit the wiki after the class discussion
Class Activity: How Should We Address Climate Change?
In groups of 3-4, either expand on one existing proposed action plan or write up one possible political strategy to address the ethical challenges or opportunities to address climate change.
Option 1: Expanding Existing Action Plans
Write your response directly into the wiki by clicking on the link to the action plan that you want to expand upon at the bottom in the the last section under "Student Action Plans."
To contribute, make sure that you are logged into the wiki with your CWL, and click "edit".
Option 2: Creating New Proposal
Write your response directly into the wiki by clicking on one of the links to the action plan templates that are at the bottom in the the last section under "Student Action Plans."
Depending on who your group believes should be responsible for the most effective and ethical actions to address climate change, select an appropriate group and complete as much in the sections as you are able.
To contribute, make that you are logged into the wiki with your CWL, and click "edit". Do not worry about incomplete sections – rather, clearly mark areas with unanswered questions for others (or yourselves) to complete in the future.
If your proposed solution is based in a locality, specify which location. For example, if your group bases its actions in regional-level governments, specify which government you are talking about, e.g. the British Columbian Government. You may also choose a specific movement or advocacy group to focus your analysis.
Probing Questions to Consider
To get started on your proposals, you may find it helpful to consider some of the following questions:
- Which principles (in addressing global environmental ethical challenges, like climate change) are the most relevant and most important to you?
- What do you think is the most ethical approach to addressing climate change?
- Who is most responsible for addressing climate change? Citizens, corporations, governments, international organizations? Are there some groups who bear more responsibility than others? Why?
- At which level is political action most needed? Most effective? Individual, municipal, regional, national, international or global? Why?
- What kinds of actions are most effective? For example, climate change was highlighted during the recent Opening Ceremonies at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Are actions such as that useful and effective in mobilizing political action?
- Who stands to gain from your approach? Who stands to lose? How can you make it seem fair or at least acceptable to as many concerned as possible?
- How will your proposed actions be enforced and/or otherwise get sufficient buy-in? Who is responsible for ensuring compliance?
- What are the steps you need to take to carry about your proposed plan?
- What are your emotional reactions and/or responses to climate change? How might these emotions influence or impact your decisions and proposals?
- What challenges/barriers to your plan do you anticipate? How will you address these issues?
Before the next lecture class on Monday, please review the responses of other groups and be prepared to discuss the pros and cons of various proposals: which ones would you support as likely to gain the most traction?
This activity forms part of your participation grade in the course.
For the links to the action plans, see the bottom of the editable wiki version of the case study .
- Web version of the case study providing an overview of the issue on the UBC Open Case Studies project site: http://cases.sites.olt.ubc.ca/global-climate-justice/
- Powerpoint presentation of brief overview of international environmental legislation, bodies (from Stockholm Conference to United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012): http://rcen.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/earth_summit_presentation.pdf
- Government of Canada's Climate Change information page: http://www.climatechange.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=F2DB1FBE-1
- TEDtalk - Al Gore: The case for optimism on climate change (2016): http://www.ted.com/talks/al_gore_the_case_for_optimism_on_climate_change
- TEDtalk - Gordon Brown: Global ethic vs. national interest (2009): http://www.ted.com/talks/gordon_brown_on_global_ethic_vs_national_interest