GEOG 438W
Human Dimensions of Global Warming

Summary

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In this lesson, you learned about the human causes of climate change, starting with anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and the most important types of greenhouse gases emitted by human activities. You then focused on the human activities responsible for those emissions and the underlying forces driving those activities. You also learned about mitigation and possible types of mitigative actions. The lesson concluded that mitigation requires major changes in our lifestyles and policy interventions at local, state, and Federal levels. Mitigation is a necessary component of addressing climate change, and it will not be easy. We have our work cut out for us.

Making such changes necessarily entails significant policy intervention. It is not surprising that more-conservative elements of society and government resist changing the way they live; it is not surprising that we have the “climate wars” we will investigate at the end of this course.

In the face of an expanding global population, and given that the current path is leading to significant and perhaps catastrophic climate change, mitigation requires:

  1. major interventions in the environment;
  2. significant changes in day-to-day activities; and
  3. basic changes in society that will affect our technologies, economic system, institutions, beliefs and behaviors, and even the structure of families.

Reminder - Complete all of the Lesson 2 tasks!

You have reached the end of Lesson 2! Double-check the Lesson Assignments list on the Lesson 2 Overview page to make sure you have completed all of the tasks listed there.