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There are few aspects of modernity more striking and significant than the changes that people have made to the physical and biotic environment. These are so significant that many natural and social scientists refer to a new geological age, the Anthropocene, a period in which the primary drivers of environmental change are human actions rather than just natural processes. This course will give students a critical introduction to some of the profound responsibilities of modern citizenship in the Anthropocene, including conceptualising and understanding how physical and social geographic processes interact in a complex world. Citizens needs to be informed about environmental science, planetary boundaries and safe operating spaces for humanity while at the same time understand economic and political, social and cultural dilemmas of our earth’s crises. The requirement for geographical and historical understanding requires both novelty and urgency in meaningful planetary stewardship.
This elective stream is run over two modules (GY699GA in semester one and GY699GB in semester two. In Semester Two, the module explores in more detail contemporary societal responses to global environmental changes in the four systems of climate, freshwater access and availability, biodiversity, and land use, for our common home, the Earth. We will also examine what changes are needed so that we might live in a sustainable, just and equitable Anthropocene.
Format: This module will be delivered through weekly lectures.