Earth’s Changing Climate: What is Causing It? What Will It Mean for You? – Beacon Hill Seminars (2016)


As a dynamic system with many changing components, Earth’s climate has been changing over the four billion years that life has existed on the planet. In recent centuries, however, the pace and severity of change have become unsettling, because the relative stability that had characterized roughly the last ten thousand years now appears to be changing in patterned and potentially catastrophic directions.

This course will review the major scientific understanding of the dynamics of climate change and then examine the implications of these changes for the future of communities, nation-states and the global human community. Particular attention will be given to droughts, floods, and the impact of climate change on agriculture. The course will then touch on how climate changes are likely to affect public health both locally and globally. Further attention will be given to the collapse of polar and glacial ice systems and the rise of sea levels around the world.

Strategies for adapting to climate change will be examined, with particular attention given to understanding which strategies are being proposed by which human communities and how likely they are to succeed in the foreseeable future.

Through assigned readings, video, documentaries, and films, students will be encouraged to reflect on what the changing climate will mean for them and to explore possible transitions to a sustainable future on this planet.  Participants will be given access to readings, news clips and further online resources to pursue any particular aspects of this problem which interest them.  Those who have questions may contact the instructor, Tim Weiskel at <>  or keep current with the succession of Seminar meetings through this online course at:

Tim Weiskel


Participants can obtain links to introductory and background material at:

Where Can We Turn to Learn?
Some Recent CCRA Videoblogs

Lecture Slides for Seminar Sessions (in reverse order – most recent first)









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