Earth Ethics Institute
Miami Dade College
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Climate Change, Energy, Engagement, Solutions


6 hours of Professional Development (In application process)
2 hours Reading Prior to Workshop, 2 hours After workshop

Facilitated by Colleen Ahern-Hettich and Dr. Jack Parker

Climate Change is referred to by many as the single most important challenge facing civilization today. A brief history of climate research, human impacts on climate, and current international agreements on safe temperature increases as well as opportunities and solutions to this challenge will be reviewed. Prior to the workshop, participants will: 1) read an article detailing facts and figures related to fossil fuel consumption and impact on global warming resulting in climate change; 2) read an essay exploring the moral and ethical issues of choosing to continue warming the atmosphere; 3) read an overview of why climate change poses significant challenges to our perceptual, cognitive and affective information-processing systems, making it and its threats difficult to engage with and appreciate. During the workshop, participants will view and discuss top climate scientist James Hansen’s TED Talk titled Why I must speak out about climate change (20 minutes). Finally, a short review of climate impacts facing South Florida will be given and renewable energy sources as alternatives to fossil fuel use will be discussed.


-Describe how humans are impacting climate
-Explain how global warming relates to current extreme weather events
-Describe expected impacts of climate change on South Florida
-Explain the importance of 2 degrees centigrade in relation to climate change
-List six psychological challenges posed by climate change to the human moral judgment system
-List six strategies that can be used to bolster the recognition of climate change as a moral imperative
-Identify opportunities to address human caused climate change
-List renewable  energy sources that are available as alternatives to fossil fuels

Resources :

Reading--- Prior to workshop:
David Orr – Long Tails and Ethics: Thinking about the Unthinkable
Bill McKibben  - A Matter of Degrees, 2 page article from Orion Magazine,  or Global Warming’s Terrible New Math, 9 page article from Rolling Stone
David Roberts - Why Climate Change Doesn’t Spark Moral Outrage, and How it Could

Other articles/resources of Interest:
John Dorschner - Rising Sea Levels, Falling Real Estate Values, Miami Herald

Lisa Bennett -10 things you want to know about human nature if you’re fighting climate change

Energy Conservation - Take Personal Action

Miami-Dade County Resources on Climate Resilience

Climate Central - An independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the American public

Climate Central Maps - Sea Surge

Jim Hansen – Why I must speak out about climate change (TED Talk, February 2012)

PowerPoint - Climate Change and Sustainable Energy for a Warming Planet by Jack Parker

Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change. In doing so he outlines the overwhelming evidence that change is happening and why that makes him deeply worried about the future.

Since the late 1970s, Hansen has focused his research on Earth's climate, especially human-made climate change. Hansen is known for his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in the 1980s that helped raise broad awareness of the global warming issue. Hansen is recognized for speaking truth to power, for identifying ineffectual policies as greenwash, and for outlining the actions that the public must take to protect the future of young people and the other species on the planet.

Evaluation will include completion of readings, workshop, and participant must develop a discipline specific lesson plan that incorporates exploration of an understanding of human contributions to climate change and opportunities for solutions.  Lesson plan is due to the director of Earth Ethics Institute within three weeks of the workshop, and will be posted on the Earth Ethics webpage.

Hosted by EEI and CTD. To register and for more information:



 Chandra links pulsar to historic supernova 


Earth Ethics Institute • An Earth Literacy Resource Center Serving MDC Administrators, Faculty, Staff,  and Students, as well as the South Florida Community
Miami Dade College • 300 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Room 1201, Miami, FL 33132-2204 • t: 305-237-3796 • f: 305-237-7724