Extinction and Climate Change
About This Class
Human activities are causing a global extinction of plants and animals that rivals the five great extinction events over the earth's geologic history. Habitat loss, overharvest, invasive species and pollution have been the principal causes of this "Sixth Extinction." Climate change exacerbates all of these problems and poses even graver threats to global biodiversity. Ocean acidification –global warming's evil twin –threatens major damage to marine ecosystems. The course looks at how domestic laws like the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and international laws such as CITES, the Convention on Biodiversity, and the forestry provisions of the UNFCCC (REDD+) seek to respond to these threats. Guest speakers will help round out the understanding of the richness and complexity of the issues.
Method of evaluation: Three commentaries (500 words each) Final Paper (5000 words)