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Geopolitics: The Science of Climate, Energy and our Future - GEOS251

Any newspaper you pick up today is guaranteed to have a story in it about global warming or energy security; famines; super-storms; mining magnates; conflict over diminishing resources or the death of the Great Barrier Reef; renewable energy; nuclear energy; the Paris Accord or acid rain. These all represent key aspects of the single greatest issue facing global society today: climate change. This topical unit explores both the science and politics behind climate change. We examine the links between population growth, fossil fuel use, agriculture and changing climate within the context of Earth’s history. This is contrasted against an investigation of the political and economic drivers of continued fossil fuel use, including an examination of the ongoing debate regarding resource security and how this has influenced pivotal policy decisions and recent historical events, such as the war in Iraq. The social and environmental consequences of such fossil fuel use will be considered, including the risks posed by rising sea levels, increasingly severe natural disasters and potential changes to atmospheric circulation such as a weakening of the Asian Monsoon. Finally, solutions to the climate crisis will be proposed. We will assess the efficacy of geopolitical approaches, such as the IPCC and the Paris Accord, as well as technological solutions, including the rise of renewable energy.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

S1 Day - Session 1, North Ryde, Day

S1 External - Session 1, External (with on campus sessions)

Staff Contact(s): Professor Simon George, Dr Chris Firth

12cp at 100 level or above Prerequisite Information


Unit Designation(s):


Unit Type: People unit
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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