Climate Boundaries, Energy Finance, and Culture (Summer 2015)

Although much of the news on climate change has been dominated by US-China climate deal, ‘War on Coal,’ and the scientific pedigrees of various Congressional candidates, the televised headlines dramatically obscure other leading climate policy developments. Behind the scenes, the climate policy community has increasingly focused on the financial dimensions of avoiding a catastrophic temperature increase. To fuel a transition, low-carbon societies will require diverting up to a trillion of dollars a year away from business as usual investments toward more climate-friendly infrastructure and activities, which implies titanic shifts in business patterns. This daunting challenge has provided opportunities for creative thinking — ranging from alternative approaches for addressing energy poverty in developing countries to a renewed critique of fossil fuel companies’ business models and the divestment movement to quickly move from the drawing board to senior corporate and political discussions.

Led by John Wunderlin, the first part of each session in this seminar will focus on providing an introduction to the scientific, political, and economic foundations of this trend, followed by a more open-ended discussion about how this connects to long-standing themes in cultural criticism and art, such as political consciousness and activism, consumer and corporate responsibility, and international poverty/development.

COURSE SCHEDULE:

Monday, June 29
Tuesday, June 30
Wednesday, July 1
Thursday, July 2
Friday, July 3

All sessions: 10 AM-1 PM