Capitalism or a Climate: Can You Have Both?

by Breanna Sewell

Hans Baer uses his 2008 article, “Global Warming as a By-Product of the Capitalist Treadmill of Production and Consumption—The Need for an Alternative Global System,” to address the causes and effects of climate change and the severity of it all. Baer classifies climate change as “one of the most important issues of the 21st century” along with the growing socioeconomic gap between the rich and the poor, which, he argues, are both caused by our capitalist society. Continue reading

Who’s To Blame for Climate Change?

by Breanna Sewell

Blame is one aspect of global climate change that is a bit of a touchy subject. In Peter Rudiak-Gould’s 2014 article, “Climate Change and Accusation: Global Warming and Local Blame in a Small Island State,” he addresses the two types of blame for climate change. Specifically, he looks at the potential causes and effects for the accusation that occurs regarding climate change in the small, Pacific Marshall Islands. Continue reading

Ignorance Is Bliss

by Breanna Sewell

Retired NASA astrophysicist and former leader in humanist organizations, Jordan Stuart, discusses the willingness and ability of people to counter the effects of climate change in his 2014 paper, “Is Action to Mitigate Climate Change Possible Today?” He introduces the topic by addressing the unfortunate state of our planet in regards to increasing amounts of natural disasters, and then continues on to state that global climate change is undeniably caused by human activity. Stuart writes that scientists have done enough to prove that global warming is the cause of climate change and that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are the cause of global warming, therefore we, as a people, should admit that we are the cause of climate change. Continue reading

Where Climate Change Meets Social Inequality

by Breanna Sewell

Author Phoebe Godfrey uses her paper, “Race, Gender & Class, and Climate Change” (2012) to address the potential sociological outcomes of global climate change, specifically in regard to the intersection and overlapping effects of the social constructs, race, gender, and class. She begins her article by denying the validity of the argument that global climate change may or may not exist and diverts the reader’s attention to the sociological effects of climate change; first admitting that, regrettably, environmental sociologists have only in recent years turned their attention to climate change, and then asserting her opinion that the “complementary and contradictory intersections” of race, gender, and class are present everywhere and their importance is underestimated. Continue reading

Psychological Effects of Climate Change

by Breanna Sewell

Global climate change adversely affects the Earth and its inhabitants in a multitude of ways. Perhaps one of the most noteworthy areas, although rarely noted, is the range of psychological effects that climate change can have on us. Susan Clayton and Thomas Doherty address this topic in their article “The Psychological Impacts of Global Climate Change.” The authors first discuss the potential causes of psychological effects that result from climate change. These include media representations of climate change and natural disasters, vulnerability versus resilience of individuals, and social and cognitive factors. Continue reading