Group C - Concept Mapping of Seminar Topics
Why does climate change matter?
Why Climate Change Matters: a concept map
Dr. Uta Eser at HfWU's office for Economics and Environment delivered a discussion on Why Climate Change Matters. There she discussed the history of a number of major organized conferences and documents produced in answer to this question, starting namely with the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Written agreements between major industrial countries detailing how they will handle their carbon dioxide and other pollutants (KYOTO Protocol, from the COP 3, 1997) have been at the connection between the ethical and political aspects of the issue. These agreements have been in some cases effective for outlining development, but in some cases they have been neglected or rejected entirely by certain nations. An ongoing series of summits (annual COP conferences) have continued to address this issue and bring it to international attention.
Dr. Eser's delivery also neatly outlined the question of sustainability, as defined as (paraphrased) the use of natural resources in such a way that it doesn't impede following generations in their same use. Prudence, Justice, and The Good Life are three catagorical answers for why we should care about Climate Change, which stem from our personal interest, moral obligation, and quality of life, respectively. Dr. Eser made use of this framework throughout the lecture, addressing a number of human issues such as social and environmental justice; wealth distribution, consumption and incentive; generational justice and the precautionary principle, and strategies for engaging these issues.