Climate and History
Instructor: Juan Cole
Office Hours: 1-2 Tuesdays, 2527 Haven
Tel. 734 763 1599
Climate change has been a key element in earth's evolution from its inception. On two occasions biological organisms have been essential to transforming the atmosphere and climate. From about 1 billion years after the earth solidified, anaerobic bacteria endowed it with an oxygen-rich atmosphere. Since roughly 1800, human beings via the industrial revolution-- with its high carbon emissions -- have raised the parts per million of CO2 from 270 to over 400. This era has been dubbed the Anthropocene, a period when nature is powerfully shaped by the species of homo sapiens sapiens. Even in the era of recorded history before humans had a significant impact on climate, volcanic activity, sunspots and other phenomena caused climate change that had an impact on human history. This course will consider episodes where climate change affected the earth and then historical developments before and during the anthropocene. The course will also consider the discovery of human-induced climate change and its implications for contemporary history and economic systems.
Books at Barnes and Nobles, Wolverine Access outlets
John L. Brooke, Climate Change and the Course of Global History: A Rough Journal (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).
Michael E. Mann and Lee R. Kump, Dire Predictions Understanding Climate Change (New York: DK/ Penguin, 2nd Edition, 2015).
Christian Parenti, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (New York: Nation Books, 2012)
Gaia Vince, Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet we Made (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2014).
Course Pack at Dollar Bill's, 611 Church
January 12 Orientation: The Issue of Climate
January 19 Climate Change Overview
Mann & Kump, Dire Predictions, Parts 1 & 2
January 26 Overview Part 2
Mann & Kump, Dire Predictions, to endFebruary 2 Early Modern Cooling Period
Brooke, Climate Change, pp. 360-466
February 9 Beginning of Anthropocene & Modern History
Brooke, Climate Change, pp. 467-499
FIRST FIVE-PAGE ANALYTICAL ARTICLE DUE FEB. 10
February 16 Warming in the Twentieth Century
Brooke, Climate Change, pp. 500-580February 23 Remaking our World
Vince, Adventures in the Anthropocene, pp 1-149March 8 Changing Habitat
Vince, Adventures in the Anthropocene, pp. 150-298March 11 Climate Change and Middle East Crisis (Conference at International Institute): Extra Credit.
March 15 The Present and Future of Cities
Vince, Adventures, pp. 338-390March 22 NO CLASS
March 29 Climate and Contemporary Conflict
Christian Parenti, Chapters 1-10SECOND FIVE-PAGE ANALYTICAL ARTICLE DUE MIDNIGHT MARCH 29
April 5 Climate and Contemporary Conflict II
Christian Parenti, Chapters 11-16April 12 Climate Change and Syria
Juusola, Hannu. MARI, L., "The Internal Dimension of Water Security: The Drought Crisis in The Northeastern Syria." Managing (2010).FINAL 5-PAGE ANALYTICAL ARTICLE DUE APRIL 19
Caitlin E. Werrell, Francesco Femia and Troy Sternberg "State Fragility, Climate Vulnerability, and the Uprisings in Syria and Egypt," SAIS Review of International Affairs Volume 35, Number 1, (Winter-Spring 2015): 29-46.
Academic Integrity Policy: History 498 follows the academic integrity guidelines set forth by the College of LSA and the History Department. Students should familiarize themselves with both of these documents, which explain the standards of academic integrity and clarify the prohibited forms of academic misconduct. Students in History 241 should utilize the Chicago Manual of Style Online for all issues of source citation, along with any specific guidelines provided in the course assignments. Clarifying the disciplinary standards of research ethics and source citation is part of the educational mission of this course, and students should consult the faculty instructor and/or GSI regarding any questions. The penalties for deliberate cases of plagiarism and/or other forms of academic misconduct are a failing grade on the assignment. Cases that the instructor judges to be particularly serious, or those in which the student contests the charge of academic misconduct, will be handled by the office of the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education. All cases of deliberate academic misconduct that result in formal sanctions of any kind will be reported to the dean’s office, as required by LSA policy, which also ensures due process rights of appeal for students.