**UPDATE: The Global Warming class has been cancelled. We are saddened about the death of Professor Stephen Schneider. He was a valued member of the Stanford community and will be missed. You may learn more about Dr. Schneider's life and legacy in the Stanford Daily **
The class begins with a thorough but compressed tutorial of the physical and biological scientific basis for concerns about global warming. Then we will discuss the debate among economists, sociologists, ethicists, ecologists, business and environmental stakeholders and policy makers over the range of feasible adaptation and mitigation options needed to cope with the scientific projections. This discussion will reveal the need for explicit separation of value-laden judgments in managing risks from scientific judgments in evaluating risks. The need for such separation, we will see, is often obscured in media debates and in political forums like Congressional Hearings.
After quickly laying out the background, we will move to group participation via role playing: divide the class into groups, such as blocs of nations at UN meetings like Copenhagen in 2009 as well as into groups of Mainstream Climate-Change Scientists, Climate Change Deniers (Naysayers), Media of all types, and Policy Makers. In the context of the UN climate negotiations, each group will present its initial position and then we will negotiate a compromise - if achievable. For the other exercise, the Mainstream Climate-Change Scientists will present the science, the Naysayers will provide arguments countering the science and/or policy claims, and then each side will have a chance to rebut. The Media and Policy Makers will be allowed to ask questions at a press conference following the rebuttals. The Members of the Media will base their reports on insights from the presentations and the press conference. After watching all the various groups report and debate, Policy Makers will each present a plan of action, such as a draft of appropriate legislation. Additionally, participating in mock on-camera interviews will provide the participants an opportunity to learn about being interviewed by the media. Being on video will allow each of the interviews to be constructively critiqued.