Professor Smithey has been teaching his course, “Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking” again this semester, and right now the second of two delegations of Swatties are on their way to Glasgow Scotland to observe the COP26 meetings (read their daily blog), so many of us have been thinking in considerable detail about the pace of climate disruption, who is responsible, impacts with respect to positive and negative peace, how to steer a global economy into an unprecedented turn, and more.
For reference, we want to just leave this carbon countdown clock right here:
This semester, professors Gardner and Crossan have been teaching a new course offering that lies at the intersection of Peace and Conflict Studies, Environmental Science, and Japanese history. From nuclear fallouts to natural disasters and the respective social movements they spawned, the class provides a comprehensive overview of the past and present traumas grappled with in Japanese society as well as avenues towards social change. Students will collaborate virtually with local community partners and peace activists on projects related to the studied topics. For students interested in taking this course, it is listed also for the Spring 2023 semester. The complete course description is quoted below:
“This course will explore the history, contemporary situation, and future possibilities regarding the interlinked realms of the environment, historical trauma, and social movements in Japan. Topics will include the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings and the subsequent peace and anti-nuclear movements, the environmental movement in Japan, and the “triple disaster” earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant disaster in Fukushima and Northeastern Japan. We will also discuss how environmental issues intersect with other current social issues such as rural depopulation, an aging population, and gender and economic inequality, and study a variety of contemporary approaches to addressing these issues. Under the guidance of Lang Professor for Social Change Denise Crossan, we will study the theory and practice of social entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social change and explore applications of this model in Japan. In addition, throughout the semester we will engage with community partners in Japan, particularly in the Hiroshima area, through online exchanges and collaborative projects related to contemporary environmental and peace activism.”
Please join the students in Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking (PEAC 055 / ENVS 031) for an infographic session (similar to a poster session) on Monday morning December 10 at 10:30 a.m. in Shane Student Lounge.
Refreshments provided. This is a zero waste event.
With thanks for support from the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility
PEAC 055. Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking
(Cross-listed as ENVS 066, SOAN 055C)
The course will examine several ways in which climate change is a driving force of violent and nonviolent conflict and creates opportunities for peacemaking and social justice. Already, climate change has been identified by the U.S. military as a threat to national security, offering a new rationale for expanding the military industrial complex. Demands on scarce resources generate and exacerbate regional conflicts and drive mass movements of refugees. Behind these dramatic manifestations of climate stress lie extensive corporate and national interests and hegemonic silences that emerging conflicts often reveal. Conflict also brings new opportunities for peacebuilding, cooperation, and conflict resolution. Climate crises have renewed and expanded local and global movements for environmental justice and protection, many of which have historical connections with the peace movement. In support of the college’s carbon charge initiative, we will dedicate part of the course to understanding what constitutes the social cost of carbon and how it is represented in carbon pricing, particularly with respect to increasing frequencies of armed conflict and extension of the military industrial complex.
We would like to express our deep gratitude to our co-sponsors: The President’s Office at Swarthmore College, The Dean’s Office at Swarthmore College, The Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College, The Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore, Peace and Social Justice Program at Bryn Mawr, Peace Conflict and Human Rights at Haverford, and the Tri-College Environmental Studies Program. Thanks also to George Lakey of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore and Chloe Tucker of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford who also went on the trip.
The conference organizers were very helpful in organizing homestays for our students with Tufts students, many of whom take Swarthmore alum Sa’ed Atshan’s ’06 course at Tufts, “Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies”!