Anthropogenic climate change may be the source of our planet’s eventual doomsday, but at least it taught me the significance of integrative learning.
True, I might be overstating the inevitability of climate change. But by combining the social, scientific, political, and economic ramifications of the topic into one course, it’s impossible to remain optimistic. The variety of perspectives did synthesize a more holistic understanding of climate change, but in such a way that I no longer have faith in the future. Science dictates that the current momentum of climate change cannot be stopped, no matter how much fossil fuel usage is curtailed. Politics currently show that powerful governments are driven by economic domination rather than morality. And climate change policy – no one can agree.
So, how did I discover integrative learning in HNRS-200?
Ultimately, the fusion of science, policy, and politics lent to the formation of my pessimism. Yes, I did merge the three subjects in preparation for the mock negotiations of the UNFCCC as a representative of Russia. In fact, my study of Russia may be at the root of my negativity. Russia, whose economy is driven by the fossil fuel industry, whose leader continually ignores the impending demise of natural resources in favor of political and economic superiority, and whose officials deny the irrefutable science of climate change, gives me no hope for the future.
In other words, my quest for integrative learning came at a severe cost: my loss of confidence.
(Though I might just be dramatic, as Russian officials often say of scientists who prove the existence of climate change)