Changing Climate and Your Future


Imagine 50 years into the future. You have had a successful career and have either retired or approaching retirement. The current state of our science tells us that a changing climate is and will continue to be a stress on our people, land and water systems. In your professional lifetime it is highly likely that adaptation to a changing climate has been one of your professional challenges. The purpose of this homework is to have you consider what this may have meant during the course of your career. This is not something that will begin to happen in your distant future. Testimony for the Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division of the Minnesota House of Representatives last year featured climate scientists from the University of Minnesota who outlined data showing how the climate is already changing and modeled predictions on what could be in store for the future (a video of this hearing is on our canvas site). While their testimony is certainly sobering, it suggests that dealing with a changing climate will be a part of your future and you should be figuring out how to deal with these changes. Climate change is a politically fraught topic in this country and can be highly emotional and polarizing. Our challenge is to see through the emotion and focus on what we actually know, what the climate and natural resource scientists are predicting about the future and considerations for how we might adapt to a future climate.

Background Resources for this Homework

Go to the last module on the canvas site titled General Climate Information. There are numerous references in this module pertaining to climate change and projections of climate change.
You must choose at least 3 articles/videos from the list in this module to develop an argument on how you think our climate will change over the next 50 years. Obviously this will take some speculation on your part, but use reasonable projections based on current trends like the DNR Climate Trends website that you also used for Homework 1 and/or projections you can glean from articles or videos where scientists or reporters are making estimations based on scientific evidence. Be realistic and avoid the truly apocalyptic as well as the scenario where nothing will change (it has already started).
You may also use outside sources. This will be viewed positively when Iā€™m grading your homework, but is certainly not required. If you choose outside resources then be sure to also include at least two references from the canvas site.
Be sure to cite your references in your assignment.


Part I: What has been your profession for the past 50 years. Briefly describe the type of job that you have been engaged in and what your daily responsibilities have been.

Part II: State your assumptions about how the climate has been changing over these 50 years (remember, you are actually looking 50 years into the future) and what it is like as you near/begin retirement. Be sure to cite the references that you have used in coming to this conclusion. You may also want to refer to your response to HW 1 where you observed some climate trends in Minnesota.

Part III: How has a changing climate you discussed in Part II impacted you over the course of your career. How has it been a part of your work? I encourage you to think broadly, creatively, objectively and realistically. And be concise ā€“ limit your response for Part III to no more than one page. You will be evaluated on how well you incorporated the pertinent aspects of Part II and other information into your response as they relate to your future profession. For the purposes of this project, assume that you were based in Minnesota (but could have done a lot of traveling in your job). This homework should also help to prepare you for your upcoming class project.

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