Thursday, January 31, 2008

Teach Global Warming

Today is the day of Focus the Nation's national Teach-in on the subject of global warming.

I just learned about the event this week--and my classes aren't meeting today--so I'm sorry to say that I'm not participating this year.

Focus the Nation has assembled teaching resources for higher-ed related to global warming in about 30 disciplines, including anthropology, math, and physics. These teaching resources, which have been
submitted by participating educators, include lecture notes, research results, TV and radio interviews, graphics, and suggestions for classroom activities. But there are no materials related to philosophy! Although there is a category labeled "Ethics," it is cross-linked with "Religion" and the content concerns religious views on climate change. I would think that a number of different philosophy courses could find a place to discuss global warming--practical ethics, environmental philosophy, philosophy of science, and social theory.

This is a shame, and I would not put the blame on Focus the Nation for overlooking our field. Rather, I think it reflects the regrettable disengagement of philosophers from public affairs. I intend to participate in next year's event on Feb. 5, 2009!

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