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Climate - Peril to Possibility
A Continuing Education Course at Tacoma Community College

Discover a science-based overview of climate change and its wide-spread impacts. Develop an emotionally intelligent approach to climate solutions. Learn the social justice dimensions of climate change. Explore eco-wise practices and perspectives from indigenous traditions.

Four online sessions, offered on Saturdays, April 17 to May 8, from 10:30AM to noon

Instructors: CCL Tacoma's John Doherty and Climate Psychologist, Leslie Davenport

Register here

Course Details

Session One: Climate Change:  What’s Real, What’s Not [April 17]

John Doherty


This session will provide a factual basis for learners as they take on what will be new areas of exploration for most of them, areas that go well beyond the physical science of climate change. We will answer the following questions in an interactive format:

  1. How are human activities changing the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans?

  2. How can we know what’s true and what’s not regarding climate change?

  3. Knowing the causes of climate change, what steps can we take to mitigate and adapt to the changes?

  4. What are the barriers to instituting these changes, and how do we overcome them?  NOTE:  A full answer to this question will rely on perspectives presented in Session Two.


Session Two:  Emotionally Intelligent Approaches to Climate Solutions [April 24]

Leslie Davenport


The links between stress-responses and environmental concerns will be explored, along with the behavioral health features of denial. Participants will learn emotional resiliency skills that can be integrated into daily life. A values-based exercise will bring into focus how each person’s unique talents and interests can contribute to sustainability efforts. It will be interactive with Q&A and discussion throughout.


Session Three: No Climate Justice, No Climate Solution [May 1]

John Doherty with guest presenter (TBD)


Across the planet persons who are least responsible for climate change are paying the steepest price.  Here at home the poorest amongst us bear the brunt of the harm that stems from climate change, harm in the form of environmental disasters and toxic pollution.  In many cases, these harmed populations are part of the BIPOC community. John will provide world and home data from research supporting the injustice of climate change effects.  This will be followed by a 30-minute talk given by a person qualified to speak from both a scientific perspective and from the BIPOC perspective.

  • Key point:  addressing climate change requires that we address climate justice. Q&A to follow.


Session Four: Eco-Wise Indigenous Practices [May 8]

Leslie Davenport with guest presenter (TBD)


Leslie will summarize key Indigenous teachings from Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset of the Penobscot Nation, that include eco-wise cultural values such as reciprocity and inclusiveness vs. competition. This will be followed by a 30 minute talk by a member of a local Indigenous Tribe on their ecological perspectives with Q&A to follow.

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