Climate change and issues of environmental degradation can often feel too big to tackle. A problem of a global scale demands global solutions, and attempts to provide such solutions often have mixed results. For example, the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris saw many countries commit emissions. However, even if countries honor these commitments, it remains unclear whether these reductions would do enough to keep global temperatures from rising. For students at environmental science colleges, it can be difficult to determine precisely how they can best apply their skills to contribute to efforts against carbon (CO2) emissions and their impact on the climate.

A recent paper published in Science suggests a “carbon law” dictating that emissions should be halved every decade. According to the paper, this heuristic would help make it clear whether or not efforts to reduce emissions are actually sufficient, and make it clear when political concerns are obscuring environmental goals. As a concrete, measureable guideline, a carbon law could serve as an excellent reference point from which students and professionals alike can evaluate the effectiveness of their climate-oriented work.

Study the Economic Side of Climate Change with a Sustainability Science Degree

Given that carbon emissions are, for the most part, a byproduct of human energy production and consumption, the factors that drive energy policy and resource management are critical to understanding how emissions can be limited. One of the most fundamental of these factors is economy and its interplay with energy and resource systems.

By pursuing a Sustainability Science degree, you can gain more technical insight into the impacts of environmental policy from a systems-thinking perspective. This is knowledge that can be applied in many ways that are relevant to the carbon law, from public policy, to private project management, and beyond.

A Unity College degree will help you bring the environment and economics together. Source: iStock/swkunst

Environmental Science Colleges Blend Psychology and Philosophy with the Natural World

Many scientists lament that, when it comes to climate change, cognitive dissonance appears to be the dominant perspective on the issue: decision-makers just don’t seem to understand the magnitude of the environmental consequences at stake. Environmental Science colleges like Unity College give context to this problem through courses that examine the psychological and philosophical underpinnings of contemporary approaches to resource and wildlife management. This “human touch” is necessary for students who want to develop emissions solutions that real-world influencers and decision-makers can and will apply in order to sidestep the frequent problem of vague, intangible commitments often made by states and leaders on the international stage.

Professionalizing your passion for sustainability will help you protect your environment. Source: iStock/weerapatkiatdumrong


Develop Strategies for Change with a Sustainability Science Master’s

Ultimately, the principle behind the carbon law is that addressing emissions and climate change requires a big picture, strategic approach that contextualizes particular initiatives within our collective, global needs. Unity College’s online M.S. in Professional Science helps students develop the skills and knowledge required to synthesize the quantitative, economic underpinnings of resource management with the social components of human systems. In turn, students will be in an ideal position to contribute to comprehensive emissions reduction strategies that might make the goals of the carbon law within reach, after all.

Want to find out more about how you can contribute to the carbon law?

Contact Unity College to learn how an online Sustainability Science Master’s could be right for you.