Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 5 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

What is ‘anthropogenic’ climate change?

What are the ethics of climate change? Watch Greta Thunberg, a young climate change activist, speak to the European Parliament. Share your views.

In week four we look at the ethics of climate change.

Some climate change just happens naturally. The Sahara Desert was once lush grassland, until changes in the Earth’s orbit exposed it to increasing sunlight. But other climate change is caused by humans and our way of life. This is called anthropogenic (from the Greek – ‘anthropos’, meaning ‘human being’, and ‘genesis’ meaning ‘origin’) climate change.

What concerns us this week are changes to our planet’s climate that are caused by humans.

This video shows Greta Thunberg, a young climate change activist, speaking to the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment about anthropogenic climate change.

In the video she repeatedly says that ‘our house is on fire’. Here she refers to what many see as a climate catastrophe that has already started. In her speech she makes an emotional appeal for action, an appeal for a change to the ways we live.

Share your thoughts

What strikes you as the most important aspects of Greta Thunberg’s speech?

This article is from the free online

Global Ethics: An Introduction

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now