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Monday, February 29, 2016

Environmental Ethics Fall 2016

Returning to MTSU, Fall 2016- 
Environmental Ethics 
Priority registration for Fall '16 is coming soon. If you're interested in/concerned about the health and future of "the only home we've ever known," consider registering for PHIL 3340, Environmental Ethics - TTh 4:20, BAS ___ MW 2:20, JUB 202 More info at http://envirojpo.blogspot.com/, or email phil.oliver@mtsu.edu. 

Some presidential candidates' recent statements* give plenty of cause for concern. Climate change, says one, is "very low on the list... we have much bigger problems.” Another explicitly rejects the science of global warming as just a flawed "computer model." And another admits the science but says jobs matter more.

And yet there are important glimmers of hope, as sustainable alternatives to the fossil industry continue to make unprecedented forward strides. Our focus in the course will be on the political opposition to an effective response to environmental degradation, AND on genuine reasons for optimism that such a response is still within our reach. 

TEXTS:  
  • This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein 
Klein argues that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crisis humanely should not be viewed as grim penance, but rather as a kind of gift—a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds. And she documents the inspiring movements that have already begun this process: communities that are not just refusing to be sites of further fossil fuel extraction but are building the next, regeneration-based economies right now.
  • Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis by Tim Flannery 
Time is running out, but catastrophe is not inevitable. Around the world people are now living with the consequences of an altered climate—with intensified and more frequent storms, wildfires, droughts and floods. For some it’s already a question of survival. Drawing on the latest science, Flannery gives a snapshot of the trouble we are in and more crucially, proposes a new way forward, including rapidly progressing clean technologies and a “third way” of soft geo-engineering.
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