By Patricia Valoy, Contributing Editor, Science and Social Justice
Earlier this month the president of the United States withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement, a pioneering agreement formed at the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in 2015. Countries from all over the world came together to discuss the effects of climate change and the catastrophic impact of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The convention culminated in an agreement signed by 195 countries vouching to reduce emissions in order to keep the global temperature from increasing by more than 2 degrees Celsius. Simply put, every country committed to a goal and the responsibility for figuring out how to meet their goal.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FDuqYld8C8 Mni Wiconi features water protectors from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and allies trying to stop the 1,100-mile Dakota Access Pipeline – DAPL. Interviews in the film include Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Chairman Dave Archambault II; Jodi Gillette, former White House advisor for Native American Affairs; Ladonna Allard, founder of Sacred Stone Camp; Winona LaDuke, founder of Honor the Earth; and Cody Hall, Red Warrior Camp spokesperson. Created by Divided Films with support from the WK Kellogg Foundation.
By Kelly Hayes
I write these words on what’s a cold night in my city, and a much colder night where my heart is — with my friends in Standing Rock. My writing, which typically centers movements, often sways between news and analysis. My coverage of #NoDAPL has been no exception. But this piece is neither news nor analysis, because these words are for you, my people, for our Protectors and resistors — for those who aren’t seeking to be heroes, but who are nonetheless members of heroic movements and communities.
By Gabrielle Jolly
In an interview with Peter Mansbridge from CBC News in March 2016, David Suzuki claimed that we have fundamentally failed as environmentalists. This is a worrying statement coming from an acclaimed environmental activist, yet difficult to deny given the consistent need for public protest and outcry over things like the placement of a pipeline or waste facility. The environmental movement inspired by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962 has been a long uphill battle. Individuals and communities half a century later are still forced to challenge the dominant discourse of industrial development that denies the right to a healthy environment.
This course draws on multiple sociological perspectives to examine two interrelated domains: 1) how dimensions of social organization shape the production and distribution of environmental health and illness in the United States; 2) how we know and regulate relationships between the environment and human health. Central to our examination is the question of how environmental health has been understood in various social worlds, at different historical moments, and by different (and often, competing) social actors. We will look at these questions across sites, including industry, clinics, neighborhoods, scientific laboratories, social movements, and government regulation and policy making. Dr. Sara Shostak Brandeis University Syllabus
The natural environment exists independently of how we think and talk about it, but we can only know it in human terms through our discourse about it. Our understanding of the environment is unavoidably constructed through the symbols we use to depict it in public discourse. Through scientific studies, media coverage, government hearings and other forums, we define the environment and our relation to nature through speech, writing, and images. And the ways in which we depict nature have profound consequences for what we do to it, through individual acts of consumption or conservation, and social acts of policy making, pollution, and protest. Given the power of our symbol making for the fate of life on the earth, students of the environment can benefit from understanding the tools and theories of public communication. Because all life, including ours, depends on the health of natural systems, students of communication must pay…
Through current and historical cases, this course explores the diverse influences that shape environmental science and politics and their pedagogical, professional, social, and moral implications for educators, environmental professionals, and concerned citizens. Dr. Peter Taylor University of Massachusetts Boston Syllabus
Since the concept first came to be widely represented in the conservation community in the early 1990s, Community-Based Environmental Management (CBEM) has been incorporated in conservation and natural resource management initiatives around the world, from integrated conservation and development (ICDP) projects in the buffer zones of protected areas in Nepal to urban forestry initiatives in New York City. The goal of the course is to provide students with information and analysis that will allow them to identify some of the potential problems and pitfalls involved in CBEM along with the tools necessary to create and managed their own projects. To accomplish this, we will combine readings and discussion of academic literature with presentations of specific CBEM case studies by bi-weekly guest speakers. The students will also select a CBEM project close enough to them geographically for easy visits and will use this project as the focus of a series of…
Comparative Environmental Policy: This course emphasizes the comparative study of the domestic and international environmental policies of advanced industrial states with an emphasis on the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The key questions under study are: 1) How do differences across countries in political institutions, political culture, regulatory style, and economic structure influence domestic and foreign environmental policies? We will focus in particular on how environmentalism emerged across countries and how science is introduced and interpreted in the policy process. 2) What impact do these differences have on the ability of states to achieve cooperative solutions to common environmental problems? 3) What influence do international environmental interactions have on domestic environmental policy? Dr. Loren Cass College of the Holy Cross
This is an introductory-level course in environmental economics. It is primarily designed for sophomores and juniors who want to study environmental concerns with an interdisciplinary focus. More specifically, the course attempts to incorporate basic principles of both economics and ecology that are essential for a comprehensive understanding and critical assessment of the human’s historical struggles to “coexist” with the natural environment. These ecological and economic principles are also used to shed light on some key contemporary and controversial environmental policy issues. Dr. Ahmed M. Hussen Kalamazoo College Syllabus