About this Course
This seminar explores the proposition that successfully coping with today's environmental threats requires deeper challenges to our prevailing system of political economy than mainstream environmentalism in the United States has been willing to mount. It develops the idea that a new American environmentalism is needed and with it new environmental policy and law that go beyond the traditional realm of environmental affairs. The nature of the modern corporation and its role in politics and in an increasingly globalized marketplace; consumerism and commercialism and the lifestyles they offer; the overriding priority routinely accorded economic growth; social injustice and its links to environmental prospects; the anthropocentric, materialistic and contempocentric values that currently dominate in American culture; and the prospects for a new environmental politics are among the topics that will be examined. The question will be raised whether it is desirable and possible to transition to a new economic model where the priority is to sustain human and natural communities, and, if so, what new policies and politics might promote such a transition.