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The Simple Life
GRST 230
Fall 2012
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: ENVS 230

As the human population grows toward nine billion and our planet's carrying capacity comes under increasing pressure, many observers believe the human project itself is at risk. What human beings have accomplished is probably unique in the history of the universe; once lost to war, famine, and ecological collapse, the understandings and physical creations of our cultures will be irrecoverable. We must ask ourselves, with considerable urgency, the following questions: How do our values, our economic systems, and our behaviors--as individuals, groups, societies, and cultures--affect the conditions under which we, our descendants, and the plants and animals with which we share the earth might live in the future? To what extent and at what cost can technology enable us to adapt to changes already under way? Should we take an "après moi le déluge" attitude or try to prolong the life of our species, and if so, in what form? Does the so-called simple life, as conceptualized in different times and places, offer any useful models? Does living "green" make sense? What about environmental (in)justice? This course will draw on texts from a variety of periods and disciplines, written in a range of styles and from many perspectives, to examine how these questions and others can be approached. Although the subject matter is serious, challenging, and potentially depressing, the readings will include humor, and creative thinking will be strongly encouraged. Students will be welcome to suggest their own favorite readings on the subject.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA GRST
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENVS-MN)(ENVS)(GRST-MN)(GRST)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on OCT-01-2023
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