The year 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. Writings and legislation from that time sought to discuss and address the many growing environmental challenges the world faced. The idea of sustainability became current: to create conditions for the human presence to endure, along with the ecosystems in which it is embedded.
Despite some successes, the challenges remain and have grown since that time. The many problems we face are hard to deal with in isolation, and no amount of effort seems enough to keep up as the problems worsen. The climate crisis is a case in point. Maybe we haven't worked hard enough, or maybe we've been going about sustainability the wrong way.
Radical Sustainability explores the intersection of these now critical challenges--extinction, climate change, and many others--as well as the physical and social constraints on action to address them. Our aim is to identify the pressure points for an effective response, within the geo-ecosystem and the human systems embedded within it. Radical Sustainability is radical both by being fundamental and by being activist, recognizing that sustained large-scale change is urgently necessary if we are to persist and thrive on an Earth that itself is changing.
In addition to studying physical science, which establishes the conditions for the life of all beings, a justice-aware sustainability requires us to think scientifically about society as well. The course will consist of lecture, discussion, visits from experts, field trips, and class actions to promote competent and effective engagement with the issues.