ENVI 313(F) (formerly 211) Global Trends, Sustainable Earth
This course examines the possibility of sustainable development, an economy in which material prosperity pursued together with preservation of the life-support systems of the human and natural world. Over the past 200 years the human presence on the planet has changed dramatically, as seen in long-term trends of environmental modification, population growth, and economic change. These and other data are reviewed, in an effort to illuminate the idea of a gradual transition toward sustainability. Sustainability is examined as an emergent phenomenon-not a simple idea imposed from above, but the product of decentralized learning, market innovations, and social changes at many scales. Simulation exercises providing metaphors of emergent phenomena are used to stimulate imagination and thinking. Format: seminar. Requirements: a long research paper designed by the student, several simulation exercises, and a brief final exam. No prerequisites. No enrollment limit (expected: 10). This course satisfies the "Environmental Policy" requirement for the Environmental Studies concentration.