This course is a critical examination of the relationships between social inequalities and environmental degradation, both in the U.S. and internationally. Through case studies and comparative literatures, we will survey a variety of topics that reveal the complex interactions between social structures of power and environment, including the distribution of environmental hazards across race and class, urban health and sustainability, energy and environmental security, as well as natural resource rights and management. One prominent theme running throughout the course will be that of climate injustice, or the environmental injustices associated with climate change, from the burdens borne by communities associated with coal and oil extraction, to the justice considerations within global climate policy. Throughout the course we also will study critically the development of a broad-based environmentalism of the poor, most notably environmental justice organizations and community-based resource management efforts. The class will also feature a semester-long service-learning project.
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