Course Descriptions

HS 304A — Environmental Justice and the Human Effects of Climate Change

To study environmental justice and the human effects of climate change is to study historical and continuing environmental harms that have disproportionately affected communities of color in the United States and around the world, and to consider what blend of science, policy, advocacy, and leadership it takes to ensure the fair distribution of environmental benefits and burdens. 
In this course, students will study at the intersections of environmental history, climate science, ecology, poverty, race and gender inequity, and public health. Readings draw on the work of climate  scientists, investigative journalists, ecologists and environmentalists, engineers and technologists,  community and social justice advocates and civic leaders, poets, policy makers and lawyers,  economists, financial investors, historians, and medical professionals. The majority of readings and  other source materials are authored and compiled by women and people of color across generations  and geography. We will focus on understanding how human health, well-being, and life trajectories  are inextricably linked to the health of the natural environment, and how the linkage occurs through the use of natural resources, the consequences of extracting those resources, and the impact on the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the green spaces, land, lakes, oceans, and rivers we enjoy, and overall ecosystem quality and integrity. Usually offered every year.
Susan Curnan