Friction between the struggles for ecological renewal and for economic justice: Can we achieve both? (Spring 2015)

Wendell Berry once said, “I am against climate change, but even more, I am against the things that cause climate change.” Top-down efforts to avert climate catastrophe are mostly blind to the problem of economic injustice and inequality. Bottom-up efforts such as the climate justice movement often do work toward both goals, but at some point, individuals and groups within the movements tend to veer one way or the other, gravitating toward either economic or ecological goals and setting other concerns aside. It appears difficult to fuse the two into one coherent vision. We will discuss these questions: How is this split between defending the Earth and defending our fellow Earthlings evident in the climate struggle globally, and in struggles over resources, including energy, soil, water, and food? To what extent can the ecological—economic friction be explained by the fact that these struggles are being played out in a capitalist world? Will it be possible to build a durable society that is ecologically rooted and at the same time committed to economic justice for all? What will that take? And what can be the role of artists in addressing these issues?

Course Schedule:

Tuesday, April 1
Wednesday, April 2
Thursday, April 3

All sessions: 2-6 PM