I’m just wrapping up a semester of teaching a class I called Crossing the Climate Change Divide, an undergraduate seminar I led at Princeton University.
The effects of climate change are here, now. Yet Americans are divided on this singular issue. Or are they? While media often portray climate change debates as binary—fact-averse conservative denialists vs. Green-New-Deal leftists—the reality is that all Americans are experiencing changes in their own backyards. For some it is the impact of devastating extreme events such as wildfires or storm flooding; for others, it is noticing quieter shifts such as when spring blooms and birds arrive. How they process and understand these changes was the focus of our semester.
Our readings included:
- Bill McKibben, The End of Nature
- Andrew J. Hoffman, How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate
- Michael Mann and Tom Toles, Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy
- Naomi Oreskes and Erik. M. Conway, Merchants of Doubt
- Arlie Russell Hochschild, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
- Earl Swift, Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island
- Elizabeth Rush, Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore
- Candis Callison, How Climate Change Comes to Matter: The Communal Life of Facts
- Mitch Hescox and Paul Douglas, Caring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and A Healthy Environment
- Pope Francis, Encyclical on Climate Change & Inequality: On Care for Our Common Home
But for educators curious about the whole class, here’s the syllabus:
And I’d love to hear from others out there about the readings that you are using in your classrooms, too. Write me!