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& the Environment

  • Flitch Coffee 641 Tillery Street Austin, TX, 78702 United States (map)

In our last series, we tried to process the new presidency and make sense of the many--and still, sometimes, seemingly vanishingly few--possible ways to resist the administration's agenda. We expect that this is what we'll be talking about, in different ways, for a very long time.

For this next series, then, we wanted to continue to make space to discuss the Things Happening Now while also shifting our focus, at least a little. We've been planning this series, about the way "the environment" (in all the different ways we imagine it) underlines all of the other things we talk about, for a while. With the new administration in place, however, this issue has taken on a new urgency. 

We'll begin the series by specifically discussing the Trump administration's plans to dismantle Obama-era environmental policy, and how to think about those impending losses, as well as how to resist them. We'll follow that class up with one about environmental anxiety: how do we live in increasingly precarious environments? We'll then consider the effect of environmental instability on social stability with a class on war, immigration, and the environment, finally wrapping up with a consideration of how world religions understand and consider the environment. 

That probably sounds dark, and in lots of ways, it is. But throughout this series, we will also take seriously the question of how we live now: how do we find joy, meaning, a sense of connectedness, and even hope in our rapidly changing environment? Come help us figure it out, okay?   

We'll begin the series by specifically discussing the Trump administration's plans to dismantle Obama-era environmental policy, as well as how to resist them. We'll also read Kathryn Schulz's recent article in The New Yorker. While Schulz isn't writing about the environment, her moving article about loss and losing may give us some resources for thinking about the battles (environmental and otherwise) that we just won't win. 

Texts (optional, but encouraged):
Report: Trump Aiming to Sign Executive Orders on the EPA (The Hill)
When Things Go Missing: Reflections on Two Seasons of Loss (Kathryn Schulz)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Episode 40 (2/15/2017), Act One
(BONUS: Any of the recommended extra reading on Bee's site) 
White House page on the environment

Earlier Event: February 15
Methods of Civic Engagement: Postscript
Later Event: February 27
& the Environment: Anxiety