This course introduces the academic approach of Sustainability
and explores how today’s human societies can endure in the face of global change, ecosystem degradation and resource limitations. The course focuses on key knowledge areas of sustainability theory and practice, including population, ecosystems, global change, energy, agriculture, water, environmental economics and policy, ethics, and cultural history.
This subject is of vital importance, seeking as it does to uncover the principles of the long-term welfare of all the peoples of the planet. As sustainability is a cross-disciplinary field of study, this foundation requires intellectual breadth: as I describe it in the class text
, understanding our motivations requires the humanities, measuring the challenges of sustainability requires knowledge of the sciences (both natural and social), and building solutions requires technical insight into systems (such as provided by engineering, planning, and management).