HC 232H : Consumerism and the Environment

Professor: Galen Martin

4.00 credits

  • CRN 22610: Tuesday & Thursday, 1215-1345 @ REMOTE

Within the current world economy, great disparities between rich and poor persist.  A relatively small percentage of the human population has access to a highly disproportionate share of natural resources, capital, information, and technology. As participants in the world’s largest economy we are part of a small percentage of the human population that has access to a highly disproportionate share of natural resources, capital, information, and technology.  We measure prosperity and wealth almost exclusively in terms of economic growth:  the more consumption, the more growth. Yet we seem no happier for the outcome.  Our insatiable appetite for more and our inability to define enough is abetted by a multibillion dollar advertising industry that permeates nearly all our private and public spaces.  At the same time, our economic behavior and consumer choices have profoundly altered the earth’s ecosystems and depleted non-renewable resources. These disparities and trends raise pressing ethical issues.  Do the emerging concerns and practices of “green” consumerism effectively resolve these issues?  What values and perspectives will inform your behavior as you become a full-fledged participant in this economy in the near future?