Humans are at a critical juncture in their relationship with the environment. Many of the global changes occurring in the atmosphere, climate, and oceans can be attributed to human activity. While the standard of living has increased for many people across the globe, the technological advancements that have made this possible endanger future generations because of their environmental impacts. Environmental toxins and air pollution are increasing, and fossil fuels and forests are being depleted at unsustainable rates. Now more than ever, the viability of human life depends on the scientific understanding of global environmental change, and on developing science-based policies to both protect the environment and promote human well-being in a just and sustainable manner. Course mission: enhance your capability to be environmentally informed consumers and citizens based on a sound understanding of the ecological, technological, economic, political, and ethical dimensions of environmental sustainability.
Why take this course in Rome?
This course is about climate, energy, resource inequities, and hope for the global future. We take to heart the axiom, “Think globally, act locally.” To that end, we will be studying environmental sustainability issues in Rome and Italy—among them water management (from rivers to aqueducts to flood control and “living with floods”), energy consumption, air and water quality, waste management (including recycling), and urban and metropolitan planning. To the extent that time and energy permit, we will visit a landfill and recycling facility, examine the Tiber River and other watercourses (possibly join a river cleanup activity), and study issues in the city arising from noise, light, traffic, and air pollution. Food production and distribution will be studied in the contexts of the slow food movement and the “agriturismo” boom. This will be achieved through a combination of class and individual activities. We will compare sustainability metrics with Philadelphia, the U.S., and other cities and countries—and we will be able to enhance this with more field excursions than is typical for the main campus-based version of the course. Walking and use of public transit for course activities is encouraged and expected.
This course fulfills a GenEd Science and Technology (GS) requirement for Temple students. Students cannot receive credit for this course if they have successfully completed Earth and Environmental Science/Geology 0842, Environmental Studies 0842/0942, or Geography and Urban Studies 0942.
In Rome, this course is cross-listed with ENST 0842 and GUS 0842.