Intro to Ecological Economics – Fall 2021

Fall 2021, Thursdays, October 14th – December 9th

An Introduction to Ecological Economics

8 weekly classes with our Ecological Economist, Fred Jennings. Classes will be held on Thursdays from 12 – 2 pm and 7 – 9 pm ET to accommodate students’ schedules.

Come explore the ecological foundations for economics and economic mechanisms to support healthy ecology in this introductory course. Join this foray into Ecological Economics for a fully interactive online adventure with discussions, experiments and explorations for independent thinkers of any age, suitable for high school and college students, as well as inquiring minds of all levels, from beginner to PhD!

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the underlying economic causes of the ecological crises with which our society is currently faced. We will start with an examination of traditional economics, sympathetically and critically, and then introduce an ecological approach that brings nature into alignment with the principles of human social organization.

Each week, we will address a series of issues in ecological economics intended to provide students with an understanding both of an economics aligned with natural processes and of what went so wrong in a traditional approach to this subject that has failed us so consequentially to support the entire ecosystem upon which all earthly species depend. The primary focus of this course will be to develop policy options addressing the climate crises currently confronting us, and economic solutions to produce sustainable, long-term benefits for the ecological health of our planet.

Course Schedule

The classes will start on Thursdays, October 14th through December 9th (with no meeting on Thanskgiving Day, November 25th). We will have weekly two-hour online Zoom meetings scheduled for 12:00-2:00 PM and 7:00-9:00 PM US Eastern Time. Students are invited to attend whichever of these two sessions are most convenient for them.

Course Expectations and Format

Readings will be assigned for each week that students are expected to complete prior to each weekly class period, in order to facilitate an intelligent discussion and understanding. A short report on weekly readings of 1-2 pages each will be due each Monday after the Thursday class.

The course will end with a final paper on a topic chosen by the student that serves to integrate and tie together some of what has been learned throughout the course. These reports and final papers will be reviewed and commented on, and – with students’ consent – shared with the class to encourage a cooperative learning process in accord with the spirit and intent of this course.