Class of 2010
We recommend two excellent books as supplemental reading to this year's course. "The Bridge at the Edge of the World" by J. G. Speth and "Hot, Flat and Crowded" by Thomas Friedman. We hope to convene some after class discussions to examine the analysis and proposals contained in these stimulating tracts.
Speth is Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and founder of the Natural Resources Defence Council. His book begins with a clear and scholarly analysis of where we stand environmentally. You will have the urge to underline items on almost every page as he neatly presents the troubled state of our planet's systems. He asserts and documents that despite all efforts to date we are not getting the job done. Then in the latter part of the book he examines the economic/political/social system in which we live and makes the case that it contains serious flaws which cannot properly take ecological and social needs into account. Whether you agree with him or not, his analysis and critique of the corporation and his prescriptions for change will in itself make for stimulating thought and discussion!
Friedman is the NY Times foriegn affairs columnist and former advocate of globalization. His jounalistic style makes for quicker reading, and his globe trotting lifestyle flavors his analysis of environmental problems with the kind of anecdotes that take an abstract problem and make it real. It almost seems to be written as a briefing and an appeal to the incoming President. Friedman is upbeat that there can be a win-win solution for the economy and the environment if the nation makes a full and immediate commitment to "code green".
Is Friedman being realistic? Is Speth the incarnation of Karl Marx? You be the judge and share your ideas with classmate later this year.