Environmental Ethics: The Yasuni-ITT Initiative

Basic Questions For This Class

What was the Yasuni-ITT proposal? What is the underlying philosophy of this proposal, and how does it help us understand environmental ethics? How can we understand this proposal, and environmental ethics generally, through multiple disciplines (politics, economics, biology, history, and philosophy)? Why didn’t Yasuni-ITT succeed? As residents of New York City, how can we learn from/apply Yasuni-ITT?

[Course taught during Fall II semester of 2014 at Guttman Community College, City University of New York]

Course Calendar and Readings

Week 1–INTRODUCTION

Week 2: HISTORY

  • Monday, Jan. 12
    • Read (homework): Judith Kimerling: “Oil, Contact, and Conservation”– Sections I-IV
    • FEI 4
  • Tuesday, Jan. 13
    • Read (homework): “Oil, Contact, and Conservation”–Sections VII-VIII
    • FEI 5
  • Thursday, Jan.15
    • Short Commentary 1: In-Class

Week 3: BIOLOGY, ECOLOGY

  • Tuesday, Jan. 20
    • Final Draft of Short Commentary 1 Due
    • Watch (in class): Crude
  • Thursday, Jan. 21
    • Read: Bass, Margot S., et al. “Global conservation significance of Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park.” PloS one 5.1 (2010): e8767.
    • FEI 6
  • Monday, Jan. 26
    • Science Presentations: In-Class
    • MIDTERM DUE

Week 4: ECONOMICS

  • Tuesday, Jan. 27
    • Read (homework): Polanyi, Karl. The Great Transformation. Chapters 3-7, p.19-55
    • FEI 8
  • Thursday, Jan. 39
    • Read (homework): Vogel, John. The Economics of the Yasuni Initiative. Chapters 1+2
    • FEI 9
  • Monday, Feb. 3
    • Vogel, Chap. 3+4

Week 5: POLITICS

  • Tuesday, Feb. 4
    • Read (homework): Backer, David. “To Drill or not to Drill”
    • FEI 11
    • First Draft of Short Commentary 2 (out of class)
  • Thursday, Feb. 6
    • Lecture I
    • Final Draft of Short Commentary 2 (out of class)

Week 6: FINAL REFLECTIONS

  • Monday, Feb. 10
    • Lecture II
  • Tuesday, Feb. 12
    • Lecture III
  • Thursday, Feb.13
    • FINAL PAPER DUE
    • Video Conference

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