Global EE – just don't mention economics

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

Here's a new MOOC from Cornell University: Environmental Education: A transdisciplinary approach to addressing wicked problems.

The organisers say:

"The goal of this course is to create an environmental education “trading zone”— an online space where scholars and students gather to learn about multiple disciplines that shed light on how to improve environmental quality and change environmental behaviors.  Each of the lectures, readings, discussions, and case studies will focus on the implications of a particular discipline for environmental education, as well as what environmental education has to contribute to related disciplines and sectors.  Learn about how environmental education, environmental governance, environmental psychology, environmental sociology and other disciplines can work together to address ‘wicked problems,’ not readily addressed by working in disciplinary silos."

Did you notice that phrase trading zone?  No wonder it had scare quotes round it, as this sounds rather like a market place, which will be enough to get anti-neo-liberal activistas in a lather.  And did you notice the discipline most notably absent from the list?  Economics.  Why does no one understand that this discipline is at the heart of most of the wickedness that this programme sets out to address?  A baffling blind spot.

This mysterious absence of economics from environmental education is, of course, mirrored by the lack of much consideration of environment in economics education, as I have noted before with reference to Manchester's the post-crash economics society.  Steve Gough is one of the few people who writes about environmental education and economic thinking, and his latest book: Education, Nature, and Society raises many issues. The Steady State folk at the Daly News write about economics and the environment all the time.  I hope all these ideas manage to infiltrate the Cornell course.

Anyway, to register, just go here.




Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

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  • Not for nothing, but this oversight was one of the main reasons we wrote and edited that entire EER SI on capitalism's neoliberal variant. Sounds like you're not a fan of the "activista" analyses in that issue. I look forward to your (and others) scholarship building on the conversations that we started in that issue. So yes, more economics all the way around in EE scholarship, I say.