Saturday, November 28, 2009


Last additions to our syllabus are up. Hard to believe, but our final week together, at least as a community, officially speaking, is, like, you know, nigh.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Keywords Final

There are well over a hundred keywords listed below from among the many more terms we have taken up and deployed over the course of our readings and conversations this term.

For your Final you are to create three categories (conceptual, practical, figurative, whatever) entirely of your own choosing and design, and then subsume under each of these categories a number of keywords from the list below which seem to you to be related to one another in a significant or useful way through each of your chosen categories and in respect to your sense of the overall subject of our course together. "Green" is not a Keyword in the list -- but your own idiosyncratic inhabitation of Greenness, your own sense of what Greenness most importantly consists will likely emerge in the Final taken as a whole.

For each keyword you choose, provide a clear and concise definition of the term (nothing more than a sentence, at most two) in your own words, and then follow that definition with a quotation from one of the assigned texts from our syllabus. The quotation should be one that is especially illuminating for the definition you have made in some way: the quotation can be a definition that yours is a variation of, the quotation can be an example or illustration that supports your definition, the quotation can provide an analogy or figure or frame that inspired your definition, the quotation can even be something that seemed so wrongheaded to you that it provoked your definition as a kind of protest or intervention.

Your final must provide definitions and quotations for at least thirty-six keywords but no more than forty. None of your categories can contain fewer than seven keywords and none can contain more than sixteen keywords.

Each of your categories should have a title and a general explanatory paragraph (and I do mean a paragraph, not an essay) indicating what you take the category to delineate.

You can hand the final in to me personally at any time from now to the end of term, but I ask that you send it to me as a Word-readable attachment in an e-mail if you cannot place a hard copy directly into my hands. The last possible deadline for submitting the final is via e-mail, noon, Tuesday, December 15, 2009. Think about when your other finals are scheduled and when your other papers are due and fit this final Keyword Project into your schedule in a way that best suits your own situation. If you have time to get this done early rather than last minute, by all means do so. You should give yourself a good few days to do this work, since scouting through passages and notes across the whole term often yields unexpected syntheses that lead to revisions of your initial categorizations and keyword groupings. I hope this exercise is an enlightening and enjoyable one for you all rather than a drudgery. Be experimental, exploratory, earnest about it and you are almost sure to get incomparably more benefit from it.

If you have questions, always feel free to post them in Comments, e-mail them to me, raise them in class, or talk with me about them in office hours.

Here are the Keywords I'm having you choose from:

Access-to-Knowledge (a2k)
Appropriate Technology
Biosphere II
Cap and Trade
Climate Change
Climate Refugees
Climax Ecosystem
Common Sense
Consensus Science
Creative Commons
Deep Ecology
Ecosystemic Services
Edible Landscaping
Endangered Species
Energy Descent
Environmental Justice Movement
Environmental Racism
Farmers Market
Industrial Agriculture
Input Intensive
Instrumental Rationality
Integrated Pest Management
Intentional Community
Intellectual Property
Natural Capital
One Size Fits All
Peak Oil
Peer-to-Peer (p2p)
Political Ecology
Precautionary Principle
Public Good
Resource Descent
Seed Saving
Seed Sharing
Slow Food
Small Is Beautiful
Smart Grid
Social Ecology
Technical Metabolism
Triple Bottom Line
Urban Agriculture

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Links Are Up

It's Toxic World Week, not exactly cheery reading, I'm afraid -- sorry if it spoils anybody's giving of thanks festival preparations.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Spring Courses in Rhetoric

Some of you have expressed interest, so here are the full descriptions:

Rhetoric 105 -- Homo Economicus: Setting the Stage of Enterprising Modernities

We will treat the mannered comedies book-ending the early modern Augustan period and the late modern twentieth century as both documents of and negotiations of the ramifying terrains of enterprising North Atlantic modernities. In these insistently witty plays we will discern not only the shifting urban and institutional landscape of globalizations, mass mediations, technoscientific disruptions, market disciplines, social administrations, raced and gendered relations alive across these London scenes, but also the no less shifting agencies available from the mutable, calculating, contractarian, indebted, disreputable, stylish, desiring and desired rationalities making their play there. A simplifying assumption of our course will be that in the historical figures cut by the Earl of Rochester, Oscar Wilde, and David Bowie, respectively, we discover if not exemplary then at least indicatively provocative figures that capture an emerging enterprising lifeway while at once bringing that lifeway into a highly edifying crisis from which it never will recover even when it comes to prevail. It is no accident that these figures obsessively recur in the mannered comedies we will survey together.

George Etherege: The Man of Mode
William Wycherley: The Country Wife
Laurence Dunmore: The Libertine (film)
William Congreve: The Way of the World
Richard Sheridan: The School for Scandal
John Gay: The Beggar's Opera / Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill: The Threepenny Opera
Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest
Noel Coward: Design for Living
Noel Coward: Hands Across the Sea
Joe Orton: Entertaining Mr. Sloane
Joe Orton: The Good and Faithful Servant
Todd Haynes: Velvet Goldmine (film)
Jennifer Saunders: Absolutely Fabulous (Television Series): Episodes: "Iso Tank," "Death," "Doorhandle"

Together with these mannered comedies we will be reading selections from Hobbes On Wit and Laughter, Addison and Steele's The Spectator, Willians', The Country and the City, Holland's The First Modern Comedies, Canfield's Tricksters and Estates, Hirschman's The Passions and the Interests, Brockway's The End of Economic Man, Bristol's Effeminate England, Sinfield's The Wilde Century, Harvey's The Limits to Capital, Goux's Symbolic Economies, Adorno's The Culture Industry, Lahr's Coward and his Prick Up Your Ears, Buckley's Strange Fascination: David Bowie the Definitive Story, Debord's Society of the Spectacle, and who knows what else... All of the plays and readings will be available either online or in a reader available for purchase at the beginning of term.

Rhetoric 171 -- Altars and Alters to the Market: Rhetoric in the Neoliberal/Neoconservative Epoch

We will track some of the key popular and polemical exchanges that have for a time, or even still, captured the imaginations, mobilized the movements, and organized the subcultures through which an ongoing clash has played out in the reception of the New Deal and its aftermaths reverberating right up into the present day. This is a discursive clash of Altars offered up to and Alternatives offered up against what have variously been construed as exemplary "market orders." Our texts form key moments in contrary canons, whatever their relative merits, and we will be reading them as time capsules, as symptoms, as crystallizations more often than as particularly sound arguments (which too few of them manage to be). And we will be striving whatever our initial sympathies may be to inhabit all these texts in a way that connects us to whatever it is that has been so compelling in each of them to so many, whatever the outcomes to which their assumptions and aspirations likely contributed in the way of mischief or emancipation. We will be reading:

John Maynard Keynes, Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren, The End of Laissez Faire, Open Letter to FDR, Proposal for an International Clearing Union (all online)
Ludwig von Mises, Planned Chaos (online)
Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson (online)
The Grapes of Wrath (film), The Fountainhead (film)
Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (online)
Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Leonard Lewin, Report from Iron Mountain
John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society
Milton and Rose Friedman, Free to Choose
Peter Shwartz, The Long Boom
John Perkins, Confession of an Economic Hit Man
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
Mike Davis, Planet of Slums
Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine
Bill McKibben, Deep Economy

Along with these texts we will also be reading contemporary speeches drawn -- well, mostly -- from Presidential campaigns and definitive public addresses by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, Howard Dean, and Barack Obama.

While not required, good background reading for the course might include looking over Kim Phillips-Fein's Invisible Hands, Rick Perlstein's Nixonland, Norman Soloman's Made Love Got War, and David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

dale's face, priceless :)

bringing to you rhetoric!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Green Eats Links Are Up

Lots of stuff for next week -- but notice that most of these pieces are rather short before you panic or despair. Enjoy. Remember, I'd like three reports both Tuesday and Thursday. If you haven't gone yet, jump on it!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Techno-Green Week Links Are Up

As you will soon see it is quite an overwhelming embarrassment of riches. Assuming I have returned to good health and all, next week should be a real barn-burner.

Building and Mobilizing A Movement in the Face of Climate Catastrophe

Join Us At is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis -- the solutions that justice demand.

Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis -— to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.

In order to unite the public, media, and our political leaders behind the 350 goal, we're harnessing the power of the internet to coordinate a planetary day of action This Saturday, October 24, 2009. We hope to have actions at hundreds of iconic places around the world -- from the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef to your community -- and clear message to world leaders: the solutions to climate change must be equitable, they must be grounded in science, and they must meet the scale of the crisis.

If an international grassroots movement holds our leaders accountable to the latest climate science, we can start the global transformation we so desperately need.

Go to for more information.

Plug in your zip code to find an Action near you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fair Warning

I am feeling quite craptacular this Wednesday evening, worse than yesterday. This is what comes of being a superannuated wreck with questionable habits. I am holding out hope for the therapeutic power of "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Glee" tonight but I make no promises. Please keep your eyes on this blog tomorrow. If I'm still feeling like this -- not to mention horrifically coughing like this -- tomorrow around 2pm I'm just calling it a day and going back to bed. But things might turn around overnight, stay tuned, think happy thoughts, we'll see.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

For Today --

Be sure that at the very least you have read and are prepared to discuss two of the shorter pieces assigned for today, one of which talks about an Environmental Racism study asserting complex causation for discrimination and the other of which talks about the racism playing out in some National Park and wildlife preservation work. All told, these pieces demand something like four pages of reading. Have copies on hand, marked up, and ready to roll. We're going to have some true rhet-style fun today.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

America's Best Idea

Is anybody else watching the new Ken Burns doc on National Parks? The discourses of nature deployed both in the guiding conceits of the piece itself as well as in evidence in some of the most moving materials it cites are enormously interesting for our course-community. Some marvelous stuff so far in ep 1, do others agree, disagree?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Co-facilitating Discussions and Writing a Precis

One of the key assignments for our course will be your co-facilitation of class discussion of one of the assigned texts. This assignment also requires that you generate a précis of the text you are taking responsibility for. This precis should provide a point of departure for your contribution to the discussion in class, and you should publish it to the blog the day before class to give everybody a chance to think about the text in the terms that interest you.

Think of this precis as a basic paraphrase of the argumentative content of a text. Here is a broad and informal guide for a precis, consisting of questions you should always ask of a text as you are reading it, and again after you have finished reading it. Don't treat this as an ironclad template, but as a rough approach to producing a precis -- knowing that a truly fine and useful précis need not necessarily satisfy all of these interventions.

A precis should try to answer fairly basic questions such as:

1. What, in your own words, is the basic gist of the argument?

2. To what audience is it pitched primarily? (Do you see yourself as part of that intended audience, and how does your answer impact your reading of the argument?) Does it anticipate and respond to possible objections?

3. What do you think are the argument's stakes in general? To what end is the argument made?

a. To call assumptions into question?
b. To change convictions?
c. To alter conduct?
d. To find acceptable compromises between contending positions?

4. Does it have an explicit thesis? If not, could you provide one in your own words for it?

5. What are the reasons and evidence offered up in the argument to support what you take to be its primary end? What crucial or questionable warrants (unstated assumptions the argument takes to be shared by its audience, often general attitudes of a political, moral, social, cultural nature) does the argument seem to depend on? Are any of these reasons, evidences, or warrants questionable in your view? Do they support one another or introduce tensions under closer scrutiny?

6. What, if any, kind of argumentative work is being done by metaphors and other figurative language in the piece? Do the metaphors collaborate to paint a consistent picture, or do they clash with one another? What impact does this have on their argumentative force?

7. Are there key terms in the piece that seem to have idiosyncratic definitions, or whose usages seem to change over the course of the argument?

As you see, a piece that interrogates a text from these angles of view will yield something between a general book report and a close reading, but one that focuses on the argumentative force of a text. For the purposes of our class, such a precis succeeds if it manages

(1) to convey the basic flavor of the argument and
(2) provides a good point of departure for a class discussion.

Needless to say, in our course it will always be in point to direct our attention to the interplay of the discourses of nature we have been elaborating, to point out the ways in which argumentative strategies, assumptions, problems, figures, frames recur in the piece under discussion in variations familiar from earlier texts, and so on.


You'll notice that I've updated assignments for Reports on the syllabus. Always just a click away. More updates on the way. Veeeeeery exciting.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Schedule for In-Class Reports

You need not know what campaign, site, or project you will be reporting on when you sign up, so pick a date based on your sense of scheduling demands, thematic resonances with your own concerns in a broad sense, and that sort of thing. Please sign up via the Comments to this post, and I'll add your names on a first-come, first-served basis. No more than two reports should take place on any given day.

Week Three | Deep Ecology and Deep Economy

Tuesday, September 15
Thursday, September 17

Week Four | Political Ecology, Green Urbanity

Tuesday, September 22
Thursday, September 24

Week Five | Eco-feminism

Tuesday, September 29
Thursday, October 1

Week Six | Environmental Justice

Tuesday, October 6
Thursday, October 8

Week Seven | Eco-socialism and Social Ecology

Tuesday, October 13
Thursday, October 15

Week Eight | Natural Capitalism and Greenwashing

Tuesday, October 20
Thursday, October 22

Week Nine | Bright Green or Dim? Sustainable Technoculture

Tuesday, October 27
Thursday, October 29

Week Ten | From Agriculture to Polyculture

Tuesday, November 3
Thursday, November 5

Week Eleven | Green Eats

Tuesday, November 10
Thursday, November 12

Week Twelve | Extracting Ourselves From Extraction

Tuesday, November 17
Thursday, November 19

Week Thirteen | Toxic World

Tuesday, November 24
Thursday, November 26 Thanksgiving Holiday

Week Fourteen | Green Ethos

Tuesday, December 1
Thursday, December 3

Aftermath | Reading/Review/Recitation Period -- Finals Week

Thursday, December 10 -- Extended Office Hours Off-Campus
Monday, December 14: Take-Home Final Exam Due

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


If the Thoreau seems overwhelming given the Emerson and Leopold we are taking up, focus on these sections especially:

Where I Lived, and What I Lived For
The Village
Baker Farm
Brute Neighbors

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Today's Film

Remember, we are screening the film "An Inconvenient Truth" in class this evening. Although most of you have seen the film before, this time you will be watching it with a rhetorician's eye, taking notes throughout.

You should pay attention to pathos, logos, and ethos moves, that is to say, appeals to emotions (fear, greed, hope), appeals to clarity (logical clarity as in relations of conclusions to premises or to evidence, definitional clarity, organizational clarity as in the provision of distinctions to relieve conceptual tensions or the organization of a case into easily digestable chunks or an easily digestable narrative or serial order), or appeals to character, through the presentation of the arguer as reliable, admirable, authoritative, one-of-us, etc.

You should pay attention to argumentative strategies that seem to aim to interrogate assumptions, or to seek to convince audiences to change their minds, or seek to persuade them to change conduct, or seem to aim to find ways to compromise in the face of irreconcilable or intransigent aspirations.

You should pay attention to strategies that seem to assume sympathetic, unsympathetic, and apathetic audiences, differences in levels of awareness among audiences, differences in the positionality of audiences, nationality (how would appeals to patriotism play to non-American audiences, for example?), gender, class, race, age, education, and so on, as well as strategies that seem to solicit audience identification or dis-identification and how these change over the course of the argument.

You should pay attention to pacing, volume, lighting, arrangement of the visual field, location of the protagonist (when is he speaking directly to you? when is he in voice-over?), to documentary footage, computer graphics, tables and charts, cartoons, and what kinds of claims seem to accompany these differences.

Your assignment is to write a paragraph (and publish it here on our blog by midnight Sunday at the latest) that makes an observation about a striking moment or recurring feature in the film as an argument.

It can be something that you regard as especially effective, or perplexing, or misleading, whatever. But it must be something that highlights a relation between two or more of the discourses of nature that I spoke to you about in our first lecture. It can be a scene in which two discourses of nature are juxtaposed, in which they complement each other, in which they compete with each other, in which they contradict each other in your view, either directly in play in some scene, or through a call-back to some earlier discourse, or as a strangely different framing of some scene compared to earlier variations in the film.

Whatever, all that is up to you.

These other things I mention you should be attending to -- visuality, pacing, Aristotelian appeals, aims of argument, solicitations of identity, and so on -- may provide the questions, the material, the language you use to describe what it is you take to be salient in the scene you are using to compare these two discourses of nature as they play out in the argument of the film.

Think about all of this before you go to class tonight, think back on the film if you have seen it before, get into an observant frame of mind, prepare to look for details in an active way rather than simply getting carried away in the argumentative/narrative flow of the film itself. See you all soon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Please review, revise, and edit: 6 "discourses" of nature

These are from first class 8/27, words of Dale. They are not complete so please feel free to add what you've got (explanations, clarifications, corrections, additional words etc) especially where there is a ... or ???

Nature #1: denotes known against supernatural (and knowable). Natural system of knowledge. Can't actually know the knowable

Nature #2: That which is susceptible to instrumentable description. scientific... [missing at least 2-3 sentences here] business of science is discovery or knowledge for prediction and control

Nature #3: conventional against nature. "its only natural" statistical behavior, normitivly...???

Nature #4: Nature/natural as wilderness against artifice and artificial. Ex: wilderness areas are artifacts, genocidal obliteration as human...[missing info here]

Nature #5: What is beyond utility in sublime indescribable in instrumental terms place in which nature can't be...reduced to instrumentality, immersion into creation (???)

Nature #6: Mark our imperfect on systems we depend never the less for our survival. "Precautionary principle" know enough to know we don't know enough.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Don't forget that you're going round the room, introducing yourselves to the community of the classroom, in two-to-two-and-a-half minutes' time. Some prepare for this sort of thing more than others do, obviously, but I recommend that everybody have at least something on hand to turn to in the event you go blank or what have you. See you all soon.

By the way, all enrollees should be blog-vited at this point, let me know if there are problems.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Everyday Click

I've placed five regularly updated news aggregation and commentary sites up on the sidebar. This is to help you take up and take on the buzz in Green politics, policies, and self-identified cultures with which we will be grappling together at the beginning of each class meeting. Of course, this week ahead of us we'll be doing personal introductions to the course community and then screening a film, so there won't be time for these opening conversations Week One. But this gives you a preliminary week to get in the habit of skimming these materials for your own issues and interested, becoming conversant with the contours of the discourse generally, and so on. And of course even if we aren't taking these topics on for a week in our sessions outright, it is always fine to discuss them here on the blog itself, whatever else we are up to. Invitations to the blog are forthcoming, and most of you should be in a position to post presently.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Rhetoric 181: Green Rhetoric
Fall 2009

Tu/Th 5-6.30 156 Dwinelle
Instructor: Dale Carrico;
Course Site:

Provisional Grade Breakdown:
Att/Part 20%; Co-facilitation/Precis 20%; In-Class Report 20%; Final Exam: 40%

Provisional Schedule of Classes


August 27 -- Administrative Introduction

Supplementary Readings:
Oscar Wilde, The Decay of Lying
John Stuart Mill, On Nature

Week One | Introductions

September 1 -- Personal Introductions
September 3 -- Screening: "An Inconvenient Truth"

Week Two | Green Idols and Precursors

September 8 --

Curtis White, The Idols of Environmentalism
Curtis White, The Ecology of Work
Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic
Aldo Leopold, Thinking Like a Mountain

September 10

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature
Henry David Thoreau Walden

Week Three | Deep Ecology and Deep Economy

September 15

Arne Naess, The Shallow and the Deep
Arne Naess and George SessionsDeep Ecology Platform
Alan Drengson, Deep Ecology Movement
Church of Deep Ecology

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: Olivia Hanning; Jeremy Park

September 17

Murray Bookchin, Social Ecology Versus Deep Ecology
Bill McKibben, Reversal of Fortune
An Interview with E. F. Schumacher

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Four | Political Ecology, Green Urbanity

Tuesday, September 22

Mike Davis, Slum Ecology
Mike Davis and Anthony Fontenot Twenty-five Questions about the Murder of the Big Easy
Mike Davis, Sinister Paradise: Does the Road to the Future End at Dubai?
David Biello, Eco-Cities: Urban Planning for the Future
Frank Lloyd Wright, A City for the Future
Frank Lloyd Wright, Broadacre City Project
Frank Lloyd Wright, Broadacre City Plan
Paolo Soleri, Arcosanti

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: Shannon Kelli

Thursday, September 24

Architecture for Humanity: Completed Projects
Architecture 2030
Going Green....Is it the Elephant in the Room?

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: Tessa Stuart;

Week Five | Eco-feminism

Tuesday, September 29

Cathleen McGuire and Colleen McGuire, Ecofeminist Visions
Rosemary Radford Reuther, Ecofeminism
Catherine Keller, Dark Vibrations: Ecofeminism and the Democracy of Creation

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: Audrey Noelani Vavia;

Thursday, October 1

Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands, Unnatural Passions: Notes Toward a Queer Ecology
UNIFEM, Women, Climate Change, and Refugees
Amy Goodman, Sedatives and Sex Hormones in Our Water Supply
Interview with Vandana Shiva

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: Andrea Bella;

Week Six | Environmental Justice

Tuesday, October 6

The Rio Declaration
The Johannesburg Declaration
EPA Environmental Justice FAQ
About the Environmental Justice Foundation
Ludovic Blain, Ain't I An Environmentalist?

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Thursday, October 8

Robert D. Bullard, Ph.D., Poverty, Pollution, and Environmental Racism
Environmental Racism Study Finds Levels Of Inequality Defy Simple Explanation
Lisa Campbell Salazar, National Parks and Environmental Racism
Minority Communities Need More Parks

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Seven | Eco-socialism and Social Ecology

Tuesday, October 13

An Ecosocialist Manifesto by Joel Kovel and Michael Lowy
Joel Kovel, Why Ecosocialism Today?
Common Voice, Ecosocialism

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Thursday, October 15

James O'Conner: Selling Nature
James Boyle, Enclosing the Genome
Vandana Shiva, The US Patent System Legalizes Theft and Biopiracy
Richard Stallman, Biopiracy or Bioprivateering?

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: Karena Ajamian;

Week Eight | Natural Capitalism and Greenwashing

Tuesday, October 20

Paul Hawken: Natural Capitalism
A Roadmap for Natural Capitalism, Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins, Paul Hawken
Michael Albert: Natural Capitalism?
OpenPolitics Critiques of Paul Hawken and Natural Capitalism
Balancing Act
About Triplepundit

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: James Dozier;

Thursday, October 22

What Is Greenwashing?
How Greenwashing Works
Greenwashing Index
Peter Barnes: Capitalism, 3.0
Time to Upgrade
A Short History of Capitalism
The Limits of Government
The Limits of Privatization
Reinventing the Commons
Trusteeship of Creation
Universal Birthrights
Sharing Culture
Building the Commons Sector
What You Can Do

Cap and Trade Musical Chairs
Cap-and-Trade More Effective than Carbon Tax
Carry on Polluting
Did Environmentalists Get Played on Cap and Trade?

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Nine | Bright Green or Dim? Sustainable Technoculture and Techno-Utopian Futurology

Tuesday, October 27

Bruce Sterling, Viridian Design Speech
Bruce Sterling, Manifesto of January 3, 2000
Bruce Sterling, Viridian Principles
Bruce Sterling, Last Viridian Note
Grist on Worldchanging's Bright Green Principles (read the Comments!)
Worldchanging Geoengineering Retrospective
Time Magazine on Geoengineering
Lifeboat Foundation "ClimateShield"

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Thursday, October 29

National Geographic, Toxic Computer
When 1st Life Meets 2nd Life
Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, The California Ideology
Jedediah Purdy The God of the Digerati
Marc Stiegler, The Gentle Seduction
John Zerzan, Technology
John Zerzan, Why Primitivism?
Kirkpatrick Sale, Lessons from the Luddites

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Ten | From Agriculture to Polyculture

Tuesday, November 3

John Zerzan, Agriculture
Malcome Scully, The Destructive Nature of Our Bountiful Harvests
Wes Jackson and Wendell Berry, A 50-Year Farm Bill
Lisa Hamilton, Let's grow a new crop of farmers
Ted Nace, Breadbasket of Democracy
Seeds of Resistance
Dale Allen Pfeiffer, Eating Fossil Fuels

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Thursday, November 5

Permaculture Design Principles, Online Interactive Presentation
Permaculture 101, Short Video Presentations
Introduction to Permaculture: Concepts and Resources, Online Compendium

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: Tess Ranahan

Week Eleven | Green Eats

Tuesday, November 10

Jill Richardson, Organic White House Garden Puts Some Conventional Panties in a Twist (Follow the links and read the comments)
Kathy Freston, Vegetarian Is the New Prius
Clara Jeffrey, Michael Pollan Fixes Dinner
Claudia Deutsch, Trying to Connect the Dinner Plate to Climate Change
David Rogers, On PETA's Latest Campaign
Jane Liaw, Food Miles Are Less Important to Environment Than Food Choices

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: Sam Tobin;

Thursday, November 12

Jack Kloppenberg, Sharon Lerzberg, Kathryn De Master, Tasting Food, Tasting Sustainability
Cornell University, Factsheet: Consumer Concerns About Pesticides in Food
Paul Roberts, Organic and Local Is So 2008
Jim Hightower, Food Industry Is Now Calling Junk Food Healthy
Brian Howard, Meaningful Labels
Marc Abrahams, Food for Thought
Anna Lenzer, Spin the Bottle
Saul Landau, Reagan and Bottled Water

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: Christina S.

Week Twelve | Extracting Ourselves From Extraction

Tuesday, November 17

Michael T. Klare, The Coming Resource Wars
BBC: World Water Crisis
The Coming Water Wars: Demography and Water Resources
The Coming Water Wars: Chart
Kate Kelland, Antibiotics Overuse Threatens Medicine
David Korten on Democracy Now From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: Ashley Russell

Thursday, November 19

Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency
Howard Kunstler, A Five Part Online Video Exploration: The Long Emergency
Chris Vernon, Agriculture Meets Peak Oil

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: Lauren Klein

Week Thirteen | Toxic World

Tuesday, November 24

Al Gore, Introduction to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring
Ten Worst Anthropogenic and Natural Environmental Disasters
What Happened at Bhopal?
Learn More
Pollution Facts
Worst Polluted Places (2007)
Worst Pollution Problems (2008)
12 Cases of Cleanup and Success (2009)

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Thursday, November 26 Thanksgiving Holiday

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Fourteen | Green Ethos

Tuesday/Thursday, December 1/3

Many Reports, Many Questions, Discussion of Mores/Ethos-Morals/Ethics, Evaluations; the Distribution of Discussions of the Readings for This Week Will Depend on How/When Other Business Shakes Out. Everyone who has not given a Report must be prepared to do so, everyone who has not written a Precis must do so this week.

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, The Death of Environmentalism
Bruno Latour, "It's Development, Stupid!" Or: How to Modernize Modernization
George Lakoff, How We Talk About the Environment Has Everything to Do With Whether We Will Save It

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: Veronica Turner

Aftermath | Reading/Review/Recitation Period -- Finals Week

Thursday, December 10 -- Extended Office Hours Off-Campus

Monday, December 14: Take-Home Final Exam Due


Type the word "nature" into Google, and click the "Definition" button, and will offer you the following:



1. The material world and its phenomena.
2. The forces and processes that produce and control all the phenomena of the material world: the laws of nature.
3. The world of living things and the outdoors: the beauties of nature.
4. A primitive state of existence, untouched and uninfluenced by civilization or artificiality: couldn't tolerate city life anymore and went back to nature.
5. Theology. Humankind's natural state as distinguished from the state of grace.
6. A kind or sort: confidences of a personal nature.
7. The essential characteristics and qualities of a person or thing: “She was only strong and sweet and in her nature when she was really deep in trouble” (Gertrude Stein).
8. The fundamental character or disposition of a person; temperament: “Strange natures made a brotherhood of ill” (Percy Bysshe Shelley).
9. The natural or real aspect of a person, place, or thing. See synonyms at disposition.
10. The processes and functions of the body.

[Middle English, essential properties of a thing, from Old French, from Latin nātūra, from nātus, past participle of nāscī, to be born.]

Our Course Description

Rhetoric 181: Green Rhetoric

Instructor: Dale Carrico

Area of Concentration: Public Discourse

Office Hours: Tuesdays 3-5pm, Dwinelle, and by Appointment

Class Times:
TuTh: 5pm - 6:30pm, 156 Dwinelle

It is curious that all at once we will use the word "natural" to denote the known as against the supernatural, we will use it to describe that which is susceptible to instrumental description as against the unscientific, we will use it to describe the conventional as against the unnatural, we will use it describe wilderness as against artifice, we will use it to describe what is beyond utility in the sublime, and we will use it to mark our imperfect understanding of systems on which we depend nevertheless for our survival.

It is from the problematic and promising vantages of the "natural," so construed, that we will grapple with some Green discourses on offer, in history, and of our own: What are the differences between "environmentalisms" as sites of identification, as subcultures, as movements, as political programs, as research programs, as rhetorical perspectives? How has Green education, agitation, organization, consciousness changed over time? How is Green changing now, and in what ways does Greenness abide?

In this course we will read a number of canonical and representative "environmentalist" discourses and texts, seeking to understand better what it means to read and write the world Greenly. Tracking through these texts each of us will struggle to weave together and testify to our own sense of the Green as an interpretive register, as a writerly skill-set, as a site of imaginative investment, and as a provocation to action. This is a Keyword course, engaging environmentalist discourses historically, theoretically, practically through an exploration of a number of key terms, among them: "Agroforestry," "Alienation," "Appropriate Technology," "Biodiversity," "Biomimicry," "Biopiracy," "Biosphere," "Climate Change," "Climate Refugees," "Commons," "Consensus Science," "Cradle-to-Cradle," "Deep Ecology," "Democracy," "Design," "Ecology," "Ecofeminism," "Ecosocialism," "Enclosure," "Endangered Species," "Energy Descent," "Environmental Justice," "Externality," "Footprint," "Geoengineering," "Greenwashing," "Industrial Ag," "Leapfrogging," "Limit," "Local," "Militarism," "Monoculture," "Native," "Nature," "Natural Capitalism," "Organic," "Permaculture," "Political Ecology," "Polyculture,""Post-Scarcity," "Precautionary Principle," "Recycling/Downcycling,""Renewable," "Resilience," "Social Ecology," "Sustainability," "Technofix," "Toxicity/Abrasion," "Triple Bottom Line," "Viridian," "Wilderness," and so on.

The course will be quite reading intensive. Each student will be delivering an in-class presentation drawn from personal research, as well as co-facilitating discussion of one of our assigned texts. The final exam will provide an occasion to come to terms with the Key Words that will preoccupy our attention throughout our conversation.