The Issue at a Glance

The Roots of Sustainability (10.1007/s12129-009-9151-5)

Glenn M. Ricketts, National Association of Scholars

In a sweeping history that begins in the 1960s, Prof. Rickets, NAS director of public affairs and tenured historian, investigates how the sustainability movement emerged from the extremes of environmentalism. In considering how these movements diverge, Ricketts points out that what sets “sustainatopians” and environmentalists apart from earlier conservationists is their quasi-mystical claim that “everything is connected to everything else.”

If the Science Is Solid, Why Stoop? An Environmental Scientist Parses Climategate (10.1007/s12129-009-9149-z)

Stanley W. Trimble, University of California at Berkeley

According to Prof. Trimble—soil scientist, UCLA geography professor, and environmentalist—“Climategate is…the greatest science scandal in my lifetime.” He urges that scientific skepticism is the only responsible academic reaction to current revelations about the research behind “climate change theory.”

Under the Green Thumb: Totalitarian Sustainability on Campus (10.1007/s12129-009-9144-4)

Adam Kissel

Mr. Kissel offers a compelling indictment of the totalitarian tendencies within the sustainability movement on campus, whose proponents relentlessly argue that saving the earth outweighs every civil liberty.

Corroding the Curriculum: Sustainability v. Education (10.1007/s12129-009-9146-2)

Austin Williams, Future Cities Project

In The Enemies of Progress: The Dangers of Sustainability (Societas, 2008), British architect Austin Williams called sustainability “an insidiously dangerous concept at odds with progress.” In his Academic Questions essay, Williams examines the sustainability agenda in education in the United Kingdom (with parallel examples from the United States) and reveals that sustainability curricula are propagandistic and motivated by envy, status seeking, and financial gain, particularly among the less distinguished academic institutions.

Is Sustainability Sustainable? (10.1007/s12129-009-9152-4)

Daniel Bonevac, University of Texas at Austin

What is “sustainability”? The sustainability movement has smugly produced hundreds of definitions, but can any of them withstand genuine analytical scrutiny? Philosophy professor Daniel Bonevac strives to answer that question and finds that many of the definitions by sustainability advocates rest on impossibilities or appear to be well-argued abstractions lacking substance. He concludes that sustainability is a bucket with no bottom.

Art and Delusion: Unreality in Art School (10.1007/s12129-009-9143-5)

Ross Neher, Pratt Institute

Pratt painting instructor Ross Neher shares an inside look at the contemporary art school and observes that institutional obeisance at the altar of postmodern theory has only worked to widen the gap between an art student’s dreams of success as an artist and the harsh realities of the post-graduation world.

Bibliotherapy:Literature as ExplorationReconsidered (10.1007/s12129-009-9147-1)

Stewart Justman, University of Montana, Missoula

Stewart Justman, Liberal Studies Program director at the University of Montana, Missoula, examines Louise Rosenblatt’s Literature as Exploration, a popular textbook used since 1938 (in five successive editions) in high school English classrooms across America. Prof. Justman discusses how the one-time college roommate of Margaret Mead managed to transform teaching literature into a form of student therapy that encourages students to find their own meaning in texts.

Pluralism Lost: Sustainability’s Unfortunate Fall

Edward T. “Terry” Wimberley, Florida Gulf Coast University

Edward T. “Terry” Wimberley, a professor of ecological studies at Florida Gulf Coast University and supporter of the concept of sustainability, offers an unflinching account of what happened in a very short amount of time when one university carried its commitment to sustainability beyond the bounds of fair-minded intellectual pluralism.

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