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Edited by Robert Zandstra


This casebook uses language to think critically, ask questions, posit answers, and give reasons about concepts related to sustainability. Some people believe that questions about sustainability and the environment are best left to scientists, engineers, or other experts. However, the most fundamental questions are neither technical nor experimental. The most fundamental questions are handled by argumentation and rhetoric and are answered by people like you every day in places like newspaper editorials, blogs, and television media. These questions include ones that you will ask at different points in this course and beyond. The conversation about sustainability is fascinating and important. You will find pieces in this casebook relevant to every academic discipline and many aspects of your own everyday life, including transportation, consumption, place and community, and social justice.


  • Steve Bell, “Hey, You up at the Front! Stop Breeding!”
  • Wendell Berry, “Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer”
  • Mia Birk, “Bicycle Transportation: A Win-Win Strategy in the Post-Carbon Era”
  • Robert Bullard, “Just Transportation: New Solutions for Old Problems”,
  •  Leonard Charles, Jim Dodge, Lynn Milliman and Victoria Stockley, “Where You At?”
  • Congress for the New Urbanism, “Charter of the New Urbanism”
  • “Envision Eugene: Executive Summary”
  • Garrett Hardin, “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor”
  • Richard Heinberg, “What Is Sustainability?”
  • Ric Hudgens, “The Land Will Have Its Rest”
  • Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan, “As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial”
  • Van Jones, “Working Together for a Green New Deal”
  • Naomi Klein, “Dancing the World into Being: A Conversation with Idle No More’s Leanne Simpson”
  • Daniel Lerch, “Making Sense of Peak Oil and Energy Uncertainty”
  • Aldo Leopold, “Thinking Like a Mountain”
  • Stacy Mitchell, “Walmart’s Greenwash: How the Company’s Much-Publicized Sustainability Campaign Falls Short, While Its Relentless Growth Devastates the Environment”
  • Vandana Shiva, “Globalization and Poverty”
  • “Global Change and the Earth System: A Planet Under Pressure”, Steffen et al.
  • Ginger Strand, “The Crying Indian: How an Environmental Icon Helped Sell Cans — and Sell Out Environmentalism”
  • “University of Oregon Campus Plan: Sustainable Development”
  • “University of Oregon Campus Sustainability Assessment: Executive Summary”
  • “University of Oregon Climate Action Plan”