Loras J-term Students Study Sustainable Society
Climate change and sustainable societies are important topics in the last few years. For this January Term, Loras College offered students the opportunity to learn and understand the subject more in-depth. The topic of the course was chosen and taught by instructor of philosophy Chris Lammer-Heindel
The course explored the essential features of a sustainable community by examining the key dimensions of sustainability as they are currently practiced in the city of Dubuque, and by studying current “best practice” sustainability measures and policies.
“As a moral philosopher, I am interested in the complex social and ethical issues surrounding the problem of climate change. Oftentimes, public discourse concerning this issue pits an environmentalist perspective against an economic perspective. The sustainability movement encourages us to take a more nuanced view, recognizing that we cannot address our ecological concerns without harnessing market forces and recognizing the costs associated with “green” practices. Significantly, it also calls on us to consider issues of social equity, standing in solidarity with those who do not have access to adequate resources to meet their basic needs,” said Lammer-Heindel.
Although the class didn’t travel outside Dubuque, students visited a number of locations such as the municipal landfill, water treatment plant, Dittmer Recycling, and the recently renovated CARADCO building in the Millwork District. Student also had the opportunity to meet with several representatives from Dubuque, from Iowa, and from local businesses and non-profits organizations.
“The course presented students not only with an opportunity to learn about the values and principles which inform the global sustainability movement, but also the policy tools and grassroots efforts which citizens and municipalities do use or could use to foster sustainable practices and create sustainable communities,” explained Lammer-Heindel.
Student Jerry Huguelet (’15)
(Frankfort, Illi.) shared his sentiments about the class “I really like the class because it opened my eyes to many practical ways I can live a sustainable lifestyle. I also enjoyed the field trips around Dubuque. These trips allowed me to see how Dubuque is becoming more sustainable and how it has incorporated sustainable practices.”