ENVE3000EVST3000: Borrowing the Earth from Our Children

Instructor: Teri Jacobs & Lu Mingming

Offered: Spring 2022 - MoWeFr 10:10am-11:05am

Location: Old Chem 835

Class #: 50207, 50438


This honors seminar will provide our students with hands-on activities demonstrating that we as individuals can do significant things to mitigate climate change. Climate change is happening now, and it threatens the lives and welfare of all the people of the earth. For the first time in history more than half of all people live in cities rather than in the countryside, so the focus of this course will be on urban mitigation activities in and around the city of Cincinnati. We will also further explore the connections of “COVID-19 and climate change” in order to stimulate ideas to better educate and engage the public about climate change.

The title of the seminar and our philosophy for it are derived from a quote by Wendell Berry who said, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children." Climate change and environmental sustainability are two sides of the same coin, where sustainability means the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Therefore, our students’ experiential activities will focus on climate change mitigation through outreach to the local community; they will also be learning how we as individuals can contribute to sustainable urban development. Additional activities will include seminars from community leaders, field trips, reflections, and group discussions.