The course uses environmental issues to explore how normative and empirically based arguments are used in public discourse to achieve change. We will consider how global environmental problems take on societal importance and what steps have been taken to deal with them. What is the role of science in describing environmental problems? How does ideology shape what is seen as a problem? What kinds of conflict arise in the process of defining problems and solutions? The course will focus on the American environmental movement from the 1960’s to the present day to familiarize students with the main actors and issues of the movement and to discuss change in environmental thought over time. We will focus on how individuals and groups pursue sustainable solutions through policy, grassroots organizing, research, and writing. Students in this course will be asked to confront their own ideologies about the environment and reconcile them with the knowledge gained in the course.