Americans debate whether their ever-rising consumption of natural resources and standard of living can continue indefinitely into the future. This is not a new question; since the mid-1800s, movements for the conservation of nature have challenged the primacy of unbridled development and met fierce opposition from those charging that these movements threaten the American dream of individual economic opportunity. Through exploring the history of these ideas, students will gain a better understanding of the meaning of sustainability in contemporary America, especially in response to the forces of global capitalism and the challenges of a changing climate. This course grows out of an earlier course called the Conservation of Nature and Culture. Like that course, its fundamental premise is that nature and culture are interconnected, and that movements for the sustainable use of natu
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