In a unique offering believed to be the first and only university course of its kind, UC Santa Barbara English scholar Ken Hiltner has created and launched a class examining climate change through the lens of literature. “The Rhetoric of Climate Change,” which just wrapped its inaugural quarter, studies the climate change debate — Is it real? Is it manmade? Can it be fixed? Should it be? — by analyzing popular narratives on all sides of the argument.
The class, part of the Environmental Humanities Initiative, gave its 25 students the opportunity not only to read opposing views, but to analyze and understand them. Across the board, students from the class attested to the importance of accepting diverse beliefs as a way toward solutions.