This year, Yale Environmental Humanities successfully launched its new graduate certificate program. More than twenty graduate students are participating in the inaugural yearlong workshop, “Topics in the Environmental Humanities,” drawing from a broad range of disciplines, including history, literature, anthropology, music, public health, environmental studies, etc. Some of the students shared their research at our fall graduate symposium.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, I worked with colleagues to host a yearlong conversation on the thematic intersection of energy and the humanities. The program included roundtables and workshops featuring Yale faculty and student work, visiting speakers, two new undergraduate courses, and three conferences.
Read more about it here: https://environmentalhumanities.yale.edu/news/energy-and-humanities-report-2018-2019-programming
The Yale History Department successfully voted to eliminate the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) from its application requirements in April 2019. As Director of Graduate Studies, I facilitated this conversation with the goal of further opening our graduate program to a broader range of applicants and removing the GRE’s costly burden and often inequitable results.
Starting Fall 2019, Yale Environmental Humanities will offer a graduate certificate program to strengthen student training and support. The Graduate Certificate in the Environmental Humanities is open to doctoral students at any stage of their graduate training.
Read more about it here: https://news.yale.edu/2019/02/05/yale-environmental-humanities-expands-reach-new-graduate-certificate
For an overview of the Certificate requirements, visit: https://environmentalhumanities.yale.edu/academics/graduate-certificate-environmental-humanities
The new Yale Environmental Humanities Initiative kicked off the Fall 2017 semester with a new website featuring environmental humanities events and news from across the university. A compilation of course listings gathered offerings from history, literature, American Studies, anthropology, religious studies, and other departments, as well as the professional schools.
Yale Environmental Humanities Initiative hosted an interdisciplinary conference featuring scholarship by Yale graduate students from eleven different programs. Panels were organized about key themes: “Imagined Environments,” “Imperial Legacies,” “Agrarian Landscapes,” and “Posthumanism and the Anthropocene.”
Yale Environmental History hosted its sixth annual environmental conference on April 22, 2017, “New Perspectives in Environmental History.” Graduate students and faculty from northeast colleges and universities presented papers and commentary on three panels: “Transnational Commodities,” “Living Empires,” and “Nature by Design.”
Published “‘Everything has a Price’: Jimmy Carter and the Struggle for Balance in Federal Regulatory Policy” (Journal of Policy History, 2016). The essay examines how President Jimmy Carter and his policy advisors sought to balance regulation to protect health and the environment with regulatory reform that would improve the efficiency of government action.
Published “Environmental Law and the End of the New Deal Order” in Law and History Review. This essay on the founding of public interest environmental law firms in the late 1960s and early 1970s situates the organizations in the context of growing liberal disillusionment with government, particularly in the context of the civil rights movement and Vietnam War. Early environmental lawsuits almost exclusively targeted government agencies such as Interior, Transportation, and TVA over their infrastructure and economic development plans. I shared the essay in late September at a stimulating conference at UC Santa Barbara, “Beyond the New Deal Order.”
The Bet has just been released in a Chinese language translation for Taiwan and Hong Kong market.
Participated in Harvard Roundtable on the future of energy history.
Spoke at the University of Colorado-Boulder on The Bet and how history can shape our thinking about present and future environmental challenges.
Yale Environmental History hosted its fifth annual environmental conference on April 18, 2015, “New Perspectives in Environmental History.” Terrific papers and commentary from graduate students and faculty from northeast colleges and universities.
Public lecture at Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History on The Bet as part of the 2014-2015 John H. Ostrom Program Series “Nature’s Narrators.”
Gave public lecture on The Bet to Columbia Society of Fellows as part of their series on “Exhaustion.”
Presented the inaugural Betsy Wood Knapp ’64 Lecture in the Social Sciences to help celebrate Wellesley College’s new Knapp Center for Social Science. A wonderful opportunity to return to my hometown to talk about The Bet and how history can contribute to interdisciplinary conversation.
The Bet was released in paperback at the end of September.
Spoke at Brown University on the topic, “Making a Place for Historians in the Climate and Energy Debates.” My talk explored how our understandings of history are currently shaping the policy debate, and what lessons historians might offer regarding changing energy systems.
The Bet was the topic of an H-Net roundtable forum, with comments from Sarah Phillips, Patrick Allitt, Peter Shulman, and Keith Woodhouse, and edited by Christopher Jones.
“The Bet” named a “Great Summer Read” on the Nature Conservancy’s Science Blog.
Visited Ann Arbor to speak about The Bet as part of the Abrams Sustainability Seminar, an interesting effort to encourage teaching about sustainability across the disciplines. A tornado alert made it particularly memorable!
Enjoyed talking about The Bet at Carnegie Mellon as part of their lecture series in environmental history.
Yale Environmental History hosted its fourth northeast environmental history conference on April 12, with terrific papers from ten graduate students from nine different universities. Conference program available here.
I spoke about The Bet to audiences at Google and Facebook. The Google author talk is available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9JG02YRtOc
“Carefully researched and engaging … The Bet is remarkably evenhanded in its treatment.” Choice Review by A. R. Sanderson, University of Chicago (“Highly recommended”)
Lengthy interview with host Russ Roberts on EconTalk: audio link.
I discussed The Bet with host Robert Colangelo on Green Sense Radio Show: audio link.
Journalist Robert Levine features The Bet in a recent story in German-language Zeit Wissen on the clash between optimists and pessimists about the future of the planet: “Optimisten gegnen Pessimisten”
Review by University of Maryland, Baltimore County geographer Erle Ellis: article link (paywall).
NPR’s Planet Money organized a podcast episode around The Bet, with historical audio and a brief interview with Paul Ehrlich. Link to Planet Money episode
NPR’s Planet Money did a show on “The Bet” on Morning Edition: audio link to radio segment.
This “scholarly and engaging book… beautifully sets the context of an academic dispute between two world-class thinkers.… Sabin writes lightly and with respect . . . The result is a timely and well-considered explanation of how we’ve ended up in a debate about the existence and effects of climate change – and why it divides along political lines.” —Sheridan Jobbins, World Economic Forum Forum:Blog article link
One of the “Best Business Books of 2013.”
Article link: Bill Gates’ Top 7 Books in 2013
The Bet “provides surprising insights for anyone involved in addressing the world’s ‘wicked problems.’… I recommend The Bet to anyone wanting to understand the history of the divisive discussions we have today, especially the stalemate over climate change.”
Discussed “The Bet” with The Nature Conservancy CEO Mark Tercek. article link
Cass Sunstein examines the lessons of “The Bet” in the December 5 issue of the New York Review of Books. “The Bet makes a convincing case that the debate between Ehrlich and Simon illuminates central issues of its era … With their contrasting narratives of looming environmental catastrophe and techno-optimism, they define important strands of the Democratic and Republican parties and indeed of American culture.” “The Battle of Two Hedgehogs.” (paywall)
“My pick hit of 2013, The Bet …[is] a riveting story of the clash between two outsized and highly idiosyncratic personalities … a lucid, readable gem.” —Nick Murray, Financial Advisor magazine
One of five “Books of the Year 2013.”
Thoughtful conversation with Kevin Brown for the “History for the Future” show on Remapping Debate. audio link
Marilyn Wilkes and I discuss “The Bet” on Yale’s “MacMillan Report.” video link
I discuss “THE BET” and recent environmental politics with WNPR “Where We Live” host John Dankosky. audio link
In this letter that I found in the National Archives, Antonin Scalia, seeking appointment as Solicitor General, details his political loyalties and his experience in government and legal practice.
I enjoyed talking about “The Bet” with host Larry Rifkin on his show “Talk of the Town” on WATR 1320 AM.
How are climate change and population growth different, and what are some of the lessons from “The Bet”? I chat with David Leonhardt of the New York Times: “Lessons From a Famous Bet.”
I discussed “The Bet,” and the current polarization of environmental politics, with Lou Dobbs on Fox Business News.
I discuss “The Bet” with Time energy and environment reporter Bryan Walsh, including the implications for how we think about energy abundance and climate change: “Innovating Our Way to Energy Abundance- and Climate Change.”
In a world in flux, how do we know whether things are getting better or worse for people and for the planet? I discuss the challenge of setting terms for a bet on Earth’s future: “Want to Bet?”
I discuss “The Bet” and its implications with conservative talk show host David Boze on Kiro Radio out of Seattle. audio link
I discuss lessons from “The Bet” on “This Green Earth” with hosts Chris Cherniak and Larry Warren.