Int 133B, Summer 2018

What’s Wrong with the World?  How Do We Fix It? 

This course is an experiment. It begins with the assumption that global climate change is real and that its causes are anthropogenic (i.e. human caused). Consequently, solutions will not be just technological, or even mostly so, but will also need to involved profound changes to human beliefs, practices, and styles of life. The difficulty in bringing this about is not only that a broad swathe of Americans deny that our climate is changing, even if this is acknowledged, the causes and solutions to the problem are being fiercely debated on the public stage. It has also, sadly, become a political issue dividing our nation. This course will carefully look at the rhetoric of these debates.

Together, we will piece together and analyze contemporary political and environmental discourses to begin addressing this rhetoric. To do so, we will abandon the traditional instructional model. This is not merely a syllabus setting out an “agenda” for the class: it is a tentative blueprint for our collective investigation of contemporary problems and their potential solutions.

Essential to this project is a collaborative model of discovering, curating, and analyzing material on the following factors of anthropogenic climate change.


“Please rate the overall quality of the Instructor’s teaching using the following scales”

Average rating: 4.9 of 5 (♣♣♣♣♣ Excellent; ♣♣♣♣ Very Good; ♣♣♣ Good; ♣♣ Fair; ♣ Poor)

♣♣♣♣♣ I thought Professor Hiltner was a truly excellent Professor. He brings a warm and unbiased attitude, presents compelling material objectively, and has a true passion for his profession. His open-mindedness is an excellent attribute, and as a STEM major I feel very fortunate to have had him as the professor introducing me at first exposure to this sphere of academia.

♣♣♣♣♣ Humble, wealth of knowledge. Thank you.

♣♣♣♣♣ A more detailed syllabus would be helpful. But you are remarkable and a sincere inspiration. You are the embodiment of authenticity, so thank you.

♣♣♣♣♣ Ken is a great professor and lives what he teaches regarding climate change.

♣♣♣♣♣ Amazing professor, transformational class, s important. Interactive, fun, open class, so good. Will definitely take again. Favorite course and professor in my whole life.

♣♣♣♣♣ Amazing professor, transformational class, so much knowledge and experience, open, approachable. Recommend to anyone, great at leading discussions. Passionate, humble.

♣♣♣♣♣ Great course! Great content! Ken is very approachable, knowledgeable, and passionate. Gave students a lot of agency.

♣♣♣♣♣ Excellent facilitation of ideas and academic discussion. Highly commendable for teaching style and forms of content and presentation.

♣♣♣♣♣ Great teacher, great material, great lectures!!!

♣♣♣♣♣ Great class, loved the diverse and inclusivity added in the course.

♣♣♣♣♣ The format was extremely engaging and entertaining.

♣♣♣♣♣ Very enjoyable course!

♣♣♣♣♣ THANK YOU!!!

♣♣♣♣♣ Love the discussions.

♣♣♣♣♣ Perfect.

♣♣♣♣ This professor is very accomplished and knowledgeable, however there were two main things that upset me. Class discussion was not developed such that it was kept on-topic, and the content of most of the class, while great and informed, did not match up with the syllabus well enough. The syllabus and final essay was directly concerned with environmental analysis, but in class basically never covered that.