EPE Guided Self Study

Modules will be available year round and offered at a date agreed to by EPE and the individual student.

Students may choose from any one of the topics listed below. The questions listed with each topic are suggestions for guiding your assigned reading and learning tasks. Students may add others of particular interest. EPE instructors will provide feedback on your completed tasks and answer your questions.

Course costs are $25 for students from OECD countries *and $10. for students from non-OECD** countries.

* Industrialized countries from the global North
** Developing countries from the global South

To register for a module using PayPal or a credit card, scroll below to the module of your choice and click "Register".
For more information and/or clarification, contact wenden@rcn.com.

  • Series 1: Ethics for a sustainable Earth and a culture of peace

    • Ethical issues for a planet in crisis: An introduction
      What major social and ecological problems challenge our communities today? What ethical issues must be dealt with in responding to these problems?
    • Distributing wealth, resources, and power
      What rights do citizens have to the wealth (e.g. financial resources), power (e.g. planning, decision-making) and resources (e.g. water, the atmosphere, technology) of their community? their country? the global community? How should these social goods be allocated? Should they be ensured for citizens of future generations?
    • Sustaining Earth's resources and life support systems
      Was the Earth created for humans to exploit? to what extent? Should Earth rights be considered in evaluating the impact of these activities? The rights of citizens of future generations? What responsibilities do human have to ensure the integrity of Earth’s resources and life support systems(water, atmosphere, land)?
    • Resolving conflicts and promoting solidarity
      Is the toll violence inflicts upon perpetrators (e.g. soldiers) and victims (e.g. families) justifiable? Does it contribute to the common good (e.g. national, human and ecological security) or is it a threat? Are there alternatives to resolving conflicts within and between nations? How is their appropriateness to be measured?
  • Series 2: The Climate Crisis

    • Global warming: Social and ecological consequences
      How has global warming affected the Earth’s life support systems? The human rights of Earth’s citizens? If global warming continues unchecked, how will it affect Earth and human wellbeing in the future?
    • A gender perspective on the climate crisis
      How does climate change impact on the rights of women? How have women responded to the consequences of climate change on their communities?
    • Approaches to mitigating global warming
      What can individuals do to reduce global warming? Should they change their life styles & if so how? Are individual efforts sufficient to address this problem? i.e. should governments also become involved ? How ? What are some of the approaches to reducing global warming that governments can consider ? How would they work? What are their benefits and shortcomings?
    • Climate change and the food crisis
      How does the increase of extreme droughts, floods and oceanic temperature impact on the food supply in the global North and South? How can individuals, communities,business and national governments adapt to these climatic changes? What is food commodities speculation ? and how does it affect the availability of food? How can it be controlled?
    • Poverty and the Climate Crisis
      In what way does the climate crisis stand in the way of improving the life conditions of people living in poverty? Specifically, how does it impact upon social development? create conditions that lead to social instability? And to what extent does it lead to a violation of human rights? Who is responsible for dealing with this threat to human and ecological security? How should this challenge be approached?
  • Series 3: Sustainable Communities

    • An introduction to sustainable communities
      What are sustainable communities? What is the difference between sustainable communities and sustainable development? How do sustainable communities in the global North differ from sustainable communities in the global South?
    • Rural development for a contextually sustainable Planet
      What are some traditional approaches to rural development ? How would rural development for a contextually sustainable rural development differ? in the global North ? in the global South? How is it related to urbanization?
    • Globalization: Perils and promises
      What are the effects of globalization? ecologically? monetarily,financially,economically,politically,culturally? Which are beneficial on quality of life? adverse? How can its beneficial consequences be promoted? its adverse consequences reduced? How are demands for dealing with these consequences, e.g. for global governance, being dealt with by international bodies,such as the UN? Is globalization inevitable? What are the prospects of a preferred globalization?
    • Monetary justice
      What is the difference between economic matters and financial matters? How do these compare with monetary matters? What has been the base for monetary transactions between social groups during the 20th and extending into the 21st century? How does the monetary system affect the life of members from your local community?, e.g. of people living in poverty ? of the affluent ? in different world regions of our global community? Does the monetary system treat these two social groups in a just manner ? How? Why ? why not? Does it lessen (mitigate) or increase the impact of climate change on all members of the Earth Community? How? Why? How would the impacts of monetary transactions on all social groups be changed if they were based on a carbon standard?