In the Spring of 2016 I taught a course entitled Environmental Ethics at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA. Having taught a similar course at a different college the previous semester, I knew that the study of environmental ethics can easily devolve into a spiral of pessimism, given the unprecedented challenges we face regarding the climate crisis and other ecological threats to the well-being of our planet. So this semester I began by showing the students some clips of the film Tomorrowland (2015), including one which recounts the Native American “Tale of Two Wolves,” the story of two evenly matched wolves in a battle. One is evil, greedy, arrogant, lying and full of fear. The other is good, filled with love, hope, compassion and integrity. The question is: which one will win? The sage’s answer: the one we feed.
When it comes to the environmental crises facing our planet, we are tempted to feed the wrong wolf and give into despair and a fatalistic resignation. In fact, as one of the characters in the movie describes it, we feed on it “like a chocolate éclair.” So in this course, I explored with the students some religious, philosophical and environmental perspectives to help us understand the roots of the many environmental crises we face, as well as search for resources to help us “feed the good wolf,” and work toward possible solutions.
To learn more, click on this link for the blogpost that gives the pedagogical process and links to the videos the students crated for their final projects. http://ecopreacher.blogspot.com/2016/05/teaching-environmental-ethics-feeding.html