Journal of Sustainability Studies

Volume 1, Issue 2 (2016) Sustainability Policy

Introduction to Issue 1.2, "Sustainability Policy"

Who would have thought when we placed the call for a policy issue back in June that we would have to contend with the frustration and horror of a “science denier” in the White House for the next four years? Already, Donald Trump’s nominees for Secretary of State, Secretary of the Interior, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency have demonstrated a clear lack of attention to Sustainability and the threat of climate change. Unfortunately, the journey toward a more sustainable future just became more difficult, and will need to happen despite, rather than with, American leadership over the next four years.

This second issue of the Journal of Sustainability Studies offers readers juxtaposition. First, John Langton, Professor of Political Science at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, delivers in his “Last Lecture” a desperate call to action, asking not only his college community, but the American and global community, to engage the threat of global climate change more seriously. Citing data trends in pre- and post-industrial temperature change and increased levels of greenhouse emissions, Langton argues that failure to act will likely result in a domino effect of increasingly catastrophic events affecting global cultural and political stability. He argues that not enough is being done, and that in particular America has not taken the global lead on the issue, a problem unlikely to change until after the 2020 elections. However, hope still exists as long as voters and everyday citizens insist on getting informed and insisting on positive action from elected leaders.

In contrast to the monolithic challenge presented in the last lecture of a senior professor, we feature the recent “Home Grown” efforts of one woman whose work on upcycling in her little corner of Sheffield, Alabama, illustrates the slogan “think globally, act locally.” Home Grown Art owner Barbara Cook shares her passion for salvaging the tossed aside and giving it new life in various art forms. Over twenty local artists display and sell their work in her shop, and so the environmentally conscious artist-entrepreneur advocates for both local art and eco-friendly practice.

The reviews in this issue, penned by intern Hope Johnson, review Bill Nye’s Unstoppable and the website Grist, each of which provides critical information and specific forms of action for creating a more sustainable, less threatened world. Each in its way captures the juxtaposition offered in this issue: a call to action, and specific ways to act. This is not simply good policy; given the current political and social climate, it’s the only reasonable policy.

Thanks for this issue goes to the contributors; Dr. Amanda Coffman, Director of the UNA Center for Sustainability; interns Hope Johnson and Falon Yates, who wrote reviews, edited, and took photographs; and the University of North Alabama administration. For the June issue, we are eschewing theme: as a response to the troubling, free-for-all future we now face, our journal will accept submissions in any area of interest related to sustainability. The deadline for submissions is April 1st, 2017. See the call in this issue for more details. We look forward to hearing from you.


Home Grown Art
Robert Koch Ph.D.


Review: Grist.Org
Brandi Hope Johnson

Green geometric llogo superimposed over the Capitol Building


Robert Koch, Jr., Ph.D.
Dr. Amanda Coffman, Director, UNA Center for Sustainability
Brandi Hope Johnson, Intern
Falon L. Yates, Intern


The Journal of Sustainability Studies seeks expert academic and professional reviewers from across the disciplines, including the fine arts, literature, business, and education. Doctoral candidate reviewers are also welcome. Reviewers are presented below alphabetically, regardless of discipline or institutional affiliation. Please contact the editor at alhofacker@una.edu if you wish to become a reviewer.


Joy Bracewell, Athens State University
Amanda Coffman, University of North Alabama
Lisa Darnell, University of North Alabama
Melissa Driskell, University of North Alabama
Matt Fitzsimmons, University of North Alabama
William G. Holt, Birmingham-Southern University
Gary Padgett, University of North Alabama
T. Markham Puckett, University of Southern Mississippi
Jonathan Simms, University of North Alabama
Mike Thompson, University of North Alabama