Fall 2017 - LBST 311 D100

Labour and the Environment (3)

Class Number: 2484

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 5 – Dec 4, 2017: Thu, 8:30–11:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 14, 2017
    Thu, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Strongly recommended: LBST 101 and 30 credit hours.



The changing relationships between unions and environmental groups; how work in various industries contribute to climate change; and how climate-change policies affect workers in different ways. The consequences of climate policies for different categories of workers, identified by economic sector, geographic location, gender, ethnicity, and Aboriginal status.


Climate change has significant impacts on the nature of work and working people. Conversely, workers have a vital political role to play in determining how the issues associated with climate change will be addressed. As the world’s climate goes through radical changes, workers face unprecedented challenges as governments craft policy to mitigate or adapt to the many dimensions of anthropogenic climate change.

The course will critically examine the changing and sometimes controversial relationships between trade unions, environmental groups and other political and economic forces, how work in various industries contributes to climate change, and how climate-change policies affect workers in different ways. The course will pursue an understanding of the consequences of climate policies for different categories of workers, identified by economic sector, geographic location, gender, migration and immigration, and Aboriginal status.


By the end of this course, students will have learned:

  • how workers’ organizations are responding to climate change;
  • how work practices can become more environmentally responsible;
  • how government policy on climate change affects work and workers;
  • how different types of work contribute to climate change;
  • what alternatives there are.


  • Seminar Participation 15%
  • Mid-term Exam 20%
  • Term Paper/Annotated Bibliography (due in 3 stages) 40%
  • Final Exam 25%


There is one midterm exam and a final exam for this course. The term paper will be in the form of an annotated bibliography totaling approximately 3500 words (ten pages) and critically engaging an appropriate range of scholarly sources. Papers will be completed in three stages – proposal, draft outline and final paper – with topics chosen to explore an aspect of the course of special interest to the student. A detailed description of the term paper assignment will be distributed with the course syllabus during the first session of the course. Seminar participation is integral to the course and will be based on weekly assigned readings.

All assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade to be assigned.



Hak, A. M. 2016. Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming. Verso.
ISBN: 978-1784781293

A selection of required journal articles that are online and can be downloaded through the SFU Library will be specified in the course syllabus.


An extensive list of supplementary readings will be available in the full syllabus for LBST 311.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html