Scribner Seminar Program
Environmental Problems. Economic Solutions?
Instructor(s): Lynda Vargha, Economics & Monica Das, Economics (F07 only)
Does the solution to the Earth's environmental problems depend upon the profit motive
inherent in the economic systems that cause these problems in the first place? This
seminar examines how the corporate need for economic profit and the insatiable consumer
desire for new products lead to environmental ills such as the pollution of air and
ground water, the devastation of ecosystems, and the degradation of natural resources.
Should the government take on the role of legislating "command and control" environmental
regulation or can these problems be solved through profit-based conservation? Students
in this seminar will critique cases in which command and control legislation, profit-based
conservation, or a combination of the two have been used to combat environmental problems.
Each student will develop a seminar project critiquing a specific environmental problem
and positing an appropriate policy solution.