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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Descriptions

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.

Course Offered