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5 key lessons from espm 10

Distinguished Teaching Award winner Stephen Welter, professor of environmental science, policy, and management, teaches ESPM 10, Environmental Issues. “When it comes to real environmental solutions, there are so many trade-offs that are heartbreaking and difficult,” says Welter. “This course attempts to blend the facts of each issue with a strong ethical base, from which you must examine your own assumptions— and make your own decisions.”

Breakthroughs asked Welter to share five key lessons he hopes will stick with his students — and with you:

  1. “Many environmental ‘dilemmas’ are not dilemmas at all. However, the solutions may have costs that we don’t understand, that we choose not to acknowledge, or that we’re simply not willing to bear.”
  2. “Resolving any environmental issue requires more than just passion. It requires a clear understanding of fundamental causes. It also requires the will to make difficult decisions that involve real, and often painful, trade-offs.”
  3. “Environmental changes are happening very quickly. In fact, the scope and rate of change are much greater than many people understand.”
  4. “No one discipline is going to come up with sustainable environmental solutions. These problems touch every aspect of our lives; we need to confront them in a scientific context, a social context, a political context, and an economic context.” 5 “If you want to make change, you have to step up and bear part of the burden.”

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