Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sage words on environmental protection

Barry Commoner was recently interviewed in the New York Times, and it is a fun read. I like how he sticks to his guns regarding his philosophy on the environment. I also like how he states a key issue we must all grapple with:

"What I have experienced over time is that environmental problems are easier to deal with in ways that don’t go into their interconnections to the rest of what we are."

I think what he is saying is that human behavior is pretty complicated. It is difficult to "solve" some problems either decisively or without creating another. Getting it right requires careful thought about exactly what the interconnections are and why they are there.

This is the philosophy of modern economics and much of social and physical science: identifying the reasons for the big picture as well as the big picture itself, and better informing policy about how to solve the big picture through tackling the reasons.

I also identified with Barry Commoner's statement that taking public transit to Queens College is extremely time consuming!