WMU News

Higher ed's role in addressing environmental woes

March 2, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Does higher education have a responsibility to help solve such global dilemmas as overpopulation, natural resource depletion and starvation?

A Western Michigan University expert in environmental studies will answer that question Thursday, March 15, in a presentation sponsored by the WMU Center for the Study of Ethics in Society.

Dr. Harold Glasser, assistant professor of environmental studies, will speak on "Sustainability and the Ethical Responsibility of Institutions of Higher Learning" at 7 p.m. in the Brown and Gold Room of the Bernhard Center. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Glasser will explore the views on the responsibility of educators and institutions of higher learning to address environmental responsibility and sustainability concerns.

"Americans are more overfed and overweight than ever before, yet more than half of humanity is underfed and undernourished," Glasser says. "Our energy profligacy creates health problems and climate change, while the quest for new sources of oil results in the decimation of both species and cultures. There are some ethical dilemmas that result from our failure to address these issues."

Glasser, who holds degrees in physics, mechanical engineering and environmental engineering, has researched the evaluation of environmental problems and the process of making social choices about the environment. A member of the newly formed national Higher Education Network for Sustainability and the Environment, he has written on environmental policy and economics, education for ecocultural sustainability, and environmental values. He was a visiting senior Fulbright scholar at the Center for Development and Environment at the University of Oslo and a visiting researcher at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, Austria.

For more information, contact the WMU Center for the Study of Ethics in Society at (616) 387-4397.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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