Thursday, July 28, 2011
This past semester I took an Environmental Ethics class required for my major. Previously I have taken Forest Inventory classes which mainly focus on trees, Wildlife classes which as you can imagine involved learning about mostly native species, how to count them, populations and such, as well as a bunch of other what I would consider "Science classes" having to do with natural resources(hard facts not feelings). Going into Environmental Ethics I was hopeful, I thought there would be in depth discussion and analysis of environmental issues using facts and figures to rationalize or justify decisions. I soon realized this was not the case, the reading material was made up nearly entirely of Native American creation stories, fictional stories about unrealistic interactions with wildlife, and several manifestos by radical environmental groups. The discussions were even worse, stuff like "How can we think like a mountain"? Our grades were mainly based on writing assignments, where we were given several topics to choose from, but most of them had no basis in reality, basically creative writing exercise. Every time I picked the one that could be somehow related to documented research or knowledge I had gained from studying natural resources. I think it really annoyed the teacher, he always commented that it was interesting and no one has taken that approach before, however in terms of a grade it didn't end well for me. Looking back requiring that class for any science major is ridiculous. So I am curious about other people who may have taken Environmental Ethics classes or any other required class that was pretty much useless.