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CHASER 21 Designing an Environmentally Responsible Un~iergraduate Curriculum Robert J. Matthews Richard H. Merritt, Rapporteur Farmers have historically occupied a place of pride in U.S. cul- ture. Thomas Jefferson described farmers as "most valuable citi- zens . . . the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtu- ous" (Peters, 1975:384). Jefferson located the source of these virtues in the special relation of farmers to their land: land ownership, he believed, gave them a vested long-term interest in their land, their communities, and the country. Given the immobility of land, their major capital investment, farmers could hardly afford to be anything but good stewards of their land, good citizens of their communities and the country. Agrarian writers throughout the span of American history have repeatedly praised farmers' stewardship of the land: Farmers might violently wrest their fields from the forest and prai- rie, the bounty of their crops from the furrowed soil; however, they lovingly protect the land from which this bounty springs. Even the briefest survey of our nation's history reveals that the reality does not accord with the agrarian myth of good stewardship. Whether it is a matter of the eroded badlands of Oklahoma, the Dust Bowl era immortalized in John Steinbeck~s The Grapes of Wrath, the massive destruction of hundreds of thousands of acres of wet- lands in the San Joaquin Valley of California, the depletion of the Ogallala aquifer of the High Plains, the fertilizer-induced eutrophica- tion of the Chesapeake Bay, or the salination and siltation of the Colorado River in Arizona, the conclusion is inescapable: U.S. farmers have not been good stewards of the land. U.S. farming practices, like many farming practices elsewhere in the world, have been and continue to be environmentally quite destructive. The most notable of these destructive effects have been (1) environmental contamina 173

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AGRICULTURE AND THE UNDERG~UATE tion (pesticides' fertilizers, siltation, salivation, animal waste, etc. ), (2) habitat destruction (e.g.' draining of wetlands, and deforesta- tion), and (3) resource depletion (soil erosion, water depletion, etc.). Water pollution is the most damaging and widespread effect of agricultural production. Agriculture is the largest nonpoint source of water pollution, which accounts for about half of all water pollu- tion. Precipitation and irrigation-induced runoff carry sediments, minerals, nutrients, and pesticides into rivers, streams, lakes, and estuaries. Sediment deposition and nutrient loading are the most serious of these polluting effects. Soil erosion and the subsequent sediment deposition in surface waters have been serious environmental problems for many years. Sediment deposition fills reservoirs, clogs waterways, and increases the costs of water treatment. Agricultural production is estimated to account for at least 50 percent of the sediment deposited in streams, rivers, and estuaries. The continuous monocultural or short-rotation farming methods currently used by U.S. agriculture is known to increase soil erosion; however, the increasing use of conservation tillage practices (which leaves crop residues on soil surface as a mulch cover) over the past decade has served to mitigate these damaging effects. Nutrient loading, however, re- mains a major problem, one that has been exacerbated in recent decades by the heavy use of synthetic nutrients. Nutrient loading stimulates algal growth in surface waters, which, when the algae die, depletes the available oxygen in the water and thus reduces (through death) aquatic plant and animal populations. It is esti- mated that 50 to 70 percent of all nutrients that reach surface wa- ters have their origin in fertilizer or animal agricultural waste. Pesticide contamination of surface waters has become a serious environmental and health problem over the past four decades. Be- tween 4SO million and 500 million pounds (204 million to 227 mil- lion kilograms) of pesticides, mostly herbicides, are applied to row crops each year in the United States. A small but nonetheless significant percentage of these pesticides is carried by runoff to surface waters, where they both harm wildlife and contaminate public water supplies. The bioaccumulation of DOT (dichloro- diphenyltrichloroethane) in fish, for example, contributed to the dra- matic decline in predatory bird populations, such as the peregrine falcon, osprey, and bald eagle, during the 1960S and 1970S. Many of the public water supplies drawn from surface waters in states with significant agricultural production, for example, lowa and Ohio, have detectable levels of pesticides. (one study [National Research Council, 1989] found detectable levels of two or more pesticides in 82 percent of the supplies tested; it found detectable levels of four or more pesticides in 58 percent of the supplies tested.) Groundwater contamination by agricultural chemicals has also become a serious problem. Pesticides have been detected in the 174

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AN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE CURRICULUM groundwater of 26 states. The most commonly detected compounds have been the insecticide aldicarb, which is the most acutely toxic pesticide registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the herbicide atrazine, which is oncogenic in laboratory rats and is currently under EPA review. The third most commonly detected pesticide is the herbicide alachlor, which is banned in Canada and is now classified by the EPA as a probable human carcinogen. Fertilizer-induced contamination of groundwater is also a serious problem. The U.S. Geological Survey conducted a survey of 1,663 counties in the United States and found some 474 counties in which 25 percent of the wells tested showed elevated levels of nitrate- nitrogen attributable to nitrogen fertilizer use. In 87 of these coun- ties, at least 25 percent of the wells had nitrate-nitrogen levels that exceeded the EPAts interim standard for nitrate in drinking water. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has calculated that some 46 percent of all U.S. counties contain groundwater susceptible to con- tamination from agricultural pesticides or fertilizers. Current irrigation practices seem no less threatening. Irrigation has made agricul tural production possible in many areas of the United States where it would otherwise be impossible, notably in the arid Southwest; it has also made intensive crop production possible in areas that could not otherwise sustain such production. But these production gains have been costly, not simply to farmers but to society as a whole. Irrigation has contributed significantly to aquifer depletion in many parts of the Midwest and West. in the arid West, where irrigation inevitably leads to salinization and min- eralization of the soil, groundwater depletion has been accompa- nied by significant surface water and groundwater contamination, not to mention damage to the land under irrigation. These costs seem all the more unsupportable in the face of growing municipal and industrial demand for water coupled with the fact that much irrigated acreage is currently being used to produce surplus com- modities (e.g., cotton, corn, and sorghum). The agrarian myth of good stewardship makes it very difficult to formulate, much less implement, an effective public policy to deal with these destructive environmental impacts. Public policy devel- ops only in response to a perceived need for policy, but the agrar- ian myth of good stewardship blinds us to the need for such a policy. It is hardly surprising that production agriculture is com- monly exempted from statutes that might otherwise serve to ame- liorate environmentally destructive agricultural practices. The agrarian myth of good stewardship makes it equally difficult to design, much less implement, a curriculum that might help to ameliorate these destructive environmental impacts. There is understandably little enthusiasm for curriculum changes that do not address a recog- nized problem. 175

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AGRICULTURE AND THE UNDERGRADUATE The fact that a session entitled "Designing an Environmentally Sensitive Curriculum" was included among the conferences concur- rent discussion sessions is a hopeful sign. It may finally signal both an end to the agricultural establishments long resistance to acknowledging agricultures environmental problems and a recogni- tion of the need for colleges of agriculture to modify the under- graduate curriculum of their students in ways that might prepare them to address these problems. For too many years, colleges of agriculture have regarded their environmental science curriculum as little more than either an exercise in public relations Damage control" or a panacea for sagging undergraduate enrollments. Having provided a reminder of what many already know, namely, that U.S. agriculture, for all its virtues, has real environmental prob- lems, I would like to sketch out a broad curriculum that might better prepare our graduates to deal with these problems. My aim here is not to actually present the design of such a curriculum but simply to provide a framework for our subsequent discussion. The ques- tions that I propose to address are these: (l) What should be the goals of an environmentally sensitive curriculum? (2) What are the means by which these curriculum goals should be achieved? (3) What support is necessary to ensure the success of a curriculum that undertakes to achieve these goals by these means? Goals: Untlerstanding and Analytical Skills The title of the session at which this chapter was presented envisions an environmentally sensitive curriculum, as if all that stu- dents need is a bit of sensitivity training. Agricultural professionals need more than environmental sensitivity; they, like all other Ameri- cans, need to become environmentally responsible. An environ- mentally responsible curriculum, I argue, should provide two things: relevant understanding and appropriate analytical skills. Such a curriculum should provide students with an understanding of both the scope and the magnitude of agriculture-related environmental problems and of federal (and perhaps state) regulatory policies that are intended to mitigate these problems. Such understanding is essential if students are to develop the requisite sensitivity to envi- ronmental issues; however, it can hardly be the sole goal of a curriculum that aims to prepare students for the future. Problems and policies change. Students must be provided with the analytical skills necessary to (l) understand such new environmental prob- lems as may arise and (2) understand, evaluate, and indeed, help to shape the new policies that will have to be devised to deal with these problems. Let me explain what I mean by~understanding,' end analytical skills." 176

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AN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE CURRICULUM By an understanding of agriculture-related environmental prob- lems and policies, I do not mean simply a cataloging of current problems and policies. Students must, of course, learn certain facts, for example, that U.S. agriculture is heavily dependent on chemical inputs (fertilizers' herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, anti- biotics)' that pesticide contamination of surface water and ground- water supplies is quite widespread, that many of these pesticides are known carcinogens, that agricultural pesticides are regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, that agricultural use accounts for 38 percent of water consumption in the United States, that the health risk from pesticide residues on foods is probably insignificant compared with the risk from natu- rally occurring alpha-toxins, and so on. But to have such knowl- edge is to fall far short of the sort of systematic, that is, holistic, understanding that 1 have in mind. If students are to appreciate not simply the magnitude and scope of agriculture-related environmen- tal problems but also the practical difficulty of getting a handle on these problems, they must understand the historical, social, politi- cal, and economic contexts within which they have arisen. They must, for example, understand the changes in the farm economy and farm structure that have both occasioned and resulted from modern agriculture's dependence on chemical and other purchased inputs. They must also understand the impetus for these changes provided both by federal farm policies and by the research and education provided by publicly funded institutions, notably, the nations land-grant universities. The analytical skills that students need to acquire are ( 1 ) problem recognition skills, that is, the ability to recognize an environmental problem when they see one, and (2) policy evaluation skills, that is, the ability to evaluate proposed environmental policies. One would hope that students would also acquire certain rudimentary policy formulation skills, that is, the ability to formulate a policy solution to an identified problem; however, this does not strike me as a rea- sonable goal for an undergraduate curriculum. These two analytical skills presume certain knowledge that stu- dents must acquire. These skills presume knowledge regarding environmental risk and risk management. Students need to be able to distinguish real problems from pseudo-problems and more seri- ous from less serious problems; they need to be able to distinguish policy solutions that promise to solve the problem without creating even more intractable problems. These skills presume knowledge of the policy process within which solutions to environmental prob- lems are crafted. Students need to understand, for example, how this process works and the roles that the key actors (e.g.' interest groups, the press, legislators, and administrators) play in the pro- cess. These skills presume a knowledge of ethical theory, on the basis of which the equity, fairness, and ethical acceptability of pro 177

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AGRICULTURE AND THE UNDERGRADUATE posed policies will be evaluated. The relevance and importance of the first two sorts of knowledge should be self-evident, so 1 will focus briefly on the third one. Ethical theory bears on public policy, including environmental policy, not as a goal of such policy but rather as a constraint upon acceptable policy or as a criterion for being the right policy: Good public policy must, among other things, be an ethically acceptable, if not the ethically best, policy. Of course, enacted policy is not always good policy; in particular, enacted policy is not always ethi- cally acceptable. Yet, even if ethical considerations are not deci- sive (and they often are not)' they do play an important role in the policy process, especially in a political system like our own, where political power is widely dispersed among groups with competing interests and where accepted political ideology holds that exer- cises of political power should conform to ethical norms. Policies that are perceived by a significant portion of the public to be ethi- cally unacceptable must survive in a hostile environment in which adoption, funding, and implementation are achieved only at great political cost to those who support the policy. Perceived ethical unacceptability often has a way of becoming political infeasibility. Knowledge of ethical theory is crucial to an understanding of the policy, indeed the political, process in the United States, precisely because of the diversity of our ethical perspectives. Much, perhaps most, of the policy debate in the United States is ethical in focus, by which I mean that it concerns questions of rights, obligations, entitlement, just dessert, fairness, equity, and so on. if students are to understand and participate in this debate, they need an ad- equate grounding in ethical theory; they also need to know how and where ethical theory bears on the policy process. One may wonder how our forefathers were able to get by so well with so little formal education in ethical theory. The answer is that they lived in a much more homogeneous society, one in which political power was held by those who shared a single ethical perspective. What students need to understand for the present purposes is the content and justification of the ethical theories that dominate U.S. political life. In particular, they understand the two dominant types of substantive ethical theory: rights-based and consequentialist ethics. They need to understand the two dominant strains or ten- dencies within rights-based ethics, libertarianism and egalitarian- ism, and the dominant type of consequentialist ethics, utilitarian- ism. They must also understand the crucial role that procedural ethics plays within our constitutional political system in resolving the deep ethical conflicts that pit consequentialists against libertar- ians and egalitarians. Students must also understand the contractarian justifications of these theories that proponents typically offer. Once students understand the character of these ethical theo- ries, they will be in a position to understand the ethical conflicts 178

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AN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE CURRICULUM that often arise in the course of the policy process: Rights-based theorists focus on the question of the ethical acceptability of the structure of legal rights and obligations that the policy imposes on those affected by the policy, asking whether this structure is com- patible with the dictates of their ethical theory; consequentialists, by contrast, focus on the question of the ethical acceptability of the policy~s performance or consequences, not for each individual taken singly but for society as a whole. Given these different ethical perspectives, there will often be conflict and disagreement regard- ing the ethical acceptability of policies. These disagreements are not of a sort that scientific or technical information can resolve, because the disagreement has nothing to do with empirical fact; they can only be resolved procedurally or, failing that, by an exer- cise of raw power by the stronger of the parties. Consider, for example, the increasingly frequent Water wars" in the Southwest that pit irrigation farmers against municipal and in- dustrial users. Farmers argue that they should be permitted contin- ued use of water at historical levees by virtue of their rights to the water; municipal and industrial users argue that they should be permitted use of this same water by virtue of the fact that their use of this water will maximize social welfare. There need be no fac- tual dispute that scientific or technical expertise can adjudicate; the dispute here is normative in character: Should society allocate this resource to farmers, or should it allocate it to municipal and indus- trial users7 Means The knowledge that the foregoing goals presumes (induding knowl- edge of production agricultural practices and systems, farm economy, and farm structure; environmental risk and risk management; the policy process; and ethical theories) is generally available within colleges of agriculture or within the liberal arts colleges associated with colleges of agriculture. But this knowledge is rarelyUpack- aged" in a way that focuses on environmental issues; more seri- ously, courses that provide one or another facet of this required knowledge rarely have as a curriculum goal the development of either the understanding or the analytical skills described above. If, by good fortune, a student happened to take courses that covered the relevant knowledge, it is unlikely that this student would suc- ceed in integrating this knowledge. The interconnections are sim- ply too complex and subtle. What is needed is a curriculum (1) that packages this knowledge in a way that focuses on, or at the very least calls attention to, its import for environmental issues, and (2) that provides some structure or mechanism for both integrating this knowledge and developing the requisite analytical skills. Changes of the first sort involve modifications, sometimes quite minor, to 179

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AGRICULTURE AND THE UNDERGRADUATE existing courses; changes of the second sort, however, require the development of new courses whose goal is to provide this integra- tion and to develop these analytical skills. The particular way in which these courses are integrated within an existing curriculum will, of course, depend on local circumstances. Within Cook College, the land-grant college of Rutgers University, these courses constitute part of the colleges general graduation requirement. Students must take at least 2 of the 21 courses of- fered (see box). 1 have included in the Appendix to this chapter the syllabus of one of these courses, Environmental Ethics, which 1 teach. That course is representative of many of the 21 courses. It has as its goals providing students with (1) an understanding of the ethical issues surrounding environmental policy and (2) the analyti- cal skills to make evaluations of the ethical acceptability of pro- posed environmental policies. Sections A and B are intended to motivate and justify a course on ethics and environmental policy Courses Constituting Part of Cook College's General Graduation Requirements Perspectives on Agriculture and the Environment Social and Ecological Aspects of Modern Agriculture Human Responses to Chemicals in the Environment A Systems Approach to Environmental and Agricultural Issues Environmental issues in the United States Natural Hazards Introduction to Systems Thinking and the Systems Approach Economics of World Food Problems Economic Growth, Man, and Environment Elements of Environmental Pollution Conservation of Natural Resources Health and Environment in America Population, Resources, and Environment Energy and Society Urban Society and Environment Culture and the Environment Politics of Environmental Issues Social Responses to Environmental Problems Social and Ecological Aspects of Health and Disease Conservation Ecology Environmental Ethics 180

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AN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE CURRICULUM (environmental ethics, for short). Section C, the theoretical heart of the course, examines the policy process, develops an analytical framework for policy analysis, introduces in some detail the mayor ethical theories that figure in public policy debate, and then dis- cusses how ethics fits into the policy process, both as a determi- nant of policy and as an analytical tool. These first three sections occupy about half of the semester. Sections D through H are basi- cally case study applications and illustrations of the theoretical framework introduced in section C. These latter sections of the course pro- vide students an opportunity both to develop their analytical skills on real environmental problems and to learn something about these problems. There is, of course, more to curriculum development than course development. Securing faculty agreement on proposed modifica- tions to college graduation requirements is often difficult, especially within a college of agriculture, where the various disciplines are often clamoring for as much of a students course time as they can get. There is also the difficulty of administering a curriculum of the sort envisioned. If the courses that constitute the curriculum re- main under the administrative egis of the disciplines (or depart- ments) that provide the faculty that staff them, it is difficult to en- sure that the content of these courses actually furthers the curriculum goals described above. If, on the other hand, these courses are administered and controlled by the college, for example, by a standing subcommittee of the college's curriculum committee, one gains the leverage necessary to ensure that courses have the proper content, but only at the price of constant administrative oversight. Support Three sorts of support are crucial to the successful development of an environmentally sensitive curriculum. First, there must be adequate institutional support within the college. Institutional iner- tia and "turf management" problems make change and innovation difficult. More importantly, perhaps, faculty often are decidedly unenthusiastic about curriculum reform for the simple reason that they are rarely rewarded for the time they spend on curriculum development. These problems can be overcome to some extent by appropriate changes to the reward structures within the college. But the key to faculty involvement, especially in larger research- oriented universities, is research opportunity: The curriculum un- der development must open up opportunities for new research. The requirement that proposed curricula generate research op- portunities relates directly to a second sort of support that is crucial to the development of an environmentally responsible curriculum: There must be adequate research support to foster the develop 181

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AGRICULTURE AND THE UNDERGRADUATE ment of needed curriculum materials. Courses that support the curriculum goals described above are difficult to develop and teach. Assembling and mastering the background materials necessary to design such a course are very time-consuming. Finding and as- sembling course materials suitable for student use are even more difficult and time-consuming. One invariably ends up having to assemble a photocopied collection of readings borrowed from a number of different sources. Many faculty, especially in less re- search-oriented institutions, simply do not have either the time or the access to information to undertake such a task. The desired curriculum changes will therefore come to those institutions only when the appropriate textbooks, anthologies, and research mono- graphs are published. So, to the extent that one hopes to see curriculum changes take hold nationwide, there is going to have to be adequate research support. Finally, the successful development of an environmentally re- sponsible curriculum in colleges of agriculture requires what might be dubbed adequate extension support. The curricul urn needs input from the field to ensure that it addresses real problems and equips students with the skills to handle these problems. The traditional land-grant concept of extension, research, and teaching is no less appropriate in environmental science than it is in agricul- tural science. Each of these three components is essential to the development of an environmentally responsible curriculum. References National Research Council. 1989. Alternative Agriculture. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Peters, M. D., ed. 1975. Letter to John Jay, August 23, 1785. P. 384 in The Portable Thomas Jefferson. New York: The Viking Press. Appendix Syllabus and Readings for the Course Environmental Ethics There are any number of serious environmental problems that deserve public consideration and action, for example, acid rain, habitat destruction, species extinction, groundwater contamination, overpopulation, siltation of rivers, and deforestation. Environmen- tal ethics is not concerned with these problems per se; rather, it is concerned with the ethical issues associated with these problems (e g ~ our obligations, if any, to preserve endangered species and equitable distribution of natural resources) A single environmental 182

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AN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSH3LE CURRICULUM problem may raise more than one ethical issue; the same ethical issue may be raised by more than one environmental problem. The syllabus for the course is structured in terms of ethical is- sues; specific environmental problems and their attendant public policy initiatives are used to illustrate these issues. A. What Are the Proper Goals of an Enuironmental Policy? Environmentalists are sharply divided on the question of the proper goals of environmental policy: On the one side are the Upreserva- tionists," who argue that we have an obligation to preserve the natural environment in its Unatural" state, while on the other side are the Conservationists," who argue that we have a right, perhaps even an obligation, to make optimal use of environmental/natural resources. What one takes to be the proper goals of such policy influences both what one takes to be the salient ethical issues and what one takes to be the appropriate tools and techniques for dealing with issues that one recognizes. Preservationists, for example, have the task of explaining the source and scope of our supposed obligation to preserve the natural environment; conservationists, on the other hand, must answer such questions as for whose benefit should environmental resources be managed, and what counts as Optimal use"? Readings: Taylor, P. W. 1981. The ethics of respect for nature. Environmental Ethics 3: 197-2 18. Baxter, W. 1986. People or penguins? Pp. 214-218 in People, Penguins, and Plastic Trees, D. VanDeVeer and C. Pierce, eds. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth. B. How Ethical Issues Arise: The Coercive Nature of Public Policy Many of the ethical issues raised by environmental problems stem from the simple fact that effective environmental policies are invariably coercive: environmental protection demands forms of social cooperation that can often be secured only by coercive means. One of the fundamental questions of environmental ethics asks under what circumstances is coercion justified. Reading: Schelling, T. 1978. On the ecology of micromotives. In Micromotives and Behavior. New York: W. W. Norton. C. Ethics and Public Policy: An Analytico1 Framework The complexity of the ethical issues raised by various environ- mental problems underscores the need for a coherent analytical 183

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AGRICULTURE AND THE UNDERGRADUATE framework from which we can assess and evaluate the ethical ac- ceptability of public policies proposed to mitigate these problems. In this section we begin with public policy (Ch. 2), asking what is public policy, defining the policy process, and developing a frame- work for analyzing public policy. We then turn to ethical theory (Ch. 3), first developing the notion of asocial contract," then consider- ing rights-based ethical theories (libertarianism and egalitarianism), consequentialist ethical theories (utilitarianism), and proceduralist ethical theories. We next consider (Ch. 4) how ethics and policy fit together, discussing how ethical theory bears on public policy, how ethics figures in the policy process, rights-based (structure-focused) policy evaluation, consequentialist (performance-focused) evaluation (including cost-benefit analysis), and evaluative schemes that at- tempt to accommodate both rights and consequences. Reading: Thompson, P., R. J. Matthews, and E. O. van Ravenswaay. In press. Public Policy, Ethics, and Agriculture. New York: Macmillan (Chapters 2-4). D. Human Obligations to Wildlife Most environmental policy decisions have a significant impact on wildlife, typically through their impact on wildlife habitat. in this section we will examine the questions of what ethical obligations, if any, we have regarding wildlife (either as individuals or as species) and how such obligations as we do have are to be weighed against conflicting obligations we may have to other humans. we will consider critically the widely held assumption that the animal lib- eration movement is a close ally of the environmental movement. Readings: Sagoff, M. 1984. Animal liberation and environmental ethics: Bad marriage, quick divorce. Osgood Hall Law Journal 22 :297-307. Gunn, A. S. 1984. Preserving rare species. Pp. 289-335 in Earth- bound: New Essays in Environmental Ethics, T. Regan, ed. New York: Random House. E. Equity: What Counts as a Just Distribution of Environmental Resources? Many environmental problems have to do with the depletion of various natural resources. Policies that aim to regulate resource utilization face a basic ethical issue: How are competing claims on scarce environmental/natural resources to be adjudicated? What counts as a just distribution of these resources? Readings: Thompson, P., R. J. Matthews, and E. O. van Ravenswaay. in press. Public Policy, Ethics, end agriculture. New York: Macmillan (chapter 6~. 184

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AN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE CURRICULUM Freeman, M. 1986. The ethical basis of the economic view of the environment. Pp. 21~227 in People, Penguins, and Plastic Trees, D. VanDeVeer and C. Pierce, ads. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth. F. Environmental HealtI? and Safety: Acceptable Risk in matters of human health and safety, as elsewhere, there is no free lunch. Decreased risk comes only at a price. A fundamental ethical issue in environmental ethics asks about the levels of risk that we should find acceptable. Readings: Portney, P., ed. 1978. Toxic substance policy. In U.S. Environmental Policy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Johnson, D. 1986. The ethical dimensions of acceptable risk in food safety. Agriculture and Human Values 111:171-179. Shue, H. 1986. Food additives and 'minority rights': Carcinogens and children. Agriculture and Human Values 111:191-200. G. International Problems Many environmental problems are global or at least international in character: Their solution requires international action. These problems raise issues regarding the source of any ethical obliga- tions of nations to cooperate in these international actions as well as issues regarding the basis of any assessment of the equity of proposed solutions to these problems. H. Future Generations Environmental policy typically has consequences for future gen- erations. in this section we examine the question of our obliga- tions, if any, to future generations. Our examination considers such complicating factors as the contingency of future generations (i.e., it is to some extent up to us whether there will be future genera- tions), uncertainty as to their precise needs, etc. We also examine the ethical import of the fact that certain necessities for human life are seemingly nonrenewable and irreplaceable. RAPPORTEUR'S SUMMARY Robert J. Matthews is a professor of philosophy and an environ- mental ethicist. He approached the topic of an environmentally sensitive curriculum from that perspective. He described an envi- ronmentally sensitive curriculum as one that win (l) develop in stu- dents the ability to recognize that a problem exists in agriculture as a result of environmental insults caused by several agricultural prac- tices, (2) present to students knowledge of current problems and 185

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AGRICULTURE AND THE UNDERGRADUATE policies designed to mitigate these problems, and (3) develop in students analytical skills that will permit them not only to recognize problems but to evaluate them as well. He stated further that policy development activities should be included in ethics courses. The discussion focused on how ethics subject matter should be incorporated into the curriculum. The consensus was that it should be accomplished through new integrating ethics courses and through portions (modules) of existing courses such as those offered in policy analysis, business and management, environmental educa- tion, and agricultural production, among others. It was stressed that an effective program requires not only coordination but faculty development workshops and other related activities as well. Course content was discussed next. Matthews promoted the theme that students must be able to recognize ethical issues and how they fit into the policy process. In order to do this, they must understand policy processes and the two primary ethical theories used in the policy process: rights-based and consequentialist. Rights- based theories focus on individual rights, whereas consequentialist theories focus on maximizing social welfare. The knowledge base that these courses or modules require is usually available in all colleges of agriculture. How to get faculty interested and involved in developing and participating in an environmentally sensitive curriculum received considerable discussion. Major themes included the following: (1) the need to have an effective reward system so that faculty are encouraged to participate rather than be penalized "because it took away from their research productivity," which itself is a good re- search area for some; (2) administrators must create a positive environment; (3) faculty development activities are essential; and (4) major collegewide curriculum renewal and revitalization efforts would foster many of these changes. One participant asked, "Why do faculty add units of many kinds to their courses and not others, such as environment and ethics7" The only answer suggested was that the units that are added are probably the result of one's own research activities. The availability of course and faculty development materials was also discussed. A good source of case materials is the Journal Agriculture and Human Values (Richard P. Haynes, Editor, Univer- sity of Florida, Gainesville). Forthcoming by Macmillan is a book entitled Public Policy, Ethics, and Agriculture by P. Thompson, R. J. Matthews, and E. O. van Ravenswaay (Macmillan' New York). Two faculty development workshops on ethical aspects of food, agricul- ture, and natural resources were offered by the National Agriculture and Natural Resources Curriculum Project in June 1987 at the Uni- versity of Kentucky. Several copies of the workshop materials are still available from Richard H. Merritt, the project director (send $25.00 to Department of Horticulture, Cook College, Rutgers Uni 186

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AN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE CURRICULUM varsity, P.O. Box 231, New Brunswick, NJ 08903). Another paper, "Integrating Agricultural and Environmental Studies in Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources," by Richard H. Merritt was com- missioned by the congressional Office of Technology Assessment in 1989 and is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. Other re- sources such as syllabi are available, as are results of courses concerned with agriculture, natural resource, and environmental studies now being offered in U.S. colleges and universities. Courses are offered at Texas A&M University; Cornell University; the University of Florida; California Polytechnic State University, San LUiS Obispo; the University of Maryland; and Rutgers University, among others. 187