This course deals with the interactions between nature and humans through their economic activities. It seeks to give students a non-technical – but highly substantive – introduction to the economics of environmental protection. At least as important as understanding the economic way of thinking with regard to the environment is to try to understand the economic explanation for why “excessive” environmental degradation occurs. On an almost daily basis we impact nature in our roles as entrepreneurs, laborers, landowners and consumers, but why does environmental degradation occur at all as a result of economic activities? Is there an inevitable tradeoff between economic activity and environmental quality? Using a variety of source materials written by leading environmental and resource economists, we will investigate the linkages between economic and environmental conditions in the contemporary world.
This class is also offered as AREC 240, through the CSU Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics.
Field WorkCountry: South Africa
Date: October 12, 2018
The field class will help participants understand some of the complexities of natural resource management in South Africa. South Africa has enormous land-based wildlife and other natural resources that have multiple uses. Such resources can be difficult to manage. Meet at world famous Table Mountain for a briefing with University of Cape Town (UCT) faculty on key environment and development issues, combined with a ranger-led tour of the Mountain. Visit to UCT to discuss environmental economics research of faculty members and have lunch with students. Explore nearby Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which is considered one of the finest botanical gardens in the world. The Garden was established in 1913 and is devoted to plants native to South Africa. At the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, participants will learn about the flora of South Africa and discuss critical conservation issues.