What’s an environmental issue? — Gus Speth

I don’t know the provenance of this quote attributed to Gus Speth, which affirms the role of the humanities in a STEM-obsessed world, but I did find this interview, conducted by Steve Curwood.


“You know, what’s an environmental issue?” And if the answer is air pollution, water pollution, climate change…then we’re really right where we’ve been. But what if an environmental issue is something that has a big effect on environmental outcomes, on our prospects of leaving a good environment to our children and grandchildren? Well, then an environmental issue includes things like the health of our political system and sustaining our failing democracy and not just sustaining our natural areas. The things that affect environment outcomes are politics and the ascendancy of money power over people power, and all the other flaws that are undermining our democracy.