The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 52
Published 5/22/13 | Log In
Businesses can care for the environment, speaker says
By KENDRA VANN-SJOGREN, Staff Reporter
Published: October 24, 2012
Professor Caleb Henry said he brought in Professor Jim Huffman, former Dean of Lewis and Clark Law School, in hopes of debunking the myth that a person cannot be a businessman and environmentally friendly at the same time.
“I wanted students to get rid of the false dichotomy that you can’t be for a free market as well as a businessman,” Henry said. “You can be a businessman and still be environmentally cautious.” Many business today are making the environment a priority,” he said.
Political science students gathered together on Monday night to hear Huffman speak about the free market and how it relates to environmental stewardship.
Henry and Professor Kathleen Braden of the Political Science department received a grant to bring in speakers to talk on the free market and the environment. Henry and Braden chose to bring in Huffman to speak along with Stephen Bretsen, Business chair of Wheaton College, and Jan Curry, Provost of Gordon College, to respond.
“I wanted to have Jan Curry and Stephen Bretsen in to give students a more rounded view of the issue,” Henry said.
Huffman spoke about the importance of water rights and how it can preserve species.
Huffman asked the question, “How much fish habitat are we willing to sacrifice to have clean water, or rather how much pollution in our drinking water are we willing to have to preserve fish habitats?”
Huffman explained that by having a free market control the wetlands and national parks, there could be more money brought to the parks.
Curry posed a counter-argument to Huffman’s points. He argued that having the free market control the parks, would become too expensive for people to enjoy visiting.
“When I was in New Zealand, we had to pay a large amount to camp in a national park. I found it outrageous,” Curry said.
Bretsen agreed with Curry and added, “The free market causes people to be viewed as just consumers and not human beings.”
Most students had a positive reaction to the speech.
“I feel like [Huffman’s speech] really played off what I have been learning in class” said Maria Ferkingst, political science student.
“This was a great event to facilitate what we’ve been studying,” junior Josh Bransford said.
Mark Charcas, a visual communication major, had a slightly different take on the evening.
“My brain hurts” he said. “I don’t think that lecture was meant for non-political science majors.”
Henry offered a solution to those who, like Charcas, were left a little puzzled.
“If you missed tonight’s event, or had trouble grasping the concepts, there will be a follow up speech on Wednesday” Henry said.
Henry and Braden brought in Penn State Law Professor Jamison Colburn to speak today about “Some Challenges in Using Property and Markets for Preservation.”
The lecture will take place in Otto Miller Hall 109 at 6 p.m. and is open to all.