Economics is concerned with how people living in a world of scarcity make choices. These choices inevitably involve costs. Questions examined in environmental economics include efficient resource use, preservation of wilderness and biological diversity, local and regional air pollution, global climate change, and treatment of toxic substances. Students learn how to use economic principles to help understand the causes of environmental problems and to identify potential remedies.
Western’s combined major in Economics and Environmental Studies is available to students who have a strong interest in the economic aspects of environmental studies and natural resources. The curriculum is designed to provide a broad area of study in the economic choices involved in how humans interact with natural systems.