A Transcript of the Interview with Steve Szeghi, Professor of Economics, Wilmington College, for the WPF “Dialogue of Civilizations”
My name is Steve Szeghi, I am professor of economics at Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio. My key interests are ecological economics and the economies of indigenous peoples and also the whole issue of social justice and equality between people. Those are my subfields within economics that I like to write about, speak about whenever I get the opportunity. In addition I teach all the standard economics courses at my school, micro/macro theory, history of economic thought, comparative economics systems, money and banking, the whole slew of courses. It is a very small teaching college, Liberal Arts College.
The greatest global threat, I guess I’ve been thinking about that during my time here at this conference so far. Sometimes lately I just feel very very sad, because I’m afraid that people can get used to the idea of a world without wilderness, a world without wildlife. I am afraid that people can adapt to that idea. It is going to be much to agree peril and suffering, because I think without wilderness, without wildlife we have a kind of tripping point here in terms of preserving critical habitat, in terms of protecting wildlife corridors and also in terms of doing something about climate change. It is like we are running out of time. If do not do something geopolitically on a global level to restructure our institutions that govern international trade and also laws and regulations to protect the species, then I think we are headed for a world without wilderness, without wildlife. It is going to be really sad, because that’s not the type of a world I want to pass on to my grandchildren. I have two recent grandsons, one is 6 months old and one is about 5 months old. I’d like them to see grizzly bears when they are my age. I’d like them to have that experience to pass on to their children. I’d like them to see wolves and abundance of the different species of whales, and tigers, and lions, and elephants.