Schulze Addresses Common Obstacles to Progress in Environmental Issues
SHERMAN, TEXAS— Millions of people are aware of environmental problems, but progress has been slow. Why? Obstacles to Environmental Progress: a U.S. Perspective, by Dr. Peter Schulze and published open-access by University College London Press, aims to help readers anticipate obstacles and thus hasten environmental progress.
Schulze is a professor of biology and environmental science at Austin College where he also directs the Center for Environmental Studies and the Sneed Prairie Restoration. During his time as Center director, the college has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 60% and ranked second nationally in renewable energy use per student. The prairie project received the 2020 Texas award for excellence in environmental education.
Obstacles to Environmental Progress identifies 18 practical obstacles that routinely and predictably hinder progress on existing environmental problems, even if an issue is not controversial. The obstacles apply to problems small and large, and though the book focuses on the U.S., many of the hurdles arise elsewhere as well.
Schulze divides the obstacles into three categories: challenges to anticipating, detecting, and understanding problems; factors that interfere with responding; and obstacles to effective responses. The book seeks to expedite progress by forewarning and forearming those who strive to improve the environment. It helps readers anticipate obstacles and encourages intentional study of the obstacles as related phenomena to be better understood and thus more readily overcome. The final chapter describes reasons for optimism and offers recommendations.
Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature says, “We’ve long needed something like this: a gazetteer for answering the endless series of objections and overcoming the repetitive obstacles that stand between us and the environmental progress we urgently require.”