Can We Do Without Them?
Department of Geosciences
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Department of Agricultural Education and Communications
Texas Tech University
By simulating a public hearing, this case study requires that students sift through and organize information on pesticide use presented to them from the perspective of different stakeholders. The case asks a fundamental question, Can we do without pesticides?, and gives students an opportunity to explore the ecological, ethical, economic, social, and political issues surrounding that question. Developed for an environmental issues course, the case would be appropriate for any introductory course that addresses human-environment interactions.
- Define the terms "pest" and "pesticide" and give specific examples.
- Discuss benefits and harmful effects of pesticide use.
- Discuss implications of banning pesticides.
- Articulate the dilemmas underlying this case, including the ecological, ethical, economic, social, and political issues involved.
KeywordsPest; pesticide; avicide herbicide; fungicide; molluscicide; ovicide; rodenticide; herbicide; Silent Spring; Rachel Carson
Topical AreasEthics, Policy issues, Regulatory issues, Social issues
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsDilemma/Decision, Interrupted, Public Hearing
Subject HeadingsEnvironmental Science | Natural Resource Management | Agriculture | Public Health |