People often ask me to suggest “environmentally good” careers or “environmentally good” courses of studies. This misses the point, because people who care about the world must be EVERYWHERE.

They must be university professors, they must be corporate executives, they must be lawyers and politicians and movie stars and truck drivers and general contractors and electricians. What I mean by saying this is that you will be important to the world WHEREVER you end up, so head in the direction that offers the widest range for your talents and inclination.

SAVING THE WORLD IS NOT THE PROVINCE OF ANY SPECIALTY. I’m a wonderful example of this; I’m not an environmental engineer; I’m not the warden of a wildlife preserve; I’m not a lobbyist for environmental causes: But I do what is in my power to do.

My very best talents are dedicated to this cause—and yet to the best of my knowledge I’ve saved not a single plant or animal (much less an entire species). Thus my advice to you (and to all who ask this question) must be: Strive to realize your best talents and find a way to be effective AS ONLY YOU CAN BE EFFECTIVE.

To this I must add: Don’t be disheartened if this takes a while; it took me forty years.

ID: 56
Posted: 08 Feb 1997