Quicklink: Farm Environmental Reports
IERE (The Institute for Environmental Research and Education) is a nonprofit organization that supports environmental decision making based on factual information. We obtain and help others obtain the knowledge and skills they need to make better environmental decisions. IERE has offices in Washington State and in Iowa.
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Decisions are made based on two things: what is KNOWN about the environmental impacts of human activities (the facts), and how we VALUE the different aspects of the environment and human activities. The valuation part of the process is independent of science and engineering: a specialist's opinion about what is important is no more valuable than that of the person on the street.
Our knowledge of the environment is incomplete, but in many cases we have enough factual information to have a reasonable prediction about the effects of our choices. Unfortunately, environmental decisions are rarely based on the facts of the matter, but rely simply on value judgements. That means we are ignoring information about potential environmental damage, and it means that our decision are just as likely to cause damage to the environment as to benefit it, even where environmental protection was the goal of the decision. Many millions of dollars have been spent to protect the environment, while simply causing the environmental damage to another environmental system.
In a world where resources are limited, and where decisions not based on facts are likely to cause further environmental degradation, better access to facts is an urgent need. IERE was formed to address this need.
Among the factors that lead to decision making without concerns for the facts are:
While little can be done to change decision making approaches
in individuals, significant efforts can be made to provide facts
and skills to decision-makers. IERE was formed to do just that,
through its four program areas.