Peter Kareiva, director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, implores people to question assertions.

School is back in session, and many college students around the country are taking their first course in conservation and environmental science. I have taught these introductory courses for 30 years, and have been consistently surprised by the erroneous certainties students bring to the first environmental science lecture.

Rooted not in fact and science but in myth and fear, these certainties keep environmentalism from moving forward and being more relevant to the contemporary world. For my new students — and all environmentalists — here’s a quick guide to myth vs. reality in the environmental space.

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