Environmental Politics and Law

Course Description

Can law change human behavior to be less environmentally damaging? Law will be examined through case histories including: environmental effects of national security, pesticides, air pollution, consumer products, plastics, parks and protected area management, land use, urban growth and sprawl, public/private transit, drinking water standards, food safety, and hazardous site restoration. In each case we will review the structure of law and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses.

Course Structure:
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Spring 2010.

Environmental Politics and Law
About Professor John P. Wargo

John Wargo is a Professor of Risk Analysis and Political Science, and is Chair of the Yale College Environmental Studies Major. He has written and lectured extensively on the limits and potential of environmental law. He wrote Green Intelligence: Creating Environments that Protect Human Health (Yale Press 2009), which is the primary text used in this course. The book won the Independent Publishers' Gold Medal Award in the field of "environment, ecology, and nature" for 2010 and was chosen as one of Scientific American's favorite books for 2009. He also wrote Our Children's Toxic Legacy: How Science and Law Fail to Protect Us from Pesticides (Yale Press 1998) that won the American Association of Publishers award as the best book in the field of political science. Professor Wargo has participated in several National Academy of Scie
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