Professor John Wargo introduces the central question of the course, "Can law shape a sustainable future for ten billion people?" The purpose of the course is to examine the most important U.S. laws adopted over the past forty years, and to evaluate their effectiveness. Lectures will present histories of nuclear experimentation, industrial and organic agriculture, air quality, plastics, wilderness, green building certification, and land use regulation. By the end of the course students will be exposed to diverse statutory and regulatory strategies to prevent pollution, reduce wastes, protect human health, conserve energy, and to protect wild lands.
Wargo, Green Intelligence, prologue
Weinberg, Understanding Environmental Law, chapter 1
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.
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Spring 2010.