During this session, Professor Wargo stresses the importance of considering the persistence of pollutants in the environment. He continues the discussion of the Atomic Energy Commission's (AEC) risk management strategies in the wake of nuclear experiments from 1945-1963, and also introduces risk reduction strategies attempted after the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl. These strategies underestimated the persistence of radionuclides in the environment. All of these approaches took place in secret, and these proceedings were only declassified in the 1990s. Governmental secrecy in these cases prevents the public from becoming fully literate about environmental risks and from being able to challenge or test the government's narrative.
Wargo, Green Intelligence, chapter 4
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.