The lecture discusses the various factors affecting the expansion of the U.S. renewable energy portfolio, as well as the importance of energy efficiency and changes to current consumption. As a case study, Professor Wargo discusses the nine-year effort to create Cape Wind, a wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts. The project has faced opposition for a number of reasons, including noise and disruption of use of private property. The lecture ties the development of more renewable energy options to issues of property rights and discusses ways to overcome challenges in siting, in noise pollution, and in the impacts on wildlife (i.e. avian mortality as a result of wind farms).
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.