Understanding Environmental Policy

Understanding Environmental Policy

STEVEN COHEN
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: 2
Pages: 232
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/cohe16774
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Understanding Environmental Policy
    Book Description:

    The first edition of this pragmatic course text emphasized the policy value of a "big picture" approach to the ethical, political, technological and scientific, economic, and management aspects of environmental issues. The text then applied this approach to real-world case examples involving leaking underground storage tanks, toxic waste cleanup, and the effects of global climate change.

    This second edition demonstrates the ongoing effectiveness of this framework to generating meaningful action and policy solutions to today's urgent environmental issues. The text adds case examples concerning congestion taxes, e-waste, hydrofracking, and recent developments in global climate change and updates references and other materials throughout, incorporating the political and policy changes of the Obama Administration's first term and developments in national and global environmental issues.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-53768-1
    Subjects: Political Science, Environmental Science, General Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
    (pp. ix-xii)
    JOHN KENNEDY
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
    Steven Cohen
  5. PART I. DEVELOPING A FRAMEWORK
    • 1 UNDERSTANDING ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
      (pp. 3-10)

      Environmental and sustainability policy is a complex and multidimensional issue. As Harold Seidman observed inPolitics, Position, and Power: The Dynamics of Federal Organization, “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” That is, one’s position in an organization influences one’s stance and perspective on the issues encountered. Similarly, one’s take on an environmental issue or the overall issue of environmental protection and sustainable economic development varies according to one’s place in society and the nature of one’s professional training.

      For example, to a business manager, the environmental issue is a set of rules one needs to understand in order...

    • 2 A FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING THE ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ISSUE
      (pp. 11-54)

      Environmental problems cross the boundaries of sovereign states and, in the case of global climate change, affect natural systems that are worldwide in scope. The environmental problem has a great number of dimensions, all linked to the inescapable fact that human beings are biological entities, dependent on a limited number of resources for survival. As Earth’s population continues to grow, so too does the stress on finite natural systems and resources. Yet our ability to use information and technology to expand the planet’s carrying capacity also continues to grow.

      This book is a brief exploration into the fundamental issues of...

  6. PART II. APPLYING THE FRAMEWORK
    • 3 WHY CAN’T NYC GET A CONGESTION CHARGE?
      (pp. 57-81)

      In 2007 New York City faced a tough road—actually a bunch of crowded roads—especially in Manhattan south of Central Park. With a growing population, as well as an aging transportation infrastructure, how would the city meet the needs of today and, looking forward, tomorrow? Roads and public transit systems needed to be updated and expanded to meet the constantly growing demand from residents. The city, however, lacked the funds to complete all the necessary projects. The projects proposed by Mayor Bloomberg would require billions in investments beyond what the city and state had already allocated. Further, there remained...

    • 4 WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR E-WASTE AND HOW CAN WE ENSURE ITS SAFE DISPOSAL?
      (pp. 82-105)

      Electronics have become a necessity in the global economy—critical for work, communication, and entertainment. However, used, discarded, broken, or obsolete electronic equipment and devices—known as electronic waste, or e-waste—is a growing global problem. E-waste includes computers, office equipment, cellular phones, tablets, televisions, video game or entertainment devices, and other electronic devices used at home or at work. These waste products contain toxic materials that require special collection and disposal, and can lead to serious environmental and health problems if not disposed of properly. The original products are also resource- and energy-intensive to manufacture, often requiring scarce natural...

    • 5 WHY IS HYDROFRACKING CONTENTIOUS?
      (pp. 106-127)

      Hydraulic fracturing, or popularly, hydrofracking, is an increasingly important environmental policy issue in the United States. Hydrofracking is the practice of extracting natural gas or oil from geological shale rock formations. Hydrofracking has been a method of gas and oil extraction for decades, but recent technological developments have allowed energy companies to extract unconventional, or previously unattainable, deposits of this abundant energy source.

      Extracting unconventional shale gas requires injecting water, sand, and chemicals at high pressure into rock thousands of feet deep to break open the shale formation and release the natural gas trapped inside. First a well is drilled...

    • 6 HOW CAN WE ASSESS THE RISKS OF, PREPARE FOR, AND SLOW CLIMATE CHANGE?
      (pp. 128-156)

      Earth’s climate is an extremely complex system, making it difficult to identify trends and their causes. In the last three decades, scientists have become increasingly certain that global temperatures are rising. However, temperature records and other data reveal that Earth’s temperature has always fluctuated. Separating natural fluctuations from anthropogenic, or human-induced, change is a major challenge faced by scientists working to interpret recent changes in global average temperatures. The impact of human activities on climate has long been a subject of study. In 1970 Helmut Landsberg, who was one of the first scientists to identify and quantify such changes, published...

  7. PART III. UNDERSTANDING, DEVELOPING, AND IMPLEMENTING ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
    • 7 WHAT HAS THE FRAMEWORK TAUGHT US ABOUT THESE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY PROBLEMS AND WHAT ELSE DO WE NEED TO KNOW?
      (pp. 159-173)

      The previous sections of the book examined a set of environmental issues through a framework that provided a common set of questions:

      What is the value basis of this problem?

      What is it about our way of life that led to this problem? Can the problem be solved by changing the way we live? Can we change the way we live, or are these behaviors too central to our culture and value system to be changed?

      What type of political issue does this environmental problem pose, and how did it get on the political agenda? What political, economic, and social...

  8. 8 CONCLUSIONS: Improving Environmental Policy
    (pp. 174-192)

    Our goal is to improve environmental and sustainability policy. My saying that we want to do a better job should not be read to imply that I think we are doing a bad job. Quite the contrary. I think that our environmental agencies have made impressive progress in addressing environmental issues and are often unjustly criticized. I think our cities are starting to include a sustainability perspective in their economic development plans and our best-managed corporations are also starting to do this. I think that our society, academic community, government, and private institutions have learned an enormous amount about our...

  9. REFERENCES
    (pp. 193-204)
  10. NOTES
    (pp. 205-206)
  11. INDEX
    (pp. 207-212)