Environmental Politics and Law

Course Number
EVST 255
About the Course

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.

Syllabus

Professor
John Wargo, Tweedy/Ordway Professor of Environmental Health and Politics
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.

Texts

Kessler, David. A Question of Intent. New York: Public Affairs, 2002.

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma. New York: Penguin, 2007.

Wargo, John. Green Intelligence. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009.

Weinberg, Philip, and Kevin Reilly. Understanding Environmental Law. 2nd ed. Lexis Nexis Press, 2008.

Requirements

Students will complete a take-home midterm and a take-home final examination, but may substitute a short research paper for the midterm. Students will also prepare several short assignments to prepare for section and interpret readings.

Grading

Final Examination: 40%
Paper or Midterm: 50%
Discussion Section: 10%

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Course Books and Other Related Titles

Yale University Press offers a 10% discount on the books used in EVST 255 that it publishes, as well as on other related titles. A portion of the proceeds from your purchases will be donated for the ongoing support and development of the Open Yale Courses program.