Environmental Policy Analysis and Practice

Environmental Policy Analysis and Practice

Environmental Policy Analysis and Practice

Environmental Policy Analysis and Practice


Pressing environmental challenges frequently have stakeholders on all sides of the issues. Opinions expressed by government agencies, the private sector, special interests, nonprofit communities, and the media, among others can quickly cloud the dialogue, leaving one to wonder how policy decisions actually come about.


I usually begin my senior-level course on protecting public health and the environment with the following statement: “Think of an environmental policy problem that you are really worried about, that distracts you (maybe keeps you up at night), that you talk about with your family and friends, and that probably brought you to this course.” After a minute, they tell me what these problems are, and I write them on the board. Then I ask, “Why haven't we fixed these problems?” Some students seem surprised by the question, and they aim quizzical looks at me. I can feel them asking themselves, “If he's the expert, why is he asking us?”

I start the course this way because even the youngest students have already learned a lot about why we have not fixed the environmental health problems that they fear the most. Most of them have learned from tales, but some have grounding in theories and tools too. This introduction describes the way themes, tales, theories, tools, and tasks (the five T's) are used in this book to illuminate the six policy criteria, the organization of the volume, and the objectives of each chapter, as well as some of the methods I have used to teach environmental policy.

Themes, Tales, Theories, Tools, and Tasks

These are my equivalent of the three R's. Themes are the policy subjects, such as indoor air quality, the use of pesticides on crops, children's exposure to lead, the stockpile of chemical warfare agents, and nuclear power. My teaching of these subjects has led me to use several out-of-the-ordinary teaching devices. First, I do not provide an absolute answer to policy questions. That is, I do not say that government should do this or that. Instead, I provide clues, and, more specifically, I steer students into weighing the advantages and disadvantages of different decisions. There are tables in chapters 1 through 6 that pull together these advantages and disadvantages. Then I organize tasks that require students to debate . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.