Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Managing a Better Environment: Opportunities and Obstacles for ISO 14001 in Public Policy and Commerce

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Managing a Better Environment: Opportunities and Obstacles for ISO 14001 in Public Policy and Commerce

Article excerpt

Review: Managing a Better Environment: Opportunities and Obstacles for ISO 14001 in Public Policy and Commerce By J. Morrison, K. K. Cushing, Z. Day, and J. Speir Reviewed by Elery Hamilton-Smith Charles Sturt University, Australia J. Morrison, K. K. Cushing, Z. Day, & J. Speir. Managing a Better Environment: Opportunities and Obstacles for ISO 14001 in Public Policy and Commerce. Oakland, CA: The Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, 2000. 133 pp.

This book fails to meet any normal standards of good writing. Essentially, the authors appear to have set out to write a book with no clear concept of the intended readership. It commonly has sentences of between 40 and 50 words. It suffers from an epidemic of acronyms with no glossary to assist the reader in interpreting them. It assumes a considerable prior knowledge of International Standards on the part of the reader. At the same time it has a detail-packed account of the trivia that surrounds the genesis and development of ISO 14001 and other peripheral topics. This in turn detracts attention from the stated objectives of the volume as expressed in the title. The result is a great deal of obscurity.

However, it deals with a topic of current importance to those responsible for environmental policy and practices. The shift from governmental control over public policy and commercial action to a hoped-for, but so far poorly enunciated, concept of self-regulation demands ongoing critical review and assessment. At present, the outlook is indeed uncertain. The authors on one hand extol the virtues of the ISO approach (but with little supporting evidence), yet admit that there are immense barriers that commonly make it unworkable. …

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