Course: Environmental Politics and Law with John Wargo Dnatube

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Lec 1 - Introduction to the Course - In ...

"Lec 1 - Introduction to the Course"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) Professor John Wargo introduces the central question of the course, "Can law shape a sustainable future for ten billion people?" The purpose of the course is to examine the most important U.S. laws adopted over the past forty years, and to evaluate their effectiveness. Lectures will present histories of nuclear...
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Lec 2 - Principles & Strategies in Envi ...

"Lec 2 - Principles & Strategies in Environmental Law"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The United States' fragmented, piecemeal approach to environmental law is presented through the cases that led to the creation of major environmental statutes such as the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The variety of federal agencies and levels of government that...
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Lec 3 - Nuclear Experiments

"Lec 3 - Nuclear Experiments"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) To illustrate the linkages among national security, secrecy, and environmental quality, Professor Wargo describes the Atomic Energy Commission's nuclear tests in the 1950s. The Atomic Energy Commission collected data on the spread of radionuclides from the nuclear tests, and discovered that the radionuclides were...
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Lec 4 - Nuclear Secrecy and Ecology

"Lec 4 - Nuclear Secrecy and Ecology"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The United States government employed a variety of approaches to protect citizens from danger, including public education, nuclear weapons testing, and gathering data about the effects of nuclear testing. The US government's testing of nuclear weapons at the Bikini Atoll is used as an example of government...
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Lec 5 - Preparing for War: NEPA

"Lec 5 - Preparing for War: NEPA"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) During this session, Professor Wargo stresses the importance of considering the persistence of pollutants in the environment. He continues the discussion of the Atomic Energy Commission's (AEC) risk management strategies in the wake of nuclear experiments from 1945-1963, and also introduces risk reduction strategies...
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Lec 6 - Marine Food-Chains: Mercury

"Lec 6 - Marine Food-Chains: Mercury"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The military's use of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques as a training site is discussed to highlight the challenges involved in identifying and restoring hazardous sites. Political opposition is faced while attempting to get a site recognized as hazardous, deciding how to compensate those affected, and...
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Lec 7 -Site Restoration Law

"Lec 7 -Site Restoration Law"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) This lecture covers site restoration law by looking at the US Navy's use of the island of Vieques as weapons testing ground. Vieques residents are filing a civil suit against the US government, which raises issues of burden of proof, scientific certainty with respect to exposure amounts and health impacts, and how the...
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Lec 8 -Chemically Dependent Agriculture

"Lec 8 -Chemically Dependent Agriculture"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The change from smaller, more diverse farms to larger single-crop farms in the US has led to greater reliance on pesticides for pest management. Other changes as the US food system becomes more commercialized include: increased use of additives, higher food prices, more water and energy consumption for...
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Lec 9 -Risk and Law: Pesticide Paradigm

"Lec 9 -Risk and Law: Pesticide Paradigm"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The lecture charts the evolution of pesticide regulation in the United States. The evolution of the management and regulation of pesticides reflects changes in scientific understanding of pesticides as well as changes in human values. As technology allowed for testing of pesticides at smaller and smaller...
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Lec 10 - Safe Drinking Water: Science an ...

"Lec 10 - Safe Drinking Water: Science and Law"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The lecture reviews water law in the United States, and highlights challenges inherent in regulating water quality. Aging water infrastructure, pesticide and herbicide application, and surface water runoff all pose challenges in maintaining a clean drinking water supply. The lecture covers pesticide...
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Lec 11 - Safety Claims and Free Speech: ...

"Lec 11 - Safety Claims and Free Speech: Preemption and Defamation"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) This lecture presents three cases: Bates v. Dow, a lawsuit brought by peanut growers against the producers of a pesticide that degraded their soil; the Alar case, in which environmental organizations and the media successfully pressured EPA to ban a carcinogenic pesticide used on...
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Lec 12 - Air Quality Law: Margins of Safety

"Lec 12 - Air Quality Law: Margins of Safety"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The lecture describes the Clean Air Act and the way the federal government measures air quality as well as improvements in air quality. Professor Wargo reviews challenges in regulating air quality, reasons for lack of adequate enforcement, and approaches to setting ambient air quality standards. The...
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Lec 12 -Vehicle Emissions and Public Transit

"Lec 12 -Vehicle Emissions and Public Transit"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The lecture discusses developments in air quality monitoring and regulation in the United States, with an emphasis on regulating vehicle emissions. Monitoring takes place at fixed points with results being averaged over three years, and this data informs air quality standard setting. Studies have found...
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Lec 14-The Quiet Revolution in Plastics

"Lec 14-The Quiet Revolution in Plastics"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) Plastics are omnipresent but minimally understood and regulated in the United States. The lecture focuses on the dangers that chemicals in plastics pose to human health, particularly via leaching into food and water. Plastics are regulated by the Toxic Substance Control Act, which gives the Environmental...
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Lec 15-The Tobacco Paradigm

"Lec 15-The Tobacco Paradigm"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The lecture explores the development of scientific proof of the harm that tobacco poses to human health and the legal tools used to regulate its use. The government has used warnings, control over advertising, and age restrictions to regulate tobacco. The tobacco industry has been able to complicate efforts to impose...
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Lec 16- Evolution of Tobacco Law

"Lec 16- Evolution of Tobacco Law"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) This lecture continues the previous class's discussion of tobacco law. In this class, Professor Wargo highlights the unique issues of freedom of choice and freedom of speech that tobacco regulation create, as tobacco regulation restricts individual choice and corporate freedom of speech via advertising restrictions....
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Lec 17 -Land Use and Conservation Law: T ...

"Lec 17 -Land Use and Conservation Law: The Adirondack History"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) By reviewing the conservation history of the Adirondack Park, this lecture examines strategies to manage land use and natural resources in protected areas. The Adirondacks has been protected since the 1880s and became a national park in the 1970s. The government manages the park for a...
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Lec 18 -Property Rights and Public Lands ...

"Lec 18 -Property Rights and Public Lands Management"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The lecture centers on public lands management and the effect of property rights on sustainable resource management. Property rights create a complex set of relationships that complicate effective environmental management. Popular conceptions of wilderness also make it difficult to manage public...
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Lec 19 - Land Use Law and Property Rights

"Lec 19 - Land Use Law and Property Rights"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The lecture addresses the issue of takings and when the government has the right to seize private property for the public good. The government is required to compensate property owners in some circumstances. Through legal cases, Professor Wargo gives some examples of when compensation is required and why...
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Lec 20 - Managing Coastal Resources in a ...

"Lec 20 - Managing Coastal Resources in an Era of Climate Change"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The lecture reviews the legal and economic strategies that can be used to manage coastal development. Over half of the United States population lives in coastal areas and will be affected by sea level rise and more intense storms. The lecture looks at the conflict between property...
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Lec 21 - Certification: Design and Green ...

"Lec 21 - Certification: Design and Green Architecture"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The lecture critiques the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) certification system, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The criteria for being highly rated under LEED emphasize energy efficiency and minimizing waste, but do not prioritize environmental health and limiting use...
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Lec 22 -Past and Future of Nuclear Power

"Lec 22 -Past and Future of Nuclear Power"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The lecture begins a discussion of present and future energy demands and the ways in which we invest in different forms of energy by focusing on nuclear energy use globally. The risks associated with nuclear energy are described, including risk of human error leading to a mass evacuation event, and the...
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Lec 23 -Renewable Energy Policies

"Lec 23 -Renewable Energy Policies"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) 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....
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Lec 24 -Reflection and Lessons

Lec 24 -Reflection and Lessons"Environmental Politics and Law (EVST 255) The final lecture reviews topics discussed in previous lectures by imagining an ideal society. Professor Wargo talks about success stories in land management in the Adirondacks and pesticide regulation, and notes ongoing challenges in food safety, drinking water quality, personal consumption, population control, and...

Environmental Politics and Law with John Wargo


Source of these courses is Yale 
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.
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COURSE NAME: Environmental Politics and Law with John Wargo

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