PSCI 283
Dirty Politics: Regulating Hazardous Chemicals and Wastes Fall 2018 Division II; Cross-listed as ENVI283 / PSCI283

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Since consumers were first introduced to the promise of “better living through chemistry,” society has had to wrestle with the impacts, often far removed in place and time, resulting from a rapid proliferation of hazardous chemicals and wastes. Policy responses, be they at the local, national or global scale, are often limited to reactionary efforts to counter releases into the environment, are constrained by the prevalent use of the technologies in question, and further bring to the fore key challenges of environmental justice and risk management. How then are we to regulate DDT without adversely affecting our fight against mosquito-borne malaria? How might we preserve the ozone layer while still maintaining the benefits of food preservation through refrigeration? How can we reap the benefits of the electronic age without condoning the steady flow of electronic waste affecting workers’ health and environments in developing countries? Emphasis will be placed on understanding the politics that bring about, and allow us to address, these problems.We will be examining in particular novel policy responses, including the US’ revised legislation on chemicals passed in 2016 and citizen science initiatives such as those that brought attention to the crisis of lead-contaminated water in Flint, MI.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 15
Class#: 1570
Requirements/Evaluation: participation, several smaller assignments, and a final research project
Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: Environmental Studies majors and concentrators, and Political Science majors
Distributions: Division II;
Attributes: AMST Space and Place Electives; ENVI Environmental Policy; EVST Social Science/Policy; PHLH Nutrition,Food Security+Environmental Health; POEC Comparative POEC/Public Policy Courses; PSCI Research Courses

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