ENVI 283
Dirty Politics: Regulating Hazardous Chemicals and Wastes Fall 2012
Division II
Cross-listed ENVI 283 / PSCI 283
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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 both understanding the politics that bring about, and allow us to address, these problems. We will be examining in particular novel policy responses, including Europe’s precautionary safe-use law, citizen-science initiatives and consumer-driven certification schemes.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 15
Class#: 1543
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class presentations, weekly writing assignments, participation in negotiation simulations, one 12- to 18-page research paper and class participation
Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: environmental policy majors, environmental science majors, environmental studies concentrators, and political science majors
Unit Notes: satisfies the "Environmental Policy" requirement for the Environmental Policy major and the environmental studies concentration
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENVI 283 Division II PSCI 283 Division II
Attributes: ENVI Environmental Policy
POEC Comparative POEC/Public Policy Courses
PSCI Research Courses

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