Law and the Environment

A Multidisciplinary Reader

Edited by Dorothy C Alevizatos, and Robert Percival
Book Cover

PB: $47.95
EAN: 978-1-56639-524-3
Publication: Apr 97

HC: $80.50
EAN: 978-1-56639-523-6
Publication: Apr 97

464 pages
7 x 10
2 tables, 2 figs.

A comprehensive examination of society's multi-disciplinary response to the difficult challenges posed by environmental problems


Law and the Environment: A Multi-disciplinary Reader brings together for the first time some of the most important original work on environmental policy by scientists, ecologists, philosophers, historians, economists, and legal scholars. Each of the book's four parts provides a different focus on the nature and scope of environmental problems and attempts to use public policy to address these concerns. Part I examines how ecology, economics, and ethics analyze environmental problems and why they support collective action to respond to them. Part II examines the history and present state of environmental law, from early attempts to engage the government to the current debate over the effectiveness of environmental policy. Part III explores the process by which environmental law gets translated into regulatory policy. Part IV considers the future of environmental law at a time when international environmental concerns have become a major force in global diplomacy and international trade agreements.

In drawing together a wide variety of perspectives on these issues, Robert V. Percival and Dorothy C. Alevizatos offer a comprehensive examination of how society has responded to the difficult challenges posed by environmental problems. The selections provide a rich introduction to the complexities of environmental policy disputes.


"One of the most remarkable developments of the twentieth century has been the worldwide growth of public concern for the environment. Efforts to translate that concern into effective public policy have posed formidable challenges for the legal system. Even as our understanding of environmental problems has improved, we have become acutely aware of the complexity and uncertainty that bedevil efforts to trace the effects of human activities on the environment."
From the Preface

"As a multidisciplinary collection introducing environmental law, the book works well and encourages the reader to consult the original texts in order to gain more in-depth understanding. This will serve best those who wish to learn more about the area of environmental policy, but are bewildered by the number of books on the market."
Environmental Values

Table of Contents


Part I: Perspectives on Environmental Problems
The Earth as Modified by Human Action (1877) – George Perkins Marsh • A Sand County Almanac (1949) – Aldo Leopold • Fundamentals of Ecology (1959) – Eugene P. Odum • The Diversity of Life (1992) – Edward O. Wilson • The Nonequilibrium Paradigm in Ecology and the Partial Unraveling of Environmental Law (1994) – A. Dan Tarlock

The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery (1954) – H. Scott Gordon • The Fisherman’s Problem: Ecology and Law in the California Fisheries, 1850-1980 (1986) – Arthur F. McEvoy • The Problem of Social Cost (1960) – Ronald H. Coase • The Economy of the Earth (1988) – Mark Sagoff • Environmental Faust Succumbs to Temptations of Economic Mephistopheles, or, Value by Any Other Name Is Preference (1989) – Carol M. Rose • The Shadow of the Future: Discount Rates, Later Generations, and the Environment (1993) – Daniel A. Farber and Paul A. Hemmersbaugh

The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis (1967) – Lynn White, Jr. • Ways Not to Think about Plastic Trees: New Foundations for Environmental Law (1974) – Laurence H. Tribe • The Case for Animal Rights (1983) – Tom Regan • Review of Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights (1985) – J. Baird Callicott • The Deep Ecological Movement: Some Philosophical Aspects (1986) – Arne Naess

The Threat of Environmental Racism (1993) – Robert D. Bullard • The Poison Poor Children Breathe (1982) – George F. Will • Environmental Equity: A Law and Planning Approach to Environmental Racism (1992) – Robert W. Collin • Locally Undesirable Land Uses in Minority Neighborhoods: Disproportionate Siting or Market Dynamics? (1994) – Vicki Been • Principles of Environmental Justice (1991) – First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit • The Meaning and Promotion of Environmental Justice (1994) – Richard J. Lazarus

Part II: Environmental Law and Regulatory Policy
Nuisance Law and the Industrial Revolution (1974) – Joel Franklin Brenner • Wilderness and the American Mind (1982) – Roderick Nash • A “Gift of God”?: The Public Health Controversy over Leaded Gasoline during the 1920s (1985) – David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz • A Fierce Green Fire (1993) – Philip Shabecoff

6. THE POLITICS OF ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION Federal Regulation in Historical Perspective (1986) – Robert L. Rabin • Toward a Theory of Statutory Evolution: The Federalization of Environmental Law (1985) – E. Donald Elliott, Bruce A. Ackerman, and John C. Millian • Politics and Procedure in Environmental Law (1992) – Daniel A. Farber • Beauty, Health, and Permanence: Environmental Politics in the United States, 1955-1985 (1987) – Samuel P. Hays • The Lesson of the Owl and the Crows: The Role of Deception in the Evolution of the Environmental Statutes (1989) – William H. Rodgers, Jr.

Environmental Regulation: Law, Science, and Policy (1996) – Robert V. Percival, Alan S. Miller, Christopher H. Schroeder, and James P. Leape • Why the Clean Air Act Works Badly (1981) – William F. Pederson, Jr. • Environmental Regulation: Law, Science, and Policy (1996) – Robert V. Percival, Alan S. Miller, Christopher H. Schroeder, and James P. Leape • Rehabilitating Interstate Competition: Rethinking the “Race-to-the-Bottom” Rationale for Federal Environmental Regulation (1992) – Richard L. Revesz • Safety and the Second Best: The Hazards of Public Risk Management in the Courts (1985) – Peter W. Huber • Risk, Courts, and Agencies (1990) – Clayton P. Gillette and James E. Krier

Reforming Environmental Law: The Democratic Case for Market Incentives (1988) – Bruce A. Ackerman and Richard B. Stewart • Ideal Versus Real Regulatory Efficiency: Implementation of Uniform Standards and “Fine-Tuning” Regulatory Reforms (1985) – Howard A. Latin • Not So Paradoxical: The Rationale for Technology-Based Regulation (1991) – Sidney A. Shapiro and Thomas O. McGarity • Rethinking Environmental Controls: Management Strategies for Common Resources (1991) – Carol M. Rose • Environmental Policy Tools: A User’s Guide (1995) – Office of Technology Assessment Sustainable America: A New Consensus-Building a New Framework for a New Century (1996) – President’s Council on Sustainable Development

Part III: The Regulatory Process in a Participatory Democracy
The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975) – Edward Abbey • DDT: Scientists, Citizens, and Public Policy (1981) – Thomas R. Dunlap • Defending the Environment: A Strategy for Citizen Action (1971) – Joseph L. Sax • Should Trees Have Standing?-Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects (1972) – Christopher D. Stone

Implementing Federal Environmental Policies: The Limits of Aspirational Commands (1978) – James A. Henderson, Jr., and Richard N. Pearson • The Seven Statutory Wonders of U.S. Environmental Law: Origins and Morphology (1994) – William H. Rodgers, Jr. • Regulatory Failure, Administrative Incentives, and the New Clean Air Act (1991) – Howard A. Latin

Risk in a Free Society (1984) – William D. Ruckelshaus • The Gospel of Risk Management: Should We Be Converted? (1984) – David Doniger • The Role of the Courts in Risk Management (1986) – Richard B. Stewart • Reclaiming Environmental Law: A Normative Critique of Comparative Risk Analysis (1992) – Donald T. Hornstein

Part IV: Global Environmental Concerns and the Future of Environmental Law
International Environmental Policy: Emergence and Dimensions (1990) – Lynton Keith Caldwell • Our Common Future (1987) – World Commission on Environment and Development • Declaration of Principles (1992) – United Nations Conference on Environment and Development • Environmental Impacts of a North American Free Trade Agreement (1991) – Gene M. Grossman and Alan B. Krueger • From Adjustment to Sustainable Development: The Obstacle of Free Trade (1992) – Herman Daly • Sustainable America: A New Consensus-International Leadership (1996) – President’s Council on Sustainable Development

Stopping the Pendulum (1995) – William D. Ruckelshaus • A Moment on the Earth: The Coming Age of Environmental Optimism (1995) – Gregg Easterbrook • A Moment of Truth: Correcting the Scientific Errors in Gregg Easterbrook’s A Moment on the Earth (1995) – Environmental Defense Fund • Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit (1992) – Al Gore • Toward a New Environmental Paradigm (1993) – Robert W. Hahn • The Gnat Is Older Than Man: Global Environment and the Human Agenda (1993) – Christopher D. Stone


About the Author(s)

Robert V. Percival is Professor of Law, Robert Stanton Scholar and Director of the Environmental Law Program of the University of Maryland School of Law. He is the principal author of Environmental Regulation: Law, Science, and Policy, and numerous articles on law and the environment.

Dorothy C. Alevizatos is an environmental lawyer with a Baltimore law firm. She has an M.S. in conservation biology from the University of Maryland.