Saturday, April 5, 2014

Week 12 Environmental Policy

Dan Cassaro NYTimes
Throughout class I have emphasized that although changes you make in your own life are useful, we need national level policies to address issues of immense public and ecological importance.  This week we look at how environmental policies are made and how regulations are applied to address human-environment issues.

1. What is your understanding of how environmental policy is made at the national level? Who is involved? What do the employees of federal agencies do day to day? Why is it important? After you think about that, look at one federal agency such as the EPA, FDA, GAO, USDA, BLM, DOI , NMFS/NOAA or USFS. What are they up to? What sense of their work did you get from the web page?

2. Nongovernmental organizations and grassroots groups are part of the policy making process. Do some googling to find an environmental group. Some of the big ones include Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, Audubon, Environmental Working Group. There's also this one mentioned in the article, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Choose one and find out what they are working on.

3. Now go to this example from North Carolina that is a good illustration of the need for policy that considers workers and the environment.  Answer the following questions:
a) Explain how this example is a parable about the law of unintended consequences. 
b) How has North Carolina and the workers discussed in this article been affected by globalization?
c) Why is the sort of ailment arising from exposure to nPB so hard to identify and regulate?
d) Discuss what you learned about OSHA.

Your blog post should refer to each section (1, 2, 3 a, b, c, d)