Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Introduction to important issues in contemporary environmental law, policy, and economics. Discusses the roles and interactions of Congress, federal agencies, state governments, and the courts in dealing with environmental problems.
Assessment of current and potential future energy systems. Covers resources, extraction, conversion, and end-use technologies, with emphasis on meeting 21st-century regional and global energy needs in a sustainable manner.
Examines the role of science in the U.S. environmental policymaking process. Part I examines the methods by which scientists learn about the natural world; the treatment of science by experts, advocates, the media, and the public; and the way science is used in legislative, administrative and judicial decision making.
The Schumpeterian notion of technological innovation as "the engine of growth" is being challenged as the globalization of trade is increasingly seen as the driving force of industrial economies.
First subject in the Environmental Policy and Planning sequence. Reviews philosophical debates concerning growth and scarcity vs. deep ecology. Examines the ongoing policy debate concerning "command-and-control" vs. market-oriented approaches to regulation. Considers the debate regarding the importance of expertise vs. indigenous knowledge.
Reviews and analyzes federal and state regulation of air and water pollution and hazardous wastes. Analyzes pollution as an economic problem and the failure of markets. Emphasizes use of legal mechanisms and alternative approaches (such as economic incentives and voluntary approaches) to control pollution and to encourage chemical accident and pollution prevention.
Examines the economic impact of climate change, the costs and benefits of mitigation, and the challenges that climate change poses to conventional approaches to policy analysis, with a focus on the December 2015 international climate negotiations in Paris.