The idea of the interconnectedness of nature is at the heart of environmental science. By contrast, American policy making and governance are characterized by fragmentation. Separation of powers, divergent ideologies, and geographical separation all work against a unified environmental policy. Nowhere does this mismatch between problem and solution pose a greater challenge than in climate change policy, which has implications for energy use, air quality, and such related areas as agriculture and land use. This book stresses the importance of environmental policy integration at all levels of government. It shows that effectively integrated climate, energy, and air pollution policy would ensure that tradeoffs are clear, that policies are designed to maximize and coordinate beneficial effects, and that implementation takes into account the wide range of related issues.
The authors focus on four major climate-change policy issues: burning coal to generate electricity, increasing the efficiency and use of alternative energy, reducing emissions from transportation, and understanding agriculture’s role in both generating and sequestering greenhouse gases. Going beyond specific policy concerns, the book provides a framework, based on the idea of policy integration, for assessing future climate-change policy choices.
“This book makes vividly clear that we cannot expect to achieve our alternative energy, clean air, and climate change goals outside of a more integrated and future-oriented policy framework. This is an important message for all concerned. The case is made through rich examples of the roots of the three policy areas and how they have evolved independently only to fall short in achieving today’s goal of sustainable development, which requires dramatic reduction in air emissions combined with economic development, not just for today but for generations to come.”
- Daniel Mazmanian, Sol Price School of Public Policy, The University of Southern California
“This is a sophisticated but accessibly written book that deftly explains the confluence of climate change, energy, and air pollution. It offers a clear-eyed and candid analysis of the policy trade-offs we face as we struggle to curb our enthusiasm for fossil fuels. With its emphasis on integration and synergy, it suggests new alliances, new policies – and possibly even a new environmental politics.”
- Judy Layzer, Associate Professor of Environmental Policy, MIT
“This is an important book, and should be carefully considered and absorbed. The goal is ambitious but the stakes are increasingly high; the authors’ depth, breadth, and accuracy in each of the policy sectors addressed are compelling and insightful.”
- Joseph F. C. DiMento, School of Law, University of California, Irvine
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Gary Bryner was Professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University, Director of the Natural Resources Law Center, and Research Professor at the University of Colorado School of Law until his death in 2010. His books include Global Warming: A Reference Handbook and Blue Skies, Green Politics.