Climate change is the most profound social and environmental issue of the 21st century. This course will integrate the emerging science and law of climate change along with economic and intergenerational equity aspects of the problem. We will consider how existing federal laws such as the Clean Air Act and NEPA may be used to address climate change as well as how new more comprehensive laws may be fashioned. Different policy instruments will be considered including carbon taxes and emissions trading.
The energy industry is both a key to the life that billions seek and America's most significant source of pollution. Environmental problems are the energy industry's most important constraint. This course examines key issues in American energy policy, and searches for ways to resolve or ease the strains, which that policy puts upon environmental sustainability. We will review fundamental facts about our energy demands and sample regulatory orders and legal writings that address many of those elements from the perspective of a legal review.
The course introduces students to the discipline of environmental economics and exposes them to debates over the use of market-based instruments in environmental, energy, and climate policy. It also introduces students to basic economics and finance concepts, examines key principles about market behavior and efficiency, and applies these basic elements and concepts to common environmental problems and actual case studies.Approved for JD credit.
This course addresses the legal landscape of global hunger, and the ways in which climate change, population growth and economic inequality intersect with food security law and policy challenges. First, we’ll address how “food security” and “hunger” are defined and measured for policy-making purposes. Then, we’ll explore international legal frameworks supporting food security and comparative domestic legal frameworks impacting food security, including Constitutional food rights, agriculture subsidies and tariffs, and public food and nutrition assistance programs.
This course will provide students an introduction to the legislative process, regulatory agencies, and agency law-making. Students will learn to navigate modern U.S. government institutions and processes, with a particular emphasis on the legislative process and the administrative state. Key topics include the structure and animating principles of the U.S.
Ecology is an integrative science that can provide insight into many contemporary environmental problems. Through visits to a variety of field sites in central Vermont, readings, and lectures, this course will explore the principles of ecology using a hands-on, interdisciplinary approach. Course work stresses the inventorying of biotic and physical components of a landscape (pieces), examining how these pieces are distributed (patterns), and determining what forces drive these patterns (processes).