Pressing environmental challenges are frequently surrounded with stakeholders on all sides of the issues. Opinions expressed by government agencies, the private sector, special interests, nonprofit communities, and the media, among others can quickly cloud the dialogue, leaving one to wonder how policy decisions actually come about.
In Environmental Policy Analysis and Practice, Michael R. Greenberg cuts through the complicated layers of bureaucracy, science, and the public interest to show how all policy considerations can be broken down according to six specific factors: 1) the reaction of elected government officials, 2) the reactions of the public and special interests, 3) knowledge developed by scientists and engineers, 4) economics, 5) ethical imperatives, and 6) time pressure to make a decision.
The book is organized into two parts, with the first part defining and illustrating each one of these criteria. Greenberg draws on examples such as nuclear power, pesticides, brownfield redevelopment, gasoline additives, and environmental cancer, but focuses on how these subjects can be analyzed rather than exclusively on the issues themselves. Part two goes on to describe a set of over twenty tools that are used widely in policy analysis, including risk assessment, environmental impact analysis, public opinion surveys, cost-benefit analysis, and others. These tools are described and then illustrated with examples from part one.
Weaving together an impressive combination of practical advice and engaging first person accounts from government officials, administrators, and leaders in the fields of public health and medicine, this clearly written volume is poised to become a leading text in environmental policy.