This book is for those who are not just interested in the ways humans have harmfully altered their environment, but instead wish to learn why the many governmental policies in place to curb such behavior have been unsuccessful. Since humans began to exploit natural resources for their own economic ends, we have ignored a central principle: nature and humans are not separate, but are a unified, interconnected system in which neither is superior to the other. Policy must reflect this reality. We failed to follow this principle in exploiting natural capital without expecting to pay any price, and in hurriedly adopting environmental laws and policies that reflected how we wanted nature to work instead of how it does work. This study relies on more accurate models for how nature works and humans behave. These models suggest that environmental laws should be consistent with the laws of nature.
Jan Laitos holds the John A. Carver, Jr Chair in Environmental and Natural Resources Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He has previously published natural resources and environmental law books and treatises with Oxford University Press and Duke University Press, as well as with all the major American law publishers - West Academic, Foundation Press and Aspen. He has taught and lectured throughout America and in Spain, Hungary, Argentina, Ireland, Turkey and Scotland. He is a graduate of Yale College and the University of Colorado Law School. He has a Doctorate in American Legal History from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Prologue; Part I. Nature: Humans and their Environmental Surroundings: 1. The gardener and the sick garden; Part II. Nature: A History and Assessment of Environmental Policies: 2. Four troubled eras of environmental policies; 3. An assessment: environmental policies have failed; Part III. Why Environmental Policies Fail I: Faulty Assumptions behind Environmental Rules: 4. A false worldview; 5. Failed model #1: how nature works; 6. Failed model #2: how to value nature; 7. Failed model #3: how humans behave; Part IV. Why Environmental Policies Fail II: A Critique of Existing and Proposed Strategies: 8. A narrative of failed environmental strategies; Part V. Environmental Policy Must Obey the Fundamental Laws of Nature: 9. Nature and symmetry; 10. Toward a new legal alignment of humans and nature; Epilogue.