BUSA+Environmental+Protection+(25) - ENVIRONMENTAL...

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION How can you pollute just a little? I. Overview A large chemical company recently aired a TV commercial to announce that it plans to use double- lined tanker ships to transport its products. In the ad, this news is shown being greeted with jubilation by all sorts of wildlife, while Beethoven’s stirring Ninth Symphony swells in the background. The Twenty- First century ushered in a greater concern for environmental issues than ever before. One would hope this is not just the latest politically correct marketing fashion but rather a realization that our natural resources can no longer be taken for granted. Like it or not, our advances in technology have finally given us the power to permanently alter nature. This power has been used to feed millions and save lives. It has also been used to destroy endangered species, burn holes in the ozone, and uproot entire ecosystems. The law of environmental protection attempts to balance the needs and desires for technological advancement with a realistic perspective of what natural limitations our environment places on these capacities. The age of growth per se as a good thing is changing to: "Is the growth worth it?" The environmental movement is not new. Conservationists have a long and proud history of protecting our natural resources. What is new are the threats raised by oil spills, hazardous wastes, nuclear accidents, and unmitigated depletion of irreplaceable resources. The emergence of environmental legislation which has a sense of urgency and response to these issues is only now in its third decade—a mere second on the ecological clock. Because this legislation is so relatively new, the growing pains of new social engineering continue to be felt by business. These laws have especially impacted industries that have traditionally relied heavily on utilization of natural resources such as mining, oil, gas exploration, and timber. Consider also the auto industry. For years automakers outside the U.S. have complained about our pollution controls being too costly and cumbersome. It is no small point of pride that the world is catching up with us on this issue by finally adopting our standards for safety and emissions. One thing, however, is abundantly clear—pollution exists. If we manufacture, we pollute. The key is how to balance this pollution with the damage to the environment. Pollution must go either into the air, into the water or into the land. What the law has tried to do, however, is to keep it at a minimum. We started with tort law which proved to be difficult to apply. In the 60’s and 70’s the statutory framework which we use today was therefore born. But again, even with this statutory help, how do we pollute just a little? II. Hypothetical Multi-issue Essay Question
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course BUSA 2106 taught by Professor Lee during the Summer '07 term at UGA.

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BUSA+Environmental+Protection+(25) - ENVIRONMENTAL...

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