Saturday, April 10, 2010

How to Make Social Policy Happen in the Real World

Renowned environmental law scholar James Salzar from Duke and Yale's Douglas A. Kysar wrote an interesting new article, "Harnessing the Power of Information for the Next Generation of Environmental Law."  The authors discuss a tidy, academic version of how environmental regulation takes place.  Then they contrast this tidy model with Phillip Morris' game plan for affecting legislative decisions.  By all accounts, Phillip Morris has been very effective in using various channels of information to shape tobacco public policy.  

Just like the tobacco industry, we've seen how effective big agribusiness has been in shaping agricultural policy in the past.  (Also see Prof. Ruhl's article- Farms, Their Harms and Environmental Law)

The authors relate this to the current climate change debate and how there is the possibility that this model can be used to distort the information about climate change. A very recent  example of this is Cowgate- National Cattlemen's Beef Association paid for a report that purported to find that beef consumption doesn't affect GHG emissions.(Click here for analysis and background).

Similarly, the Phillip Morris model has applications for the livestock industry, environmentalists, animal activists and other cultured meat enthusiasts who wish to shape environmental and agricultural policy.  I say -- "use it or lose it." If you don't want your side to "lose"-- you have to *ALL* the tools to affect positive legislative decisions. As Orlando's best DUI attorney, I believe that it is important to utilize all the tools at one's disposal. 

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