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Comments on "Our Place in the World: A New Relationship for Environmental Ethics and Law"

August 2014

Citation: ELR 10699

Author: W. David Bridgers and Chanelle A. Johnson

In Our Place in the World, Purdy laments the resort to cost-benefit analysis (CBA) as the primary functional tool in policy and decisionmaking and encourages the creation of a new way of thinking about environmental ethics. The issue with Purdy’s argument is that he characterizes CBA as the inadequate alternative left over when environmental lawyers and policymakers turned away from the questions the ethicists were pursuing early in the modern environmental movement. By characterizing CBA as such, however, Purdy both recreates and illustrates the very dilemma that he seeks to resolve.

David Bridgers is a litigator and partner at Neal & Harwell in Nashville, Tennessee. Chanelle Johnson is a litigator and associate at Neal & Harwell.

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