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A New Environmentalism: The Need for a Total Strategy for Environmental Protection

September 2018

Citation: 48 ELR 10780

Issue: 9

Author: Scott Fulton and David Rejeski

On the first Earth Day in 1970, Sen. Edmund Muskie (D-Me.) called for “a total strategy to protect the total environment.” More than 50 years later, the parameters of a “total strategy” are at last coming into view. Environmental quality has no doubt improved, but the pace of change is leaving in the dust the linear strategies of the past. What constituted a strategy 15 or even 10 years ago—analyze, plan, execute—no longer works in operating environments that are increasingly unpredictable, fragmented, and characterized by high rates of technological change, big data, crowd communication, young industries, and an incessant drive for competitive advantage. This Comment identifies the need for a total strategy for environmental protection and investigates the role of an emerging ecosystem of drivers in developing a total strategy for tackling existing and emerging environmental challenges. 

Scott Fulton is President of the Environmental Law Institute and a former senior official at U.S. EPA, including General Counsel. David Rejeski directs the Technology, Innovation, and Environment Program at the Environmental Law Institute and is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

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