INTRODUCTION: Economic growth and environmental change
After a quarter century of environmental regulation in the U.S. under the auspices of the Environmental Protection Agency and other governmental bodies, substantial environmental threats remain. Ambient standards for ozone and other air pollutants are frequently violated in urban areas; lakes and rivers continue to be heavily polluted; ambient levels of toxic chemicals in the biotic food chain are at high levels; little has been done about the potentially serious problem of greenhouse warming; and biodiversity is threatened as a consequence of reduced and fragmented natural habitats. A similar story can be told for other prosperous countries of the world such as Great Britain and its fellow members of the European Community. Why has the regulatory system in the U.S. and elsewhere failed to fully address environmental problems?