From the first warning of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962 to the 1972 Stockholm International Conference on the Human Environment, from the Reagan era's attempt to dismantle environmental policy through the Clinton administration, the United States, the world's richest country and also the world's largest polluter, has found ways to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and its impact on the global environment.
The United States has the financial resources to solve international environmental problems through the development and use of new technologies, and can play a central role in international efforts to protect the environment.
An international group of academics examines the environmental debates as they have formed over the decades that have led to the challenges that the George W. Bush administration must face if America is to be a leader in international environmental policy rather than a reluctant follower at best, or at worst, a nation that shuns its moral responsibility to the planet that all human beings must share.
Covering three broad areas - national and geopolitical security, national and international politics, and national interests and international obligations - the authors examine a number of key issues, including ozone depletion and climate change, biodiversity and whaling, environmental and energy security, and international trade.
As the environment has become an increasingly pressing diplomatic issue, this book is an essential and timely read for policymakers, activists and anyone interested in environmental change and international relations.