Professors Arden Rowell and Kenworthey Bilz are co-authors of “The Psychology of Environmental Law,” which explores and analyzes the theoretical and practical payoffs of pollution control, ecosystem management and climate change law and policy when psychological insights are taken into account. They discussed the new book with the Illinois News Bureau; an excerpt from the interview follows:
“The world faces many extraordinary environmental challenges, and we need all the tools we can muster to meet and tackle those challenges,” said Rowell, a law professor and University Scholar at the Urbana campus. “A critical part of our toolset for trying to solve some of the world’s most important environmental problems is going to involve psychology and the influence it can have on human behavior. Our book gives policymakers, lawyers and environmental activists ways to think about these problems, so that they can come up with solutions that they might not otherwise have thought about.”
“The goal of this book is not to just say ‘This is what you should do with the Endangered Species Act,’” Bilz said. “As lawyers, we deal in statutes and regulations, but to predict how those things are actually going to work in practice, our argument is you have to understand how human psychology works. There’s what the statute or regulation looks like on paper and even what the drafters intended it to do – and then there’s how people actually interpret and respond to it. So, if you want to understand the law in this area, you really need to understand the psychology behind how people think about it.”
Read the full interview at news.illinois.edu.