Agenda for a Sustainable America

Agenda for a Sustainable America
John Dernbach
Release Date

"Sustainability" is quickly becoming a household word in the United States. Public alarm over climate change has helped to make sustainable development a major public policy issue and a topic of growing importance in the daily lives of Americans.

This book is a comprehensive assessment of U.S. progress toward sustainable development and a roadmap of necessary next steps toward achieving a sustainable America. Packed with facts, figures, and the well-informed opinions of thirty-two experts, it provides an illuminating snapshot of sustainability in the United States today. And each of the contributors suggests where we need to go next, recommending three to five specific actions that we should take during the next five to ten years. It thus offers a comprehensive agenda that citizens, corporations, nongovernmental organizations, and government leaders and policymakers can use to make decisions today and to plan for the future.

Sustainable development holds enormous promise for improving the quality of life for Americans over the coming decades. Agenda for a Sustainable America describes what we need to do to make the promise a reality. It assesses trends in twenty-eight separate areas of American life—including forestry; transportation; oceans and estuaries; religion; and state, local, and national governance. In every area, contributors reveal what sustainable development could mean, with suggestions that are specific, desirable, and achievable. Their expert recommendations point the way toward greater economic and social well-being, increased security, and environmental protection and restoration for current and future generations of Americans. Together they build a convincing case for how sustainable development can improve our opportunities and our lives.

About the Author

John C. Dernbach is a Distinguished Professor of Law at Widener University in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He has written widely on sustainable development, climate change, and environmental law. He edited Stumbling Toward Sustainability (Environmental Law Institute 2002), which assessed U.S. sustainable development efforts in the first decade after the Earth Summit and made recommendations for the next 5 to 10 years. Before taking his teaching position at Widener, he worked in a variety of positions at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. He is a council member for the ABA Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources, and former chair of the ABA Committee on Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems.

Book Reviews

"This comprehensive review of the United States' environmental efforts is a reminder that despite our progress, we have further to travel on the road toward sustainability. As this book makes clear, we must pursue new, sustainable solutions that will allow future generations, and the environment they will depend on, to thrive."
- U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (WI)

"Far more than a report card on the disappointing performance of the United States in fulfilling the pledges made at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Agenda for a Sustainable America tells us where we should go from here. The book lays out, sector by sector, what is needed to shape a brighter future for the nation and, by extension, the world community. The next administration would be wise to use this as a guide book for its policies."
- The Honorable Timothy E. Wirth, President, United Nations Foundation and Better World Fund

"[This book] covers the gamut from air pollution to zoning regulations in assessing where we stand in sustainability and what we need to do to meet the challenges of the future. A follow-on to Stumbling toward Sustainability, Agenda is a must-read for the next Congress, as well as America's leaders in business, state and local governments, education, and civil society."
- Paul R. Ehrlich, co-author of The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment (Island Press, 2008)

"Sustainability is seldom described with the depth, scholarly detail, and richness of this work. It is THE sector-by-sector primer for what must be done to preserve our grandchildren's rights to the nation they will inherit."
- Dr. Donald Kennedy, President Emeritus of Stanford University

"With chapters from a wide range of leading thinkers An Agenda for a Sustainable America blazes a trail toward environmental progress across a broad spectrum of critical issues. Must reading for the new President - and for all of us."
- Dan Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law & Policy Yale University

For more information on the book and authors visit the Agenda for a Sustainable America Web site.