We Americans think we're so darned smart. We invented modern environmental law, developed its sophisticated "command-and-control" structure, got the public involved as never before in fighting corporate polluters, and achieved measurable successes by getting lead out of our air and bald eagles back from near extinction. We've even tried "second generation" tools such as emissions trading systems' and incentive-based regulatory flexibility approaches when we discovered our system's limitations. Not that we've got it all figured out, mind you, but we're inclined to think of ourselves as world leaders when it comes to environmental protection.
Joel B. Eisen,
From Stockholm to Kyoto and Back to the United States: International Environmental Law's Effect on Domestic Law,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol32/iss5/3