UNE professor publishes updated version of popular environmental policy book
Jake Alexander Plante, Ed.D., adjunct teaching professor in the School of Marine and Environmental Programs at the University of New England, has recently published a new version of his popular book, “Uncle Sam and Mother Earth,” to reflect recent changes to administration and policy at the federal level.
According to Plante, “Uncle Sam and Mother Earth” illuminates six decades of the environmental movement with intimate behind-the-scenes reporting.
The book examines national environmental laws and their implementation, relying on Plante’s own 30-year federal environmental experience to illuminate how imperfect people and government agencies administer the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, and national park noise regulations. The story also incorporates firsthand accounts of local environmental activism surrounding renewable energy and opposition to nuclear power and tar sands production.
Plante likened the new version of his book to a new car.
“Some of the worn-out things in the car needed a tuning, such as bringing the story all the way up to the Biden Administration and its early steps to restore environmental standards,” he remarked. “We did a lot of editing and redesigning while keeping the length of the book the same as before.”
Among the book’s new features, Plante said, is a chapter on endangered species and a discussion about U.S. diets and how the country’s agricultural system relates to greenhouse gas production and the environment — subjects Plante said his students enjoy discussing in class.
The new book is also Plante’s first under Maine Authors Publishing, and it features a back cover write-up from Bill Ruckelshaus, the well-respected first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.