Recent meetings of international law experts have produced considerable debate over the type of international regime necessary to effectively control pollution. Divergent views expressed range from the "survival approach" of Professor Falk to the "grocery-list approach" of Christian Herter Jr., Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Environment. The "grocery-list approach" is an operational approach which involves doing what can be done by the use of available means including discussion to define common interests, international agreements based on those shared interests, unilateral action where appropriate and increased use of the UN for a variety of purposes such as environment monitoring and research. The survivalists recommend "a central guidance system that includes capabilities for monitoring, quick reaction, rationing, zoning, standard-setting and enforcement." An attempt will be made in the following discussion to report some major causes of international pollution, to provide a framework for the legal analysis of specific pollution events, to evaluate the probable effectiveness of the existing international system in preventing further environmental damage and to suggest some beneficial changes in that system.
Stephen J. Vasek, International Environmental Damage Control: Some Proposals for the Second Best of All Possible Worlds, 59 Ky. L.J. 673 (1971).