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I work for the Federal Government in the Oil Spill response funding field, and this book is a amazing reference. I particularly like how the book cites case law that helps me figure out how our regulations ended up being the method they are.I also like that the book is beautiful straight to the point on the subjects it covers. If I remember well, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 was explained in 100 pages or less. Some of you may think this is a lot, but it isnt.I always the newest edition to ensure that I am up-to-date regarding case law.
I got this book in preparation for the Environmental PE exam. The practice questions ask a lot of regulatory questions, and except for the actual regulated levels of contaminants, this book was most helpful. This book is well organized with a detailed table of contents, and discusses different aspects of each statute (e.g. RCRA, CERCLA, Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, etc, etc) with accuracy and detail, in plain language. The index is also really helpful for quickly looking up terms.
This is the easiest to read textbook I've ever used. This is a tough topic and this book makes it simple to understand. It would be amazing for undergrad courses in environmental law as well as for paralegal courses. It covers all the major environmental acts, and contains interesting features on major environmental happenings (like the Exxon Valdez spill). It also contains profiles of specialists working in the field of environmental law. Finally, the images are really good, too.
It's a textbook for paralegals, but anyone in law or business (anyone with a job in today's world) would benefit greatly from Schroeder's work. Far from the typical global-warming alarmism, this book delivers honesty not only about threats to our natural environment, but those more insidious threats to our society posed by the troubles in our governmental and legal environments. This book is worth buying just for the photos! But the text is truly one-of-a-kind.
Poor book, badly written, disorganized, difficult to read chapters. It's supposed to be written for anyone, not only the legal students and professionals, but I'm finding more difficult to digest than any law textbooks. I read a lot, fiction and non-fiction, and this book is making me dizzy. The writer seems to know about environmental law but she doesn't know how to write about it. I want my school had picked something else.
I used this book for my Environmental Law class. I didn't' like how there were a few political environmental biases such as organic farming was mentioned to use less pesticides (that's untrue organic farms use more land and obtain less output and gmo crops are designed for using less pesticides and obtain more crops in less land) and nuclear power was said to have untrained workers. I read through the entire book, It was written well written and overall I enjoyed reading it.
Had to rent this book for my Environmental Law class. I wasn't crazy at all about this course because it was online and I didn't have a very engaging professor. However, there are so a lot of fresh things I have learned from this book, very informative.
Environmental Law is complicated and confusing. This book is helpful because it provides factual situations to apply the law and you have the answers on the next page. My study group and I use this book regularly. However, the answers do not always cite their references (case law, section of the legislation...)
So expensive, but there's soooooo much info in here. Even if you're not a law or environmental studies student, this book will begin your eyes. There were a lot of things, a lot of case studies and court proceedings, that really @#$%ed me off, and I don't wish to stand on my soapbox here, but this book definitely brought to my attention the issues environmentalists face when going after huge business through the judicial system.
Here, Richard J. Lazarus has delivered a very special look at the history of environmental law from an evolutionary or holistic perspective. This book will be a valuable resource for anyone looking for an in-depth look at environmental law as a field, but without the need for tedious policy descriptions or scientific minutiae. Lazarus covers the social and political history of environmental thought and how those phenomena shaped American environmental law as we know it. Lazarus also rewarding coverage of the challenges faced by concerned lawmakers in a legal system that resists long-term regulatory schemes, redistributions of costs and benefits, and scientific uncertainty. He also shows how environmental law needs to remain both heavily detailed and flexibly dynamic as the natural globe and knowledge about it change over is holistic approach to the law is fascinating and highly insightful, but just watch out for Part III in which Lazarus adds too much unnecessary supporting material on technical specifications (Chapter 8); and derails his special legal history with unenlightening condemnations of American consumerism and high-speed lifestyles, complete with fairly bizarre complaints about sped-up baseball games, pre-faded jeans, and internet dating services. The tail end of the book is also stretched out with a lot of repeated points and brief introductions of post-modern concepts like "convergence" that Lazarus fails to completely explore. But overall, despite the problematic third part of the book, Lazarus has delivered a special summary and insightful overview of a complex subject that will be of use to both concerned citizens and researchers in a dozens of disciplines. [~doomsdayer520~]
The author does an perfect job of explaining the policy behind the development of federal environmental law from its inception to 2004. It speaks to the influence of the executive, legislative and judicial branches along the way. With an understanding of the development of this body of law along with the policies and challenges of arriving at its 2004 state, the reader is in a better position to appreciate the current challenges and developments in this far reaching zone of law.
Lazarus locations environmental laws in broader context, drawing on history and an extraordinary dozens of cultural, scientific, and political info to create candid generalizations. This is unusual in a time of fragmentation and compartmentalization of U.S. academic research disciplines, as well as society, beginning in the us, for example, a lot of textbooks on environmental policy and history and most environmental organizations tend to focus on the Scottish immigrant advocate of environmental preservation, John Muir, and Theodore Roosevelt as U.S. environmental pioneers. In contrast, Lazarus points out George Perkins Marsh's 1864 book, "Man and Nature" as the groundbreaking study of the interaction of human society with ecology. Among other things,Lazarus notes the significance of public health awareness and advances around 1900, early "municipal efforts to control pollution", the municipal zoning movement, and the enactment by Congress of the Meal and Drug Act, and Meat Inspection Act in zarus' unquenchable curiosity nourishes his ability, found in a minority of scholars, to use concrete detail in ways that clarify the huge picture, rather than letting it confuse or obfuscate. An example is citation of the effects of DDT to control malaria by public health workers in Borneo in the e well-intentioned efforts of public health workers caused decimation of the lizard population when they ate DDT-contaminated food. This in turn decreased the local cat population that had been dependent on lizards for much of their diet. Reduction of the cat population led to an explosion of caterpillars that destroyed the thatched roofs, and rats that spread disease within the village. In short, the story illustrates the complexity and sensitivity of ecological e author also probing and significant detail on political interactions relating to environmental policy. He cites President Nixon's to his staff to "get his administration out front on the environment" in 1969 and 1970, and the Nixon Administration's early initiatives. He also notes that in time Nixon cooled on environmental action, "becoming convinced that environmentalists were running amok".Lazarus points out in his introduction that the 1970s environmental laws were "enormously radical" , and that in spite of intense and continuing reform efforts, these laws continue to dominate the U.S. environmental management system. He is mindful of some of the issues with current environmental law, including its patchwork nature and objections by business and other groups. However, he embraces the necessity of centralized command & control law and decries the paralysis in extension of lawmaking. Based on my own historical research (that gained valuable material from Lazarus's book) and comparisons with EU policy*, I believe the book overlooks necessary problems that have come into ever sharper focus since the publication of Lazarus's st necessary is the fact that the U.S. system remains dominated by an outdated system of labyrinthine laws enacted in response to an atmosphere of crisis more than 35 years ago. They were based on assumptions that the greatest threat to the environment came from industry, and that economic forces would overrun federal regulators if not checked. The response not only made an adversarial, rigid framework of law and regulation selectively applicable to manufacturing,other industry, and activities involving land use. The key laws gave exclusive legal standing to environmental protection (excluding economic or other values), empowered citizen enforcement, and transferred leadership roles in environmental management from professional agencies to Congress and civil courts. This politicized system is special among advanced nations. It not only made a rift in U.S. society, but fostered subsequent hemmhoraging of U.S. manufacturing and industry, decay of infrastructure (which inevitably involves land use), and hamstrung attempts at innovation in environmental management (except in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments). Regulatory issues are now increasingly recognized as barriers to renewable energy development.*Manheim, The Conflict over Environmental Regulation in the United States, 2009
It's one of the 2 books I bought to support me study for environmental law. The explanations are very straight-forward and basic, so when you do not understand a primary element of, for instance, the Clean Air Act, it can serve as a starting reference point. Huge plus: it does cite the sections of the legislation it refers to, both under the Public Law sections or under the USC. Very e with caution for case law, because it might not be up to date with latest developments.
Textbook was fine all year. As I am now at the end of the semester, we've reached the end of the book. The latest 60 or so pages are not from the textbook. They mistakenly have pages from what I assume in an employment law textbook instead of the latest section of environmental law. Very disappointed in this product because of this.
I'm an environmental Policy major so this book was needed for my class. I will say that I was enlightened and learned a amazing from this book, while it may have been only my professor that created it interesting I don't think that's the case. I truly enjoyed the readings because they covered necessary subjects to me and I valued the info I recieved and the ways in which it will support me with my future in environmental law and policy.
I have used this book in all four of its editions so far. It is adaptable to be part of an undergraduate business law/legal environment class, or upper level course in Environmental Law and Ethics, or an MBA or law school course where the goal is to present the foundations of environmental law and policy, the primary structure of the main laws and regulations built on them, and the evolving case law and policy questions. A useful teacher's manual and end of chapter questions create it work well in a dozens of settings. I have most recently used it as a reference tool and foundation for a senior college course largely participated in by retirees involved in local environmental groups and land trusts here in Maine. If you have an interest, I would also recommend "Environmental Law Stories" which devotes chapters to specific historical classic cases, and the parties and interests involved in each. Also recommend The Snail Darter and the Dam, which is the topic of one chapter in "Environmental Law Stories" and a classic case discussed in this book. I expect with the current Congressional efforts to defund the EPA and undermine the fresh Clean Water Rule, and pending litigation on that rule and EPA efforts to address climate change under the Clean Air Act, in the face of Congressional inability to face reality on this subject, that a fifth edition of this book will be forthcoming soon, and need to be updated almost immediately. But if you are, for example, active in local or national environmental groups of any sort, and / or are the kind of person worried that 'too much regulation is poor for business' without taking into account, for example, how much of our method of life depends on availability of clean air and water (and our health), and are willing to at least consider that the skeptics on Fox News may not be entirely honest, but wish some clarity, and are willing to create the effort to read something professional, impartial, and careful, this book might be worth it for you. Give it a shot.
It's ok if you are looking for a general overview. It doesn't have specifics. Some huge cases are summarized tho which was nice. Would probably recommend if you would like to obtain an idea of the content before starting the semester.
Like most Americans I'd like to believe that the EPA is looking out for my health and protecting me from air and water borne hazards. I wish to think that if something was really bad, it wouldn't be allowed. But if that were so, why are the reports about the continuing environmental decline of our air, water and land so frightening and heartbreaking 40 years after the formation of the EPA? Collins tells about people who have been grievously affected by the lack of protection from toxins and explains why and how they could come to be so harmed. I appreciate the accessible style of this book, with its clear explanations and understandable language while still thoroughly explaining the historical, legal and political journey that has gotten us to this state of environmental chaos, as well as his non-partisan stance that it is the system that protects environmental scofflaws and not just one party. In the latest chapter, Toxic Loopholes highlights the roadblocks to a cooperative climate agreement and examines the prospects for overcoming them. In his conclusion, Toxic Loopholes speaks of the importance of adopting the precautionary principle which forces industry to bear the burden of proving that a substance is safe, instead of using the substance until it is proved that hurt has been caused. As Collins asks, "Can we make a society that meets our needs without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same?"
Got this book for a class, now I wish the whole Concepts and Insights series! The book is VERY well written, and anyone who teaches environmental law classes should recommend this book as, if not a main course book, a supplemental one.
Overall, the book provides a amazing overview. The author clearly lays out the primary framework of each statute as well as the policy questions and regulatory tactics residing in the background of the statutory text. However, while the book provides a amazing overview, it does lack the needed detail that one would need to master the course (read, "to obtain a amazing grade").
It's ok if you are looking for a general overview. It doesn't have specifics. Some huge cases are summarized tho which was nice. Would probably recommend if you would like to obtain an idea of the content before starting the semester.
The author is a real environmentalist, and also a professor of environmental law at the University of Oregon Law School. As such, she is very familiar and has significant expertise in the legal protections that are provided the environment by not only our myriad of statutes and regulations, but also by historical applications of the common law that have fallen into disuse in the decades since statutory law became dominant. It is her frustration with both the current state of the law and the public attitudes toward the environment that prompted not only this book, but also her help of fresh efforts to take advantage of past legal remedies. She feels that the current maze of environmental laws and regulations have become so arcane as to be opaque to all but those most steeped in their app and interpretations. This is a narrow group of government administrators, industry lobbyists and lawyers, and a few well organized environmental groups. The state’s traditional role in protecting valuable common assets has been lost amidst this quagmire of acronyms and nebulous regulations. The uninitiated have no possibility at understanding the proper role of their political leaders, and feel disconnected from the process. The author feels that the effect is a close relationship between administrators and industry, often resulting in “revolving doors” of employment between the two. She postulates that the myriad of rules and regulations enacted with the expressed purpose of protecting the environment (Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, etc.) have instead become cars by which industry obtains permits to slowly degrade the natural resources they were intended to protect. Indeed, Ms. Woods notes that: “The agencies implementing the environmental laws have become perpetrators of legalized destruction, using permit provisions contained in nearly every statute to subvert the purposes Congress and state legislatures intended.”This slow degradation reflects a “politics of scarcity” rather than abundance. Such “(P)olitics of scarcity focus on creating legal mechanisms to allocate the benefits of an ever-declining natural resource. In other words, officials use the power of the state primarily to divide the latest crumbs (allocating those to the most politically strong individuals). These politics have led society to this perilous point in time. The politics of abundance, by contrast, reach persistently and undauntingly toward protecting and building natural wealth.”Political systems might help politics of scarcity or abundance, but the Earth’s natural systems can only help the latter. These short sighted policies reflect a society bent on unlimited and unnecessary show indulgence without regard to the globe left to future generations. One if the most telling reflections of this goal of unrestrained economic growth, and perhaps the most dangerous, is the show and future result of climate change. The author presents very persuasive scientific evidence about the threats posed to our environment, and is very critical of the lack of political action, and in fact the suppression of scientific evidence during the Bush administration. These discussions are almost a book in themselves, but the thrust of “Nature’s Trust” is the legal theory which the author advances as providing not only a viable remedy, but an alternative method of thinking which would hopefully move public opinion. The author starts with the recitation of a primary principle that “Government, deriving its authority from the people as a whole, must act as a fiduciary to protect the natural resources held in trust from damage, as well as from risky privatization.”This recognizes that land has both a public and a personal component, and that governments keep the public interest in primary ecological assets, such as water and air, in trust for the benefit of all citizens, both current and future generations. Thus, “***private use and enjoyment of trust property by individuals and corporations remains at all times topic to an antecedent encumbrance in favor of the public in to maintain the ecological stability important for society to thrive.” This doesn’t mean that all personal property is topic to a public trust, but the author notes at least four common situations that would activate the public trust: “(1) where circumstances involve trans-boundary interstate assets (such as an interstate rivers, lakes, underground aquifers, migratory wildlife, the air, and atmosphere); (2) where state trustees utterly fail to discharge their fiduciary duties to protect assets within their jurisdiction; (3) where national exigencies demand federal involvement, such as those involving national security, commerce among states, broad ecological or public health threats, or natural disasters; and (4) where disputes arise over resources shared with other nations or tribal sovereigns (such as oceans, fisheries, atmosphere, and the like).”Conversely, there are also situations in which governments might alienate land from the trust to personal parties. Such transfer could be allowed “(1) where trustees create the grant in aid of navigation, commerce, or other trust purposes; and (2) where the grant does not cause “substantial impairment” to the public interest in the lands and waters remaining.” When trust duties arise, the government must assume the traditional obligations of a trustee. It must first ensure the productivity and health of the asset(s) in trust. Second, it must take action when the trust assets are imperiled. Third, a trustee must exercise prudence in managing the trust, defined by courts as reasonable care, skill and caution. And fourth, and perhaps most importantly, a trustee bears a strict duty of loyalty in administering trust assets. If a public trust is recognized, then State and Federal governments must fulfill these responsibilities. But who recognizes such a trust and imposes such duties? The courts are probably the only entity equipped to do so. This can entail courts telling administrative agencies or even legislatures what they must do to protect trust assets. Such tensions trigger our primary principles of separation of powers. But the author notes these and other examples where the courts have successfully ordered appropriate remedies when other governmental entities did not fulfill their appropriate duties. In Fresh Jersey the State Supreme Court held that “each city in the state held a state constitutional duty to provide a “fair share” of affordable housing.” In Oregon the Federal court fashioned a remedy when the National Fisheries Marine Service failed to draw up an adequate plan to protect Endangered salmon in the Columbia River. Although rare, such actions are supported by precedent. Utilizing this public trust doctrine, in 2011 a non-profit organization known as the Children’s Trust, on behalf of young adults who are invested in a healthy future, initiated litigation in all the states seeking a declaration of a sovereign duty to protect the atmosphere sufficiently to reduce carbon emissions and thus counteract the potentially disastrous effects of global warming. They allege that such action is important to protect the atmosphere required by the youth and future generations for their long-term survival. The cases have not had much initial success. As the author notes: “Unfortunately, a lot of of today’s judges present distaste and fatigue at the prospect of managing the complex info of a meaningful remedy. They may hastily dismiss trust claims on procedural grounds, or characterize the trust problem as a political question committed to the other branches of government. This, indeed, has been the effect of some (but not all) of the lowest-court rulings in Atmospheric Trust Litigation.”NOTE-Since publication there has been a win of sorts in Washington State where the trust doctrine was recognized, but the court held that the Legislature was taking appropriate steps. The Children;s Trust also recently initiated litigation versus the Obama Administration in the Federal District Court of Oregon. (My reading of info in the papers.) So, with so small prospect of success, and with a political environment where global warming is questioned, and much of public opinion is directed toward expanded personal property rights and versus the idea of “the commons”, or the common public interest in a beneficial use of the land, what does the author see for this legal theory? From my reading, I do not perceive Ms. Wood as the least bit naive. She certainly hopes that the litigation will have some success, but she acknowledges that the true war to save the environment, and the planet as we know it, depends on a shift in public opinion, not just here, but worldwide. She hopes that the public trust doctrine might rekindle the sense of commons that has been show in our country since the days of the Founders. She also hopes that a related change in attitude takes put in other parts of the world, and does cite favorable attitudes. This book is a very complete legal discussion, but one that can be digested by a lay person willing to take the time. (I do have the advantage of being a retired lawyer.) It also is far more than a book on the potential legal remedies for climate change. It is also a primary primer on the science of climate change, and a literal expose of the corporate and political corruption that so threatens our planet. This is a serious book that demands a serious read. As with a lot of books of this sort that I have read and reviewed, I also feel that its notice could have been conveyed more succinctly, but all of the info is relevant and informative. It certainly discusses in detail the nature and extent of environmental degradation that should be of concern to all of us.
Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for A fresh Ecological Mary Christina Wood*Review of Part I “Hospice for a Dying Planet”By Tim PalmerIn Part I of this seminal work, Professor Wood describes universal cultural values that acknowledge the essential nature of healthy ecological systems for sustaining life. That recognition is expressed in the admonition to consider the effects of governance decisions on the next seven generations, for example. This, and other fundamental tenets of Native American culture, inspired the Founders as they forged The Constitution of the United States. Ancient Roman law is also part of the foundation of our modern government. The Romans, too, recognized that responsible stewardship of the natural endowments shared by all citizens is a fundamental, organizing principle of representative e author chronicles the flowering of the environmental movement in the 1970s, a robust response to threats imposed by industrial civilization. Symbolized by Earth Day, there was a demand for protection of public assets such as clean air to breath, access to safe meal and unpolluted water, as well as the aesthetic enjoyment of a thriving, natural environment . In response, Congress passed the Endangered Species, Clean Air and Water Acts, among others. In an astounding exercise of executive power, the Nixon Administration also made the Environmental Protection Agency to administer some of these carefully crafted was a time when, in response to the will of its citizens, our elected officials reaffirmed their ancient obligation to govern so as to protect crucial natural assets, thus insuring they would be held in trust for the benefit of show and future ever, attentive citizens now recognize a rapid deterioration in the quality of the global ecosystem. Evidence of the failure of the 1970s model of environmental law contains a rapidly energizing atmospheric system, the startling disappearance of ice everywhere, and rapidly rising, acidic seas. The natural birthright of our kids and grandchildren is succumbing to the global frenzy of extraction and consumption wielded by the heavily industrialized system of corporate fact, the laws passed to protect the treasured legacy of our own, and our children’s natural resources have become tools used for carving them up, and then delegating management of each portion to a specific agency. These agencies, from the Fish and Wildlife Service to the Bureau of Land Management, are engaged in the continuous development of extraordinarily confusing regulations. These complex webs of rules are used to determine how much, when, and who will be permitted to exploit the assets under their us, a system initiated with the best intentions, illuminated by the bright promise of the early environmental movement, has become opaque to both the public and, by choice, the judiciary branch of government, as ever, this misleading labyrinth is easily negotiated by the corporate interests that shape its ongoing design. Elected and appointed officials are subjected to a dozens of influences, including of opportunities to leave public service for lucrative jobs in personal industry. Experience in these company jobs, combined with the knowledge gained while serving in government, produce skilled, highly motivated lobbyists who further refine the art of swaying their former congressional and agency colleagues. A lot of actually return to government service by executive appointment, often to lead the agencies that are responsible for regulating the very same industry they now l elected and appointed officials in public service have solemnly sworn to uphold The US Constitution as they discharge the duties of their office. The truth is that, tragically, a lot of of these people no longer personify the interests of current and future generations of rt II, “The People’s Natural Trust”In Part I, Professor Wood described the subversion of environmental laws intended to protect and conserve natural resources, permitting the destruction of the principal in Nature's Trust rather than wisely managing its conservation. This style of governance now puts the entire global life-support system in “The People’s Natural Trust”, she provides the sound, legal basis for the foundational changes she proposes. Her reasoning is ‘radical’ in the very best sense of the word, which is derived from radix, meaning the root, or the inherent nature of a e supreme authority of nations with representative forms of government is rooted in famous sovereignty. Therefore, one of the most essential purposes of such governments is “protecting crucial natural assets for the survival and welfare of citizens.” Those natural assets—resources that both born and unborn members of the state will require for their continued amazing health and happiness—constitute the principal held in the public trust that is the topic of the book. Elected officials are empowered to represent the interests of their constituents and are, therefor, responsible for insuring the safety of the trust assets. These officials of government are the trustees whose sworn duty it is to govern so that these resources will be available for the show and future generations who are its is fundamental responsibility of leadership is the explicit, central principle of governance in the constitutions of nations around the world. However, the “true origins of the trust reach far deeper than any one nation’s legal system.” This obligation is rooted in natural law. It is what John Locke, whose philosophy provided a cornerstone used by the Framers of our Constitution, called the “Fundamental, Sacred and unalterable Law of Self-Preservation.” The necessity of insuring the wherewithal for its members continued existence is “the basis of society.” This creates “a fiduciary obligation on the part of government to protect this human right.” One central conclusion of this line of reasoning regarding the principles of representative governance is that “…the people’s interest in the ecology essential for their survival and well-being limits their governments ability to destroy it.”The government’s obligation to act as trustee for the benefit of citizenry, rather than on behalf of strong unique interests, might come as a surprise to some. One might ask, “Where is this actually written into our laws?” The respond is that, “Properly understood, the public trust stands as a fundamental attribute of sovereignty—a constitutive principle that government cannot shed.” “The trust forms the sovereign architecture around which the Constitution and all other laws meld.” It is not set out in law because, as the author points out, Nature’s Trust is actually “the slate ‘upon which all laws are written.’” The structure of government designed by the Framers includes, as its intended sovereign legacy, to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Thus, there is “an inalienable duty engrained in government itself …to govern…for the benefit of future generations as well as show ones.” Professor Wood cites a lot of United States Supreme Court decisions to help her contention that this principle is, indeed, the foundation of our government. She leaves no doubt that our representatives are entrusted with careful administration of the principal in this natural trust. The resources therein are those needed for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; those “unalienable Rights” that form the foundation of our amazing Nation. However, the officials responsible for conserving and protecting these assets for the benefit of all show and future generations are parsing them out to unique interests for private gain, instead!Nature’s Trust Review Part III “Nature’s Trust and the Amazing Transition”Professor Wood laid the foundation for the Amazing Transition by tracing the legal history of natural trusts back through Roman times and into the Indigenous cultures that preceded Western Civilization. U.S. case law provides abundant evidence that it is the sovereign duty of modern government to insure the preservation of natural trust principal. This includes, but is not limited to, clean air, safe water, sufficient meal and the biological systems needed to provide them. As its trustees, government officials are accountable for passing this ‘common wealth’ along, undamaged, to future e book also documents the perverse agency mismanagement of statutes like The Clean Air and Water Acts. Environmental law under the control of neoliberal capitalism provides bureaucratic cover for permitting widespread destruction of the very natural resources it was intended to protect. Justified by a presumed need for unending material growth, it is rapidly liquidating the natural resources and living systems that constitute the most vital stock of capital in Nature’s Trust, while calling it ‘profit’. This is the “ideology of a cancer cell”! It clearly violates the trustee obligations of any government, especially one claiming to represent citizen interest and dedicated to insuring their zenship contains the duty to keep government accountable for its destruction of vital, natural resources and to reclaim the endowment held in Nature’s Trust. Insuring a secure future for our kids requires the restoration of governance that administers natural trust law for the many, rather than providing obscene wealth for the few who have seized control of it for their own benefit.Unfortunately, we have forgotten both our dependency on the natural environment, and the stewardship ethic implicit in that relationship. As a result, we are vulnerable to the modern administration of environmental law, which effectively destroys any vestigial moral basis an individual might muster in an attempt to defend themselves and their communities from can we possibly prevail?Professor Wood emphasizes that moral principle is the foundation of law “not only to maintain credibility and respect in society at large, but also to inspire citizens to participate in democracy.” The Nature’s Trust approach revives four moral understandings that are fundamental to humanity’s continued existence:1. “That we owe …future generations a beautiful, rich and healthful environment.”2. “Natural law designates certain resources common to all mankind and not susceptible to personal ownership,” including the air, water and the ecological web that sustains community prosperity. (Claiming private ownership of such resources for oneself is theft.)3. Natural law compels using this commonwealth for the greatest possible public benefit. (Wasting community resources is a sign of greed.)4. Nature itself has a right to exist and flourish.When a community recalls its dependence on natural systems, it bolsters this constellation of values. Viewed in this frame, it is apparent that preserving the Nature’s Trust endowment, especially in the face of its imminent destruction, is paramount to everything else. The contrast between living in an environment governed by such precepts vs one dominated by greed, fear and waste provides extra essor Wood provides strong insights about how structuring property rights relative to Nature’s Trust can provide effective legal tools for curbing corporate power. As a fundamental property concept, natural trust law defines the obligations of governance in a deeply integrated, holistic method that applies to all sovereigns—from tribes to nations. This intrinsic quality endows it with legal validity independent of legislation— an essential characteristic where elected officials are bound by unique e integrity of the trust concept depends instead on a powerful judiciary to enforce the fiduciary duties of trustees—the very ones that have been sloughed off by our elected officials. The author info the “steps that judges could take immediately, within their realm of authority and judicial tradition, to restore integrity to environmental law and enforce the property rights of citizen beneficiaries.”However, making judicial findings that effect in the fundamental changes required requires courage. Judges must first understand the true gravity of the ecological disaster confronting us. It is equally necessary to help them with recollecting the fundamental human values embodied in Nature’s Trust principles.A citizenry acting in accordance with such values will animate the courts. Choosing to act in the best interest of coming generations, while simultaneously making very visible and vocal demands that corporate and governmental actors do likewise, (by eschewing wasteful uses of required resources, for example) is required. Such social behaviors are manifestations of the deepest human sensibilities. Begin display of these qualities is inspirational to humanity, including judicial actors.If they can be so inspired, the judiciary already has the power to create the important changes, as Professor Wood explains so well in Natures Trust!Tim PalmerMaster of Environmental Law and PolicyVermont Law School10 September 2015*Professor Wood is the Phillip H. Knight Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Oregon School of Law.
As an Environmental Law Professor at the University of Oregon, Ms. Wood is uniquely positioned to evaluate the success, or lack thereof, of environmental legislation and regulation since its inception. The power of this book, however, is in its relevance to both the show day and the future, as we face a rapidly changing globe with intensifying environmental consequences. The problems addressed in this book are not about the aesthetic desirability of a clean environment, but the absolute survival necessity of reclaiming the legal foundation that can sustain a delicate ecological balance, rather than the status quo that exacerbates the severe ecological imbalance threatening ourselves and certainly our children. Surveying past failures of environmental law, Ms. Wood challenges us to consider the imminent threat and pervasive consequences specifically of climate change, which she appropriately re-terms as climate emergency. The issue isn't a benign "warming" of the planet, or even what some see as a hum-drum acknowledgment that the climate is changing. It is the fact that our obsession with all things economic and material is placing us on a path to a radically various globe of climate extremes. Her impassioned call to awareness - isn't about something that "might" someday affect us - it is to recognize that relying on ineffectual environmental law is currently having truly disastrous consequences. As global, "average" temperatures rise, they exacerbate patterns of both drought and flooding, as well as intensifying extreme storm conditions like typhoons and hurricanes. These weather patterns are but the hint of the iceberg (a metaphorical iceberg that isn't melting - but can easily take down not only the Titanic, but any and all luxury cruise ships that continue on autopilot). The latest person I would expect to highlight the hopeless failure of current environmental law would be an environmental law professor, and I think this is a courageous and profoundly honest book. It is a call to reclaim the essential foundation of law itself, its purpose and meaning. The success of utilizing legal technicalities has biased courts and governmental bureaucracies toward the letter of the law - indeed we've gotten lost among the dotted `i's and crossed `t's and have sacrificed completely the spirit and intent of our environmental laws. While it appears the author is advocating a paradigm change, and that's a helpful construct to use, the actual issue is we've lost sight of the sun itself - the organizing principle of our legal maze, without which we are topic to a piecemeal, chaotic, relativistic, legal universe now threatening all we keep dear. To reclaim the legal foundation of the trust doctrine, as conceptualized here, based constitutionally on the ecological/natural world, provides an otherwise lacking common-sense approach to a legal system hopelessly complex, irrelevant and impotent. It can the environmental protections and behavioral guidance that we rely on a legal system to provide. Reclaiming language, Ms Wood advocates a conservative perspective in the absolute truest sense of the word, in response to the radically extremist perspective that we can live without regard to the consequences of blind resource extraction and pollution. The denialist outrage that often greets books such as this is nothing more than the cries of withdrawal of those powerfully addicted to greedy dreams of unlimited Wood masterfully contrasts the imminent threat of ecological crisis as perversely matched in degree by the impotence of existing environmental law. Seeing grievous past failures and a searingly bleak future prospect as she assesses where our current legal and ecological climate is leading us, she does not blink, there are no blinders, there is no denial. It is difficult sharing in her perception of the current state of the world. But such acute perception of "what is", also lends itself to a tangible, meaningful vision of what could be. Despite years of increasing pessimism, I experienced this book as tremendously inspiring, and dare I say, cautiously hopeful. Content aside, it is an immensely enjoyable book to read - the author uses words, concepts and history like the strokes from an artist's brush to provide context, impact and vivid color to a very bleak topic. If you value democracy this is a very necessary book to read. If law is to have any validity or meaning in the future, this book is a vital statement as for rescuing it from its lost moorings. And if you simply cherish our globe with all its ecological richness and beauty - and have a desire to see it continue, this is an absolutely essential book to read. Then, it for those others we know in the regulative bureaucracy, the courts, the legislative branch and for any engaged citizen of our commons.
The publication of Nature’s Trust:Environmental Law for a Fresh Ecological Age by Professor Mary Christina Wood is the highest landmark to date on the trail to achieve environmental protection. Professor Wood illuminates a strong and effective tool to achieve rapid and lasting protection for Earth’s life help systems. Her explanation of the jurisprudence that supports the evolution of the public trust doctrine gives hope that there may yet be time enough to salvage Nature for her own sake and that of a philosophical justification for empowering and challenging jurists, lawyers, and citizens alike this treatise ranks with Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac and Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring, with the added impetus of Edward Abbey’s moral outrage toward the foes of Nature and servants of mammon.
It is needed reading for my class but I search it quite engaging for leisure reading as well. It addresses a lot of environmental concerns and follows up with regulations that are birthed out of those concerns. A amazing book for even the novice environmentalist that needs to become knowledgeable of regulations that drive laws protecting our land, water and air.
Got this book for a class, now I wish the whole Concepts and Insights series! The book is VERY well written, and anyone who teaches environmental law classes should recommend this book as, if not a main course book, a supplemental one.
I have tried and read several textbooks with regard to international environmental law. I strongly believe the authors of this book did a bang up job. This is thorough and much meal for thought in this field. In my view, it is one of the best books in the field of international environmental law.
In the first few pages of Toxic Loopholes the author poses 2 questions he intends to answer: "How well are our major environmental laws working?" "What prevents them from achieving their stated goals?" This book provided insightful, provocative answers to both questions by examining the true life stories of communities across America trying to gain the assistance of the law and the EPA to clean up their land, air and xic Loopholes arrives at a excellent time in history. Although the media provides more environmental coverage than ever before, most people still believe we have effective laws and government agencies that will shield them from pollution. By using true life examples and strong facts, Toxic Loopholes convinced me that this is simply not so. This is the only book I'm aware of that thoroughly de-mystifies the environmental protection process. It clearly explains the fatal flaws in our environmental laws and exposes the extreme malfeasance of agencies like the EPA that are supposed to enforce xic Loopholes is engaging but disturbing to read. It is full of fascinating stories with scoundrels and heroes. For example, it chronicled the courageous efforts of Robert Martin and Hugh Kaufman who used their position as EPA Ombudsman to expose the corrupt relationship between EPA bosses and corporate polluters, who were allowed to obtain away without cleaning up the communities they poisoned. It also revealed the vindictive response of successive EPA chiefs--like Christie Todd Whitman--who did everything in their power to silence, intimidate and eventually eliminate the Ombudsman's office after Martin and Kaufman exposed her lie that the toxic air around ground zero was safe to breathe only 3 days after the twin turrets collapsed.I was happy that the book looked at both domestic and international efforts to protect the planet. The extensive chapter on the politics of climate change provided a comparison of several contending views on whether nations can cooperate to solve such global problems. Then it tested the validity of these views by examining two case studies: the successful ozone treaty and the floundering negotiations to prevent climate disruption. The author's conclusions were both sobering and e careful research that went into Toxic Loopholes was informed by historical analysis, political theory, realpolitik, ecology, economic theory, and environmental ethics. In addition, it contained some clear-headed prescriptions for ecological improvement without pretending that our society can become ecologically sustainable unless it abandons the relentless pursuit profit and is well researched text provides readers with a systematic analysis of the history, politics, failures and occasional triumphs of our environmental laws. His discussion about the necessity of preserving biodiversity, the importance of the precautionary principle and four theories framing the prospects for global environmental cooperation were alone worth reading the text.