Environmental Law Source Entry

My research question is, what can be done about climate change right now? This research question interests me because I am noticing a devastating change of the planet and have wondered for a long time on what we can do to save it.

Scott, Takacs, Bratspies, Pérez, Craig, Hirokawa, Hudson, Krakoff, Kuh, Owley, Powers, Roesler, Rosenbloom, Ruhl, Ryan, I. (2018, December 31). Environmental Law. Disrupted. Retrieved November 07, 2020, from https://elr.info/news-analysis/49/10038/environmental-law-disrupted

*Cited in APA Format*

In this environmental law news article, the environment in the United States changes rapidly there are impacts and visibility of climate change around the world. However, in the future that is not so distant there are potential, existential threats that are making way for an unsettling planet. The authors who are also members of Environmental Law Collaborative (ELC) have a question about the future of environmental law. They ask, “What does it mean to think about and practice environmental law in this setting?” They complied a collection of essays and postings by putting their take on environmental law as we know it and hopes that it addresses the threats and/or path we should take to move forward. The authors stated themselves, “As we are a diverse group of scholars and thinkers, our conclusions are by no means uniform, but they share a common thread: this is not time for business as usual. The system requires significant, potentially disruptive changes, some of which may make us profoundly uncomfortable. We hope these essays disrupt your thinking in provocative, productive ways, and we look forward to opening a dialog with you about how we can reframe, reshape, and ultimately disrupt environmental law to meet the challenges of our day.” They couldn’t be anymore right and want the same result as I do or at least have my question answered. At the end of the day we share a common goal and as the saying goes “great minds think alike.”

As I read the sections the members of Environmental Law Collaborative wrote about I strongly agree with their points and their approach on environmental law being important especially at the time of climate change. I am going to focus on Inara Scott’s section the most because it relates to my research the most, principles of environment law, and a source of law that I learned in Intro Law class. Scott talks about genres (in books) as well as the term of environmental law and how it is changing. Scott states, “Picking a genre determines how the book is marketed and who becomes the audience. Genres also carry deeply embedded connotations: for example, who do you picture reading romance novels? Who do you picture writing them?” This is true because when someone picks up a book and finds interest in the genre they are reading, the book is catered to that audience. Scott also states, “Like fiction authors, lawyers are trained to think about law in discrete categories. Interdisciplinary efforts may be viewed with skeptical or even disapproving eyes.2 As a professor teaching environmental law at a business school, I can say from firsthand experience that many do not consider me to be part of the “environmental law” community simply because of where I teach.” This quote follows my previous response that if someone likes a genre of a book they are reading it’s catered to them, so Scott is trying to connect that idea with environmental law and how she teaches it in a business school catered to folks who could be interested in it. She goes on to explaining the definition of environmental law and where it stands in many cases. Scott says, “Most definitions of “environmental law” describe statutes and regulations that govern how people interact with the natural environment–the ““natural environment” in this context being nonhuman species, plants, and natural resources.4 Environmental law is also generally understood to include pollution control and management of public lands and natural resources.” The keywords in this quote are “pollution control, management of public lands, and natural resources.” I feel as though these words are vital because it relates to climate change and how we are failing in maintaining the stability of planet Earth. If we don’t recycle, reduce, and reuse then there is no natural habitats. In my Intro Law class I learned about the sources of law which is in the M&M chapter 5 ‘Sources of American Law’ and I am referencing this text is because Scott talks about the new genre of environmental law that is common law. Scott writes, “By using the term “commons,” I hope to draw attention to a few issues. First, I recognize that the traditional notion of the commons is a resource shared by the public that is not privately owned. However, commons law will refer to regulation of public and privately owned resources.” This is a great way to attract people by pointing out the obvious that Earth is our “commons” and the activity on our land is private or public, but it has a significant impact on people who live on it.

“Commons law must be broad, diverse, and big enough to contain seeming contradictions. It must recognize that creation of sustainable communities includes economic activity and must include, or even focus on, the regulation of this economic activity. It must address the governance of corporations that control the majority of global resources and threaten global ecosystems.17 It must also recognize the value in nonhuman species, biodiversity, and the preservation of spaces that are free from human development. (Section I Inara Scott Page 3 Paragraph 8)”

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