To date, U.S. law has largely served as an obstacle to an honest assessment of our preparedness to face the climate change challenge. Given that society has become comfortable amidst mild climatic conditions, and given a pervasive reluctance to change, extreme and abrupt climatic changes will hit hard. Our current legal structure maintains a dangerous status quo and it is time to unleash the potential of communities and the private sector to produce innovative solutions.
This book, the fourth in a series by the Environmental Law Collaborative, addresses disruption from a variety of influences and perspectives. Some essays consider the disruptive effects of environmental changes on human and ecological safety, security, and well-being, suggesting that the impacts of climate changes are not accounted for in the current legal system. Some identify key changes needed to respond to climatic challenges, social inequities, and dwindling grey and green resources. Others deconstruct social, political, and professional frameworks to understand how such influences might be used to disrupt the current regime, or even ones where expectations are being disrupted with the endorsement of law. Taken together, these essays provide an understanding of the cause, effect, and opportunity that environmental disruption presents in the climate change era.
“Environmental law began against a backdrop of burning rivers. Now the entire planet is on fire. The law has not kept up with the science of climate disruption and species extinction, to name but two of the existential threats facing humanity in the 21st century. Environmental law is long overdue for a complete makeover to address the root causes of ecosystem degradation, unsustainable consumption of natural resources, and systemic racism. Environmental Law, Disrupted. captures the thinking of the most innovative scholars in the legal academy. Read it as if your life depended on it because it does."
—Prof. Pat Parenteau, Vermont Law School