New Economy Law Center Fellow and leading public trust doctrine advocate, Prof. Mary Wood of University of Oregon, reflects on the federal youth climate change lawsuit Juliana v. United States that now will be headed to trial. Wood explains the constitutional claim and cruel irony of this case, its importance in the context of a Trump administration, and what President Obama could still do before leaving office.
New Economy Law Center co-founder, Gus Speth, and colleagues at the Next System Project discuss the necessity and challenges of moving beyond the current political economy towards a more just, democratic, and sustainable system. In the following working paper presented during the recent “After Fossil Fuels: The Next Economy” conference in Oberlin, Ohio, they identify the nature and key drivers of our systemic crisis and insist that what must be changed is “at the level of the basic institutional design of the political-economic system itself.”
Gar Alperovitz et al. “Systemic Crisis and Systemic Change in the United States in the 21st Century,” The Next System Project, September 2016, http://thenextsystem.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/NSPOberlin-final.pdf
In the following article, NELC Fellow Linda Sheehan explains why the current approach to environmental protection is failing, and how recognizing our relationship with the natural world and nature’s inherent right in law can be a transformative remedy.
In August the United Nations General Assembly issued a summary report based on a UN-initiated virtual dialogue among experts in Earth jurisprudence with regards to advancing global sustainability in harmony with nature. The dialogue focused on aligning human governance systems with an Earth-centered perspective. Experts discussed developments and recommendations for doing so across eight disciplines, including: Earth-centered law; ecological economics; education; holistic science; the humanities; philosophy and ethics; the arts, media, design and architecture; and theology and spirituality.
Read the full report here – http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/71/266
Several NELC Fellows participated in the virtual dialogue. Linda Sheehan offered her expertise in Earth-centered law, while Peter Brown and Joshua Farley contributed input in the area of ecological economics. See below for their individual pieces.
In this paper produced for the Next System Project, NELC Associate Fellow David Bollier introduces the commons as a social paradigm capable of transcending the current oppressive system. In particular, Bollier examines the commons as an alternative to the neoliberal political economy and presents a commoning vision and approach for achieving a more ecologically sustainable and humane society.
New Zealand is taking bold steps to evolve its legal system by recognizing “legal personhood” status and rights for natural systems, including rivers and forests. Arising from agreements to settle treaty violations with indigenous Maori, the recognition of the Te Urewera Forest and the Whanganui River as legal entities is a growing approach (following related efforts in Ecuador and elsewhere) for shifting law towards a more ethical, eco-centric standard.
Coauthored with John Cavanagh.