Parenteau discusses the NY climate change trial against Exxon

In this Bloomberg podcast, NELC Fellow, Pat Parenteau, provides an overview and analysis of the $1.6B lawsuit the NY Attorney General brought against Exxon Mobil Corp. in a high profile climate-related securities fraud case under NY state law. Did Exxon’s actions cause material harm to investors when they communicated different numbers internally and externally about the cost of carbon. If investors had known would they have put their money elsewhere? At the close of the two week trial, the Attorney General dropped the common law fraud claims, which required a showing of intent to deceive. Parenteau has maintained that this case will have a serious effect on pending litigation against a number of oil companies that focus on the impacts of climate change. The documents that have come to light in this case will be useful in the other cases, even though they involve different laws.

Speth’s State of the Nation

Common Dreams published NELC co-founder and fellow, Gus Speth’s, “A People’s State of the Nation,” which rings alarm bells in terms of how the US compares to other high consuming countries in terms of social, environmental, economic, and health indicators.

ABA features NELC Fellow Mary Wood’s climate change work

In this latest ABA feature, they highlight the pioneering thinking of Mary Wood in shaping climate change litigation strategy in the US.  NELC co-founder Gus Speth also weighs in on the story.


In his latest book (and first novel), NELC Fellow, Bill McKibben, takes his resistance angst and turns it into a love letter to Vermont, local craft beer, human-scale economies and decision making like “Town Meeting Day,” and Ethan Allen. With humor, he tells a tale of seceding as a protest against the big impersonal political economic forces that brought us climate disruption and Donald Trump. You may want to fly the new flag by the time you’re finished reading it, featuring an image of Camel’s Hump and Ethan Allen’s “The gods of the valley are not the gods of the hills.” He intersperses the entertaining story with bits of insights.  From the character Trance, a soldier, on strategy: “You don’t choose your opponent’s weapons.” From the character Vern, on vision: “We want farmers growing food that people want to eat – we want slaughterhouses in Vermont again, and grain mills.  Not big food so we can get salmonella from some feedlot in Indiana, but small food, so we can get dinner from our neighbors. So we can have security.” And on democracy: “We all need to be reminded that democracy isn’t just voting for president every four years and then trusting him to fix things. Democracy is about getting together with your community to think together about your future. Sometimes it’s dull, and sometimes people get long-winded, and sometimes they get stiff-necked. But town meeting has been going on for three hundred years, ever since people got to Vermont. Just go see.

“…And the one thing no one ever says anymore in our public life: I think you’re wrong, but you may be right.” Try it.

Purdy “Normcore” in Dissent, Summer 2018.

Jedediah Purdy, law professor and author of a chapter in Law for the New Economy: Sustainable, Just, and Democratic, (Melissa K. Scanlan ed., May 2017), takes aim at what he terms “crisis-of-democracy literature” in his review of five books typical of the burgeoning genre. These titles posit the Trump presidency as an unprecedented threat to the “norms” of liberal democracy. But they seldom reckon with the “perennial carnage of American capitalism” and its relation to democracy, which made Trump’s ascendance possible. Overcoming this existential crisis demands more than a slavish devotion to restoring the norms Trump so gleefully tears asunder; it warrants bold political imagination. Purdy argues a “more robust approach would have been to ask how political leadership and mobilization can open up new ideological frontiers, for better or worse.”

New Book Explores Shift to New Economy

Many NELC Fellows just completed a major collaboration to produce a new book exploring the laws and policies supporting the shift to a new economy. Covering a variety of areas from food to energy to the commons and Earth rights, the book addresses the laws and values for undertaking comprehensive system change. NELC Fellows contributing to the book include NELC co-founders, Melissa Scanlan and Gus Speth, along with Shalanda Baker, David Bollier, Kevin Jones, Janelle Orsi, Laurie Ristino, Linda Sheehan, Jennifer Taub, and Mary Christina Wood. Additional authors joining the fellows are Jedediah Purdy, Mark James, Diana Winters, and Catherine Iorns Magallanes. NELC director, Melissa Scanlan, is the editor of the volume. To schedule a book talk, contact Becca Milaschewski,

new economy book

Law and Policy for a New Economy: Sustainable, Just, and Democratic, (Melissa K. Scanlan ed., Edward Elgar, 2017)

E-book version available here:

Gus Speth: The Joyful Economy

In a new piece published in the sixth volume of Next System Project’s “New Systems: Possibilities and Proposals” series, NSP co-chair and New Economy Law Center co-founder Gus Speth presents the case for transforming our political economy, and offers a possible vision for an alternative system that prioritizes people, place, and planet over profit and power. “In the Joyful Economy, the goal of economic life is to sustain, nourish, and restore human and natural communities,” Speth writes. See the link below to read more.


This essay is also an opening chapter in the forthcoming Law and Policy for a New Economy: Sustainable, Just, and Democratic, (Melissa K. Scanlan ed., Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2017)

NELC Fellow Inspires Global Tax March Movement

This Saturday, April 15th – traditionally designated as “Tax Day,” – tens of thousands of people will take to the streets in cities across the globe in protest of President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns. The idea for a “Tax March” originated with Vermont Law School professor, and New Economy Law Center Fellow, Jennifer Taub. “I impulsively shot off a tweet at two in the afternoon, and by the next morning, I’d created a movement,” Taub told The Guardian. For the full story, see the link below.


Amber Jamieson. “Tax March: How a Law Professor Sparked a Global Event to Demand Trump’s Returns,” The Guardian, April 12, 2017,

Law and Economics: Contemporary Approaches

Conventional neoclassical economics and traditional law curriculum are too confining and outdated to address contemporary challenges. This paper argues that “the urgent challenges of the 21st Century also call for a new Law and Economics.” New Economy Law Center Fellows Martha McCluskey, Frank Pasquale, and Jennifer Taub authored the paper in response to Yale Law School’s Conference on Law and Inequality. The piece lays the foundation and outlines the aims of a new casebook by these Fellows.

Martha T. McCluskey, Frank Pasquale & Jennifer Taub, Law and Economics: Contemporary Approaches, 35 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. 297 (2016),

Rethinking Sustainability to Meet the Climate Change Challenge

Contributing authors – including New Economy Law Center Fellows Sarah Krakoff and Pat Parenteau – offer ideas for re-examining and re-evaluating the concept of sustainability within the complex context of anthropogenic climate change.

Rethinking Sustainability

Jessica Owley and Keith Hirokawa (ed.) Rethinking Sustainability to Meet the Climate Change Challenge, Environmental Law Institute: Washington DC, 2015,