The Mind of Mary Wood
It’s been called “the most important lawsuit in the history of the planet” – and none of the plaintiffs is over 21. In the “Our Children’s Trust” case, 21 young Americans are suing the US government for violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property through its continuing support of industries that cause climate change. They say it’s the duty of government to safeguard the well-being of its citizens – including the citizens of the future. If they win, they will completely change the direction of the world’s most powerful economy.
The intellectual scaffolding for the case is a book called Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age. The author is a dedicated and brilliant law professor, Mary Christina Wood of the University of Oregon. The public trust doctrine, Wood says, holds that governments are trustees of the natural world with a duty to protect it and to ensure the well-being of present and future generation She hopes her book will drive a tsunami of legal actions worldwide. A tremendously engaging and articulate woman, she’s our latest Green Interview. You can view our conversation here.
James Hansen, the NASA scientist who issued the first widely-publicized warnings about climate change, is also part of the Our Children’s Trust suit – and our interview with him will be released in February.
Speaking and Screening
I’ll be visiting Jamie Simpson’s class at the Dalhousie University law school on February 15, and there are several other speaking engagements in negotiation. Late last November, I screened Green Rights at Cape Breton University, where I also visited two classes and gave a public lecture. Local filmmaker Madeline Yakimchuk did a video of the public presentation, and you can see it here.
Screenings and speaking are an important part of what I do now, and if you’d like me to visit your campus or community, please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.