Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age

Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age

by Mary Christina Wood


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Environmental law has failed us all. As ecosystems collapse across the globe and the climate crisis intensifies, environmental agencies worldwide use their authority to permit the very harm that they are supposed to prevent. Growing numbers of citizens now realize they must act before it is too late. This book exposes what is wrong with environmental law and offers transformational change based on the public trust doctrine. An ancient and enduring principle, the trust doctrine asserts public property rights to crucial resources. Its core logic compels government, as trustee, to protect natural inheritance such as air and water for all humanity. Propelled by populist impulses and democratic imperatives, the public trust surfaces at epic times in history as a manifest human right. But until now it has lacked the precision necessary for citizens, government employees, legislators, and judges to fully safeguard the natural resources we rely on for survival and prosperity. The Nature's Trust approach empowers citizens worldwide to protect their inalienable ecological rights for generations to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521195133
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/31/2013
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.02(d)

About the Author

Mary Christina Wood is the Philip H. Knight Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Oregon School of Law. She has taught law for more than twenty years, specializing in property law, environmental law and federal Indian law. She founded the school's top-ranked Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program and initiated several of the program's interdisciplinary research projects, including the Native Environmental Sovereignty Project and the Food Resiliency Project. She is the coauthor of a textbook on natural resources law and another on public trust law. She has also authored many articles and book chapters on the federal Indian trust obligation, wildlife law and climate crisis.

Table of Contents

Part I. Environmental Law: Hospice for a Dying Planet?: 1. 'You are doing a great job'; 2. The great legal experiment; 3. The politics of discretion; 4. Behind the grand façade; 5. The administrative tyranny over nature; Part II. The People's Natural Trust: 6. The inalienable attribute of sovereignty; 7. The ecological res; 8. Fiduciary standards of protection and restoration; 9. From bureaucrats to trustees; 10. Beyond borders: shared ecology and the duties of sovereign co-tenant trustees; 11. Nature's justice: the role of the courts; Part III. The Public Trust and the Great Turning: 12. Nature's trust and the heart of humanity; 13. Using Earth's interest, not its principal; 14. The public trust and private property rights; 15. The new world: a planetary trust.

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