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Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age Paperback – November 28, 2013
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James Gustave Speth, author of America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy and former dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
"The gutting of our environmental laws now generates ominous and grotesque distortions in our natural world. This, as Mary Wood so vividly points out, reflects the deeper pollution of our regulatory agencies caused by the influence of big industries. Assembling an impressive range of legal precedents, Wood challenges our government to fulfill its age-old responsibility as "trustee" of public property. Nature's Trust is an eloquent plea to revive a fundamental pillar of civilized law to ensure the survival of a coherent civilization."
Ross Gelbspan, author of The Heat is On and Boiling Point
"At pivotal points in western history, when the failures of government became unconscionable and unbearable, thinkers have come forward with new, catalyzing principles that changed the world. I believe that Nature's Trust is the book we have been waiting for, a new paradigm that can correct the course of history."
Kathleen Dean Moore, co-editor of Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril
"We face, in climate change, the worst crisis in human history. So it's a good thing we have such a powerful mind rethinking our understanding of legal obligation - and human responsibility."
Bill McKibben, author of Earth and The End of Nature
"Our children are trusting us to protect their Earth. Our governments are on trial for failing that trust. This is the trial that should rivet the public's attention, for all life depends on its outcome. This book puts the people - all of us - in the jury box."
James Hansen, author of Storms of My Grandchildren and former director, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies
"It is a rare opportunity to read a book that causes us to reimagine the landscape of law, democracy and the environment. Nature's Trust does that. Here, Professor Wood challenges us with a thorough investigation of what it will take to really protect the environment coupled with a profound assessment of the legitimate foundations of government. She demonstrates that the principles of trusteeship animate our relationship to nature as well as to the institutions of the state. These trust duties are the very slate upon which our constitution is written. This is a beautiful, profound, and important book and anyone who cares about our environmental and democratic future needs to read it."
Gerald Torres, Marc and Beth Goldberg Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Cornell Law School; Bryant Smith Chair in Law, the University of Texas at Austin School of Law; and co-author of The Miner's Canary
"Nonetheless, as jacket blurbs by Bill McKibben, James Hansen, and Ross Gelbspan express quite well, Nature's Trust is both ambitious and original. For anyone interested in using the legal system to prod action, Wood has made a major contribution."
Rena Steinzor, Science Magazine
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Top Customer Reviews
Albert Einstein once said, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." By that rationale, it is easy to see why Mary Wood is an authority on the public trust doctrine in environmental law. The book is written in plain English--her writing reflects the manner in which laws and policies should be written. She is skillfully able to digest the complexities of modern environmental law for the layman without being patronizing. Readers will find that Nature's Trust reads like a narrative while educating like a textbook. It finds the perfect balance between two drastically different styles of writing. The accessibility of this book may be deceptive. However, accessibility does not come at the expense of substance. Praise by the likes of James Hansen, Ross Gelbspan, Gerald Torres, and Bill McKibben can attest to that fact.
Nature's Trust is so powerful because Professor Wood is able to connect with the reader on an emotional level. She inspires us to reflect on the moral obligation that we have to future generations.Read more ›
Surveying past failures of environmental law, Ms. Wood challenges us to consider the imminent threat and pervasive consequences specifically of climate change, which she appropriately re-terms as climate emergency. The problem isn't a benign "warming" of the planet, or even what some see as a hum-drum acknowledgment that the climate is changing. It is the fact that our obsession with all things economic and material is placing us on a path to a radically different world of climate extremes. Her impassioned call to awareness - isn't about something that "might" someday affect us - it is to recognize that relying on ineffectual environmental law is currently having truly disastrous consequences. As global, "average" temperatures rise, they exacerbate patterns of both drought and flooding, as well as intensifying extreme storm conditions like typhoons and hurricanes. These weather patterns are but the tip of the iceberg (a metaphorical iceberg that isn't melting - but can easily take down not only the Titanic, but any and all luxury cruise ships that continue on autopilot).Read more ›
As we continue now on this ill conceived path, Wood sheds a bright light on the destruction occurring to nature we need, as a civilization, to survive; and the negative role these laws are playing in that destruction.
Wood is not giving up. She proposes the law of "Nature's Trust"; that nature's essential resources belong to all of us and Governments have a solemn moral obligation to protect and preserve them. She offers a compelling, viable alternative to a system that is on a path to bankrupt that which sustains us all.
This book should be read by everyone who cares about how and why we have come to this point in our existence, and how, with Wood's alternative, we might be able to leave a world as we have known to our children and grandchildren.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author is a true environmentalist, and also a professor of environmental law at the University of Oregon Law School. Read morePublished 3 months ago by J. M. Alexander
Tough but brilliant writing. A MUST READ for anyone concerned about the path our environment is taking, and what can be done to right the ship.Published 10 months ago by Anon
Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for A new Ecological Age.
By Mary Christina Wood*
Review of Part I “Hospice for a Dying Planet”
By Tim Palmer... Read more
this book represents a paradigm shift in thinking and is a must read for anyone that cares about our planet or their children.Published 13 months ago by jeff Fairchild
Good coverage of the topic, although, of course, I know it is biased to the liberal. I read commentaries on both sides of the argument and then find my viewpoint from that.Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
A wonderful new paradigm by an environmental lawyer !Published 15 months ago by Mrs. Hattie H. Stone