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Faculty and Staff

Government Officials: Trustees of our Natural Resources

Governments exist by a mandate from the people to protect them from collective threats. In our time there is no greater threat than global climate change, and our government must face it head on. The choice for government officials is now disaster prevention or disaster relief. This is a chance for officials and politicians to become true leaders, to explain clearly the nature of the threat, and to connect in Americans’ minds the need for short-term investment and regulation in order to avoid long-term calamity. (True leaders know how to do that. All other leaders must quickly learn how.)

Speeches

"Perfection v. Survival: A Lawyer's Role in the Age of Global Warming," Address, Environmental and Land Use Section of the Lane County Bar Association (February 25, 2009).

"The Climate Victory Speakers," Address, League of Women Voters, Eugene, Oregon (February 19, 2009).

"Law and Climate Change: Government's Atmospheric Trust Responsibility," Keynote Address, Video-conference, University of Montana, Missoula, MT (February 19, 2008); Keynote Address aired on Missoula Community Access Television, Channel 7 in Missoula and 8 in Grant Creek, (March 12 & 14, 2008).

"Government's Atmospheric Trust Responsibility," Keynote Address, J.E.L.L. Climate Change Conference, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR (October 19, 2007).

Click here for more speeches. For a complete list, please refer to Professor Wood’s curriculum vitae.

Publications

"Atmospheric Trust Litigation Around the World," chapter in Fiduciary Duty and the Atmospheric Trust (Ken Coghill, Charles Sampford, Tim Smith, eds) Ashgate Publishing (Australia) (January 2012).

Proposed Draft Executive Order on Climate Change (September 2009).

"'You Can't Negotiate With a Beetle': Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age," Natural Resources Law Journal, Vol. 50, No. 1 (Spring 2010).

Comments on Nature's Trust Approach submitted to Office of Management and Budget, Federal Regulatory Review, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Request for Comments, 74 Fed. Reg. 8819 (February 26, 2009).

Atmospheric Trust Litigation, chapter in Adjudicating Climate Change: Sub-National, National, And Supra-National Approaches (William C.G. Burns & Hari M. Osofsky, eds.) (2009, Cambridge University Press). To read an abstract of this article, click here. For Word document of chapter, click here.

"Advancing the Sovereign Trust of Government to Safeguard the Environment for Present and Future Generations,"Climate Legacy Initiative Project, (white paper) (May 2008).
To read an executive summary of this article, click here.

"Law and Climate Change: Government's Atmospheric Trust Responsibility," 10 Environmental Law Reporter (September 2008).

The Presidential Climate Action Project, Chapter 9, "Natural Resources Stewardship" (contributing author)http://www.climateactionproject.com (September 2007); "Nature's Trust: A Paradigm for Natural Resources Stewardship" (white paper) (December 2007).

"Nature's Trust: A Legal, Political and Moral Frame for Global Warming," 34:3 Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review (May 2007).

Click here for more publications. For a complete list, please refer to Professor Wood’s curriculum vitae.

Media Coverage

David Swanson, Judge Deliberates on Whether to Save Earth's Atmosphere (May 13, 2012)

Plitz, Rick, “Hansen:  Climate Science and Moral Responsibility,” http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2012/04/08/hansen-climate-science-and-moral-responsibility (April 8, 2012).

Swanson, David, “As We Ruin Our Kids’ Planet, They Take Us to Court,” http://my.firedoglake.com/davidswanson/2012/04/10/as-we-ruin-our-kids-planet-they-take-us-to-court/(April 10, 2012).

"Stand Up for Our Future," iMatter March, http://vimeo.com/40336812.

Robinson, Jessica, “Environmentalist Push Climate Change Suits on Behalf of Kids,” Northwest Public Radio, http://nwpr.org/post/environmentalists-push-climate-change-suits-behalf-kids (March 5, 2012).

Schendler, Auden, “Cigarettes’ Lessons for Climate Change,” http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-schendler-cigarettes-lessons-for-climate-cha-20120304,0,6134172.story (March 4, 2012).

"The Politics of Climate Change,"interview with Laurie Mercier, KBOO 90.7FM,http://kboo.fm/node/12479(March 2, 2009).

Cooper, Matt, "County weighs cap-and-trade for emissions," The Register Guard, B2 (January 3, 2009).

Interview with Jason Bradford, "NPR's The Reality Report," KZYX, http://www.kzyx.org/joomla/, Mendocino County, CA (April 14, 2008), available athttp://globalpublicmedia.com/the_reality_report_mary_wood_on_government_as_the_trustee_of_common_assets.

Metcalf, Peter, Law Professor Says Government Obligated to Curb Climate Change," New West.Net: The Voice of the Rocky Mountains (February 20, 2008).

Interview with Sally Mock, "NPR's Montana Evening Edition," KUSM, http://www.mtpr.net/programs/2008-02-19, Missoula, MT (February 19, 2008).

To listen to the interview:
Click on or copy the following URL into your browser: http://www.mtpr.net/programs/2008-02-19
Select " 5:30 PM – 5:55 PM Montana Evening Edition"
Select "Click to Listen."
The interview begins 8 minutes, 30 seconds into the program and lasts 10 minutes.

Click here for more media coverage. For a complete list, please refer to Professor Wood’s curriculum vitae.

Resources

Content is currently being developed, please continue to check back for ongoing updates.

Recommended Reading

Rob Hopkins, The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience (Chelsea Green 2008).
The book is a clearly written handbook for inspiring and guiding communities into a new sustainable future with less dependency on fossil fuels. It presents strategies for local food production, transportation, and energy independence on the local level. This is a must-read for citizens of any community seeking a resilient and sustainable future. It draws from the World War II experience of local food production and energy minimalism to show that yes, we can prepare for the new world and create a better, healthier, and more satisfying way of life as a result.

February 9, 2009 (Philippines) Kabiling, Genalyn, "President issues order encouraging people to walk, bike, and ride the train."

Olmsted, James, "The Global Warming Crisis: An Analytical Framework to Regional Responses," 22 J. Env. L. & Lit. 125 (2008).

LESTER R. BROWN, PLAN B 3.0: MOBILIZING TO SAVE CIVILIZATION (Linda Starke ed., W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. 2008).

DAVID SPRATT & PHILIP SUTTON, CLIMATE CODE RED: THE CASE FOR A SUSTAINABILITY EMERGENCY (FRIENDS OF THE EARTH 2008), available at http://www.climatecodered.net/.

JAMES GUSTAVE SPETH, THE BRIDGE AT THE END OF THE WORLD: CAPITALISM, THE ENVIRONMENT, AND CROSSING FROM CRISIS TO SUSTAINABILITY 84 (Yale University Press 2008).

UCS Targets: 1. Arrest growth of carbon emissions by 2010; 2. Reduce carbon emissions by 4% per year annually; 3. Achieve 80% reduction of carbon emissions by 2050.Union of Concerned Scientists, "How to Avoid Dangerous Climate Change: A Target for U.S. Emissions Reductions" (September 2007).

ARJUN MAKHIJANI, CARBON-FREE AND NUCLEAR-FREE: A ROADMAP FOR U.S. ENERGY POLICY (2007).

Websites & Newsfeeds

Mock Trial: Asia v. Group of 8 Countries (charged with planetary malpractice resulting in inter-generational damage)

Earth Equity News, http://earthequitynews.blogspot.com/ (Sign up for free daily newsfeed.)

Union of Concerned Scientists, http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/

Center for Climate Strategies, http://www.climatestrategies.us/

UO’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, Climate Change Initiative


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