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Earth Law’s long reach

Local actions can – and should – steer environmental jurisprudence at the global level, says Earth Law Center director Linda Sheehan

Read the full interview at Earth Law’s long reach, Burlington Free Press, by Joel Banner Baird, Burlington, Vermont.

To hear Linda Sheehan explain it, legal rights for Earth is a common-sense way to advance the cause of humankind. 

In the interview with Baird, Sheehan talks of Vermont resident Stephen Marx’s proposed Earth-rights amendment to Vermont’s state constitution. The proposed amendment was approved at a Town Meeting by the town of Strafford, Vt in 2012 and is moving forward to other communities.  Marx was a student in Sheehan’s Vermont Law School class on Earth Rights. Also read Stephen Marx’s interview with Baird at  The law, Marx and Mother Earth.

Questioned by Baird, “What’s your biggest challenge right now?”, Sheehan replies:

“The challenge is that we have a structural governance system right now that really drives us and rewards us for consuming the environment.

If you cut down a forest, the fewer environmental regulations that you have to comply with, the better for the balance sheet — because environmental controls are perceived as a cost.

We made up that economic system, and we can make up something different.

First, though, we need to wake people up to this concept that our economic system, our governance system in general, is driving environmental destruction, and that environmental laws will not be enough to stop it, because they buy into the larger economic system.

Once that’s accepted, the challenge is to actually start making that change.”

Read the complete article at Earth Law’s long reach, Burlington Free Press.