TITLE

Adapting to Climate Change: Environmental Law in a Warmer World

AUTHOR(S)
Zinn, Matthew D.
PUB. DATE
February 2007
SOURCE
Ecology Law Quarterly;2007, Vol. 34 Issue 1, p61
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Climate change presents a choice for public policy: mitigate our contribution to it or attempt to adapt to a changing world. In its most radical form, adaptation accepts as a given fundamental changes to our environment caused by a warming climate and consequently demands similarly fundamental adaptations in our ways of life. Those adaptations could entail widespread and severe environmental impacts, complementing and enhancing the primary environmental consequences of climate change. While environmental law has, if haltingly, moderated our environmental impacts in the recent past, this Article suggests that we should not assume that its successes will be repeated in a warmer world Climate change threatens to exacerbate some of the problems of capacity that have limited environmental law. particularly the inability to plan comprehensively to minimize environmental effects. Climate change may also undermine the public support that has been integral to the creation and sustenance of environmental law by reorienting human relationships with the natural world. The environmental changes caused by a warming climate may convert "the environment" from an endowment to be protected to a hostile and unpredictable force to be controlled and from which we demand protection. Although pessimistic about the prospects for environmental protection in a world of unchecked climate change, the Article concludes with some optimism about our ability to avoid the worst of adaptation's consequences through a policy of climate change mitigation.
ACCESSION #
25143884

 

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