History and Environmental Crisis Cover Image

History and Environmental Crisis
History and Environmental Crisis

Author(s): Alice Bullard
Subject(s): Energy and Environmental Studies, Human Ecology, Environmental interactions, Socio-Economic Research
Published by: Društvo za hrvatsku ekonomsku povijest i ekohistoriju - Izdavačka kuća Meridijani
Keywords: climate change; environment; crisis; human rights; globalization; UNFCC; law; governance; pacha mama; right to nature; adaptation; eco-cosmology;

Summary/Abstract: The earth has existed for 4.54 billion years; biologically modern humans have been around for only 200,000 years. 99.9% of the entire time earth has existed, it existed without modern humans. In the mere 200 years of industrialized capitalism our species has developed into a threat to the life-sustaining systems of our planet. Writing law and forming governing institutions adequate to confront this crisis is a daunting task that demands international legal regimes based in an emergent theory of human species-governance that acknowledges the rights of the living earth. This essay examines how existing environmental governance is plagued by weaknesses and coopted by neo-liberalism. A number of environmentally dedicated individuals have charted pathways forward, but we do not yet have a coherent edifice of policy and practices that will solve the environmental crisis. The promising emergent link between environmental law and human rights requires leverage from a richer conceptualization of the environment to deliver effective environmental governance. The difficult task ahead of us is to develop law that recognizes the rights of evolved life on earth and that vests humans with the responsibility to respect and protect the evolved world.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 11
  • Page Range: 75-92
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: English