When Ideas Walk, Rivers Can Talk: Innovation and Communication in Global Environmental Law
Thursday, 8 April, 2021
When Ideas Walk, Rivers Can Talk: Innovation and Communication in Global Environmental Law is the title of the lecture that was presented at 6:30pm on Thursday, April 1, 2021 by Mike Angstadt, J.D., Ph.D.
The presentation was the first of three lectures in the Earth Month Series. It was recorded for reference and for those who were not available to attend. The recorded lecture is available through May 20, 2021.
Click HERE to access.
In a manner that non-experts could understand, Dr. Angstadt skillfully explained several examples of environmental law cases in countries around the world and how the cases are processed very differently from similar ones in the USA. He illustrated through three developments that are being considered in countries around the world: (1) efforts to establish special courts/benches/judges that only hear environmental cases, (2) efforts to grant legal rights to natural objects -- trees, species, rivers, entire ecosystems, and (3) efforts to use domestic courts to address global challenges, like climate change.
He also showed the great parallel to Earth Day itself; two of the three ideas -- specialized environmental courts and extending rights to nature-- were proposed in the USA within a few years of the first Earth Day. Since then, they, like Earth Day, which also began here in the US, have ultimately gained broad adoption elsewhere.
Dr. Angstadt emphasized during this very well-organized lecture, “We don't live in a world of local or global environmentalism. Instead, local approaches are global, and global ideas are implemented locally.” He also stressed the importance of “domestic efforts in contributing to international responses,” and the “globally interconnected nature of environmental challenges.”
Q & A offered more information and advice about sources for research and action.
As an environmental politics scholar and trained environmental lawyer, Angstadt is passionate about interdisciplinary undergraduate teaching and research at the nexus of international relations and environmental law and policy. His research examines domestic judicial institutions and their role in implementing international environmental law. Mike Angstadt holds a BA in Political Science from Hartwick College, a JD from Pace University School of Law where he was the Learned Hand Fellow in Environmental Law and received certificates in Environmental and International Law, and a PhD in Political Science with specialization in Environmental Politics from Colorado State University, where he completed an NSF IGERT traineeship. Presently, he is an assistant professor at Colorado College.
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