Investing the law with an environmental ethic

New to book stands is a book edited by Erika Techera from Macquarie University titled Environmental Law, Ethics & Governance.

It is available from Inter-Disciplinary Press. I provide a chapter titled: ‘Investing the Law with an Environmental Ethic: Using an Environmental Justice Theory for Change’. The abstract states:

The adoption of the concept and theory of sustainability by domestic law has not garnered an environmental ethic nor resulted in meaningful changes to legal, political, cultural and community institutions. As a consequence, the law remains incapable of attaining environmental improvements for the benefit of humans and other species. Present day environmental law is still primarily concerned with protecting property interests and upholding a narrow view of responsible government. Further, the law still characterises and purports to protect the environment as divisible components. This chapter argues that introducing a broad and multi-faceted theory of environmental justice drawn from environmental philosophy into the law would redress the environmental ethical deficit in the law. In particular, the chapter shows how an environmentally just legal system would be reformed with a focus on environmental assessment, pollution control, and species preservation laws.

Plural and hybrid environmental values in the wind energy debate

The hybridity of arguments opposing wind farms – including concerns about landscape and place, protection of birds, the conduct of proponents and suspicion of the technology – are captured in this pamphlet, which was produced without central authorisation from the CPRW (The Campaign for the Protection of Wales) in the early to mid-2000s.

It is the hybridity of arguments and values within the context of wind farm development and policy making in Victoria and United Kingdom that I explore in a recently published article in Environmental Politics. In the article I analyse the dominant discourses evident in wind farm conflicts – about green jobs, climate change, birds and landscape, exploring the complex environmental values that underpin each of the discourses.