by Mary Christina Wood
Abstract: This essay portrays the urgency of global warming and discusses the role of environmental law in bringing about this crisis. It explains why our regulatory system ignored this problem for too long and offers a property-based perspective to frame government’s responsibility in confronting climate crisis.
Melting icecaps. Raging wildfires. Widespread drought. 35,000 Europeans, dead from a heat wave. Jakarta, underwater. Drowning polar bears. West Nile virus. Species in mass exodus towards the poles. Hurricane Katrina. Those are the headlines over the past few years. Yet many Americans are still asleep to climate crisis. They are in for quite a shock when they wake up to realize the consequences of ignoring this threat. Climate is the invisible currency of our lives. It supports our food supplies, water sources, private property, businesses, and recreation. Yet, for most of us, it has been an overlooked source of our security and comfort.
That is about to change.