Environmental Protection Vision And Confusion

Many environmental protection lawsuits turn on the question of who has standing; are the legal issues limited to property owners, or does the general public have a right to intervene?

Environmental protection law is a body of law, which is a system of complex and interlocking statutes, common law, treaties, conventions, regulations and policies which seeks to protect the natural environment which may be affected, impacted or endangered by human activities.

One of the earliest environmental protection lawsuits to establish that citizens may sue for environmental and aesthetic harms was Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference v. Federal Power Commission, decided in 1965 by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The case helped halt the construction of a power plant on Storm King Mountain in New York State.

The Environmental Movement has three main roots: Conservation of natural resources, preservation of wilderness and the movement to reduce pollution and improve urban life.

Some people are skeptical of the environmental movement and feel that it is more deeply rooted in politics than science. Although there have been serious debates about climate change and effects of some pesticides and herbicides that mimic animal sex steroids, science has shown that the claims of environmentalists have creedence, that we are indeed experiencing human-induced climate change, and that there are serious side effects in the over-application of pesticides and herbicides.

Largely due to this political critique and confusion, and a growing concern with the environmental health problems caused by pesticides, some serious biologists and ecologists created the scientific ecology movement which would not confuse empirical data with visions of a desirable future world.

However, the environmental movement today persists in many smaller local groups, usually within ecoregions, furthering spiritual and aesthetic values which Thoreau or those who rewrote Chief Seattle’s Reply would recognize.

The visions and confusions, however, persist. The new tribalist vision of society, for example, echoes the concerns of the original environmentalists to a degree. And the more local groups increasingly find that they benefit from collaboration, e.g. on consensus decision making methods, or making simultaneous policy, or relying on common legal resources, or even sometimes a common glossary.

Despite all the political talk and dispute among environmental groups; we can all agree on one thing: Each individual must take good care of mother earth while he or she is here a borrowed time that eventually is passed on to the next generation.

Thank you for your time.

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