Ecocentric Perspectives on Global Warming: Toward an Earth Jurisprudence

By Patrick Tolan.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Earth Jurisprudence philosophy abandons a human-centered (anthropocentric) view of the environment in favor of an ecocentric perspective—accepting our important role as both part of and a partner with nature. This paper considers the Earth Jurisprudence of global warming. It contends that traditional legal methods for dealing with environmental problems are incapable of combating global warming due to systemic flaws in the global legal order, the impossibility of national laws resolving international problems, and the undue reliance on economic measures as a surrogate for ecological values in proposed solutions (such as the Kyoto Protocol). The paper calls instead for a global sociological change in moral values and a need for multifaceted approaches ranging from world-wide theological evolution (to recognize pollution as wrongful and embrace a more beneficial partnership with nature) to secular environmental grass roots movements motivated by a shared purpose in saving the planet.

Keywords: Earth Jurisprudence, Global Warming, Environmental Law, Ecocentric, Anthropocentric, Kyoto, Climate Change

Global Studies Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.39-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 560.352KB).

Prof. Patrick Tolan

Assistant Professor of Law, Law School, Barry University, Orlando, Florida, USA

Professor Tolan is an Associate Professor of Law at Barry University Law School in Orlando, Florida, where he teaches environmental law, government contracts, tax, and property. The author thanks Professors Judith Koons and Sister Patricia Siemen for their groundbreaking work in this field and for their constructive and insightful feedback. The author also thanks Professor Eric Hull for his helpful remarks and Casey Taylor for her tireless efforts in research and citation support. Of course the opinions presented are those of the author (as is the responsibility for any error). Finally, the author encourages all readers to find out more about Earth Jurisprudence at the Center for Earth Jurisprudence website,


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