Climate Change in the Courts: A US and Global Perspective

  • Andrew Franz


Global temperatures continue to rise—year after year new heat records are set; the permafrost is melting and rotting—leading to damaging summer methane emissions; glaciers are receding everywhere; species are endangered—perhaps a quarter of species now on earth will be extinct by mid-century, and half by 2100; incidents of drought, poor water quality, crop losses, landslides, pest inundation, severe storms, raging wildfires, and tropical diseases are increasing and spreading; massive human dislocations—particularly in low-lying coastal areas inundated by rising seas—are already occurring and expected to get worse; deforestation—which also drives climate change—continues at ever rapid pace in the world’s great jungles; in the summer of 2004–2005, the oceans turned from carbon sink to carbon producers (Sinden 2007; Wood 2007; Irwin 2010). We are witnessing the “end of nature” where we have reached a “tipping point” such that the “feedback loops” have been triggered and devastating consequences are unavoidable. The scientific community is certain to a very high degree that the cause of these harms is anthropogenic (McKibben 1989; Sinden 2007; IPCC 2007). The anthropogenic impact on Earth has grown so massive that we have come to an epochal moment (Irwin 2010).


European Union Precautionary Principle International Criminal Court Environmental Justice Rome Statute 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Franz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CriminologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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