Saturday, January 10, 2015

Nature's Trust

Written by University of Oregon Law Professor, Mary Christina Wood, Nature's Trust provides a thoroughly researched review of the trust responsibility of government at all levels in America, to the people and to future generations.

Here is how Professor Wood puts that responsibility in the introduction of Nature's Trust.

The sovereign trust obligation offers a catalyzing principle to citizens worldwide in their common struggle to hold government's accountable for protecting life-systems. Nature's Trust and the primordial rights inculcating it create a populist manifesto that surfaces at epic times through the generations of humanity. These principles stand no less revolutionary for our time and our crises than the forcing of the Magna Carta on the English monarchy in 1215 or Mahatma Gandhi's great Salt March to the sea in 1930.  Resonating deeply and resolutely within the ancestral memory of humanity,  trust principles must now revive to stir a global assertion of citizenship in defense of humanity and all future generations.

Professor Mary Christina Wood has done an enormous service to society by reminding us how deeply entrenched the trust responsibility is in global governance.  We live in a time when the American political process has devolved in a circumstance of  'He who has the money makes the rules.'  Climate change, driven by the human addiction to dirty coal and oil, is a challenge that is not being addressed, primarily because of the failure of our elected representatives to recognize and live up to their trust responsibilities to the people and to future generations.

Trust law is no panacea. The best way to put government back on track would be a Constitutional Amendment that says, 'Corporations are not People' and 'Money is not Speech'.   That's a very tough nut to crack. For now, Mary Christina Wood's  illumination of  natural trust law has inspired a number of court challenges, demanding a proper government response to climate change.  Nature's Trust provides a solid foundation for legal remedy against our government's failure to meet it's obligation to protect nature and the commons for future generations.

This is a very important book. I give it my highest recommendation, with one caveat. The price tag - $40 for a paperback book - creates an unfortunate accessibility problem. I would love to have Nature's Trust for reference in my own library. Perhaps, at some point, they will come out with a different edition at a more reasonable cost.  For now, when I need to visit this book, I will go to the library.

Here is a link to author Mary Christina Wood, appearing on the Bill Moyers PBS Show, talking about Nature's Trust...

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