Tuesday, August 2, 2011

#214 / The Public Trust Doctrine

If you click on the image, you will find out about a recent case in which the Nevada Supreme Court (somewhat unexpectedly) upheld the Public Trust Doctrine. If you'd like to read what the California State Lands Commission has to say about the Public Trust Doctrine, click here.

A very abbreviated explanation is this: since Roman times, the law has officially recognized that the natural resources upon which our lives depend are not susceptible of private ownership. The doctrine has been particularly applied to access to waterways, the sea, and the seashore. Though somewhat narrower, the idea is not unlike the claim that Nature itself has rights to which human beings must defer.

I like the broader understanding.

In fact, I think that our lives (all of our lives) depend on not only recognizing, but effectuating the rights of the Natural World, as against human claims to use it at our will.

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