Founding CEO of ClientEarth and Zen priest James Thornton discusses his work fighting for environmental protections, including thwarting Ronald Reagan's plan to abandon the Clean Water Act.
About Client Earth
Environmentally, our planet lacks the laws to keep it safe and those laws we do have are feebly enforced. Every new year is the hottest in human history, while forest, reef, ice, tundra, and species are disappearing forever. It is easy to lose all hope.
Who will stop the planet from committing ecological suicide? The UN? Governments? Activists? Corporations? Engineers? Scientists? Whoever, environmental laws need to be enforceable and enforced. Step forward a fresh breed of passionately purposeful environmental lawyers. They provide new rules to legislatures, see that they are enforced, and keep us informed. They tackle big business to ensure money flows into cultural change, because money is the grammar of business just as science is the grammar of nature.
At the head of this new legal army stands James Thornton, who takes governments to court, and wins. And his client is the Earth.
With Client Earth, we travel from Poland to Ghana, from Alaska to China, to see how citizens can use public interest law to protect their planet. Foundations and philanthropists support the law group ClientEarth because they see, plainly and brightly, that the law is a force all parties recognize. Lawyers who take the Earth as their client are exceptional and inspirational. They give us back our hope.
About James Thornton and co-author Martin Goodman
James Thornton is an environmental lawyer and writer. He is the founding CEO of ClientEarth, a not-for-profit environmental-law organisation with offices in London, Brussels, and Warsaw. The New Statesman named James as one of ten people who could change the world. He is a member of the bars of New York, California, and the Supreme Court of the United States, and a solicitor of England and Wales.
Martin Goodman is the author of nine books of fiction and nonfiction. He holds the chair of Creative Writing at the University of Hull, where he is director of the Philip Larkin Centre for Poetry and Creative Writing.