Synopses & Reviews
Originally published in 1972, Should Trees Have Standing? was a rallying point for the then burgeoning environmental movement, launching a worldwide debate on the basic nature of legal rights that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, in the 35th anniversary edition of this remarkably influential book, Christopher D. Stone updates his original thesis and explores the impact his ideas have had on the courts, the academy, and society as a whole. At the heart of the book is an eminently sensible, legally sound, and compelling argument that the environment should be granted legal rights. For the new edition, Stone explores a variety of recent cases and current events--and related topics such as climate change and protecting the oceans--providing a thoughtful survey of the past and an insightful glimpse at the future of the environmental movement. This enduring work continues to serve as the definitive statement as to why trees, oceans, animals, and the environment as a whole should be bestowed with legal rights, so that the voiceless elements in nature are protected for future generations.
"A highly influential piece of work...Stone displays a strong commitment to global environmental laws, outlooks and obligations. Stone has a wonderful ability to situate environmental philosophy in the context of everyday socioeconomic, political and legal realities. Moreover, embedded within his rational arguments and his logical vistas is a colourful affinity for the natural world. Indeed, Stone's book is decidedly ecocentric in nature. All in all, this twenty-fifth anniversary commemorative publication is an indispensable, superb and impressive contribution to the general field of environmental studies. Every environmental lawyer, policy-maker, professor, student, journalist and legislator should have a copy of this book. Indeed, environmental and human rights activists, the world over, will find this book of great interest."
Department of Environment and Resource Studies, Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo, Ontario, CAN
"In "Should Trees Have Standing?" (1972) Chris Stone made the original, and arguably still the most cogent case, for granting legal standing to natural objects. A quarter century later he evaluates the outcome of his thesis in another masterly piece: "Trees at Twenty Five." This book illuminates our thinking about many critical, national and international conceptual issues of the twenty first century."
University of Tulsa College of Law
National Energy Law and Policy Institute, Tulsa, OK
"Stone is a guiding intellectual beacon for those interested in legal and policy aspects of environmental protection, whether at the domestic or international level. This collection is a timely and welcome reminder that much work remains to be done on many of the critical issues he addresses. The thinking is as lively, fresh and insightful as when it first emerged, testimony to the fact that the move from the local to the global touches many common themes."
King's College of London, UK
"It is impossible to over-emphasize the significance of this graceful and elegant essay...The essay's re-issue demonstrates Stone's uncanny ability to anticipate crucial philisophical debates...(the essays are) required reading for all students of any age of environmental philosophy and policy."
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ
"Any serious student of environmental ethics should study this piece."
Arthur Westing, Westing Assoc., Putney, VT, Environment
"Christopher Stone's book reflects a truly original contribution to the environmental law movement. Stone's unique idea about nature and natural objects-that perhaps they should have their own rights-is now ripe to be considered seriously by policymakers. As Stone suggested decades ago, and expands upon in his new book, the time has finally come to move from an anthropocentric to an eco-centric view of the environment."
-Jan G. Laitos, John A. Carver, Jr. Professor of Law
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
"The third edition of this book of essays demonstrates that Christopher Stone's ideas are as challenging, as eye-opening, and as thought expanding as they were when he first penned his landmark work. Clearly written and cogently argued, Stone's writing succeeds in being simultaneously provocative and persuasive."
-John S. Applegate, Walter W. Foskett Professor of
Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
"The publication of Christopher D. Stone's new essay collection, Should Trees Have Standing?, could not be more timely...To his credit, Stone does not shy away from these morally and legally troublesome issues. He confronts them head-on, often at length, and even takes his best stab at resolving some of them. Although this book does not provide all the answers (nor could it), it does give the reader plenty to ponder..."
In this influential work, Stone argues that special guardians be empowered to speak for the "voiceless" elements in nature, in effect, to give legal standing in the court of law to endangered species and threatened forests.
The 25th anniversary edition features an additional collection of his most influential writings:
How to Heal the Planet
The Convention on Biological Diversity
Should We Establish a Guardian to Speak for Future Generations?
An Environmental Ethic for the 21st Century
A new Introduction and Epilogue, "Trees" at Twenty-Five, narrate the reception of the Should Trees Have Standing? thesis in various countries, and appraise the present state of the environmental movement.
About the Author
Christopher D. Stone
is J. Thomas McCarthy Trustee Chair in Law at the University of Southern California School of Law. A leading advocate for the environment, he has written for Harper's, The New York Times, The Nation, Boston Globe
, and Los Angeles Times
Table of Contents
Introduction: Trees at Thirty-Five
1. Should Trees Have Standing? Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects
2. Does the Climate Have Standing?
3. Agriculture and the Environment: Challenges for the New Millennium
4. Can the Oceans Be Harbored? A Four Step Plan for the 21st Century
5. Should We Establish a Guardian for Future Generations?
6. Reflections on "Sustainable Development"
7. How to Heal the Planet
8. Is Environmentalism Dead?
Epilogue: Trees Revisited