Climate Change and the Confluence of Natural and Human History: A Lawyer’s Perspective


In this article, Eagle examines what the concept of the Anthropocene means for environmental law and policy. Traditionally, laws come about in response to threats or harms that need to be remedied; environmental law in particular has largely focused on developing mitigation or adaptation strategies in response to climate change, or helping other agents to do so. While humans’ position in the natural world should be of no consequence to the legal process, our relationship with the natural world nevertheless has an impact on how environmental law is advancing. Eagle explores the view of the human as both insider and outsider—as an integral part of nature, which we have a duty to protect, and as lord and master of the natural world, taking what we can for our own survival—and how these views influence political discussions regarding environmental regulation.