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In this Essay, the proposition the author draws from the narrative of the endangered species litigation is derivatively Aristotelian – that we must consciously, actively, and explicitly integrate an informed consideration of human politics into what we teach and do in environmental law. The proposition is not that we should steep ourselves in party politics, although there are interesting observations aplenty that could be made on the direct consequences that the two major parties (and occassionally their wistful smaller incarnations) have on the evolution of environmental law. The proposition offered here operates at two different levels: practical politics and political overview. This proposition, especially its latter portion, risks the criticism that it is just a mite grandiose. But it reflects the fact that most of us in this field believe environmental law is different from other fields of law. And, in terms of human governance, most of us in this field have repeatedly discovered that, if you scratch away at the surface of almost any issue or controversy in environmental law, pretty soon you will be looking at some of the very most fundamental questions of democratic government.


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8 Sep 2022
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