Before It’s Too Late–Mary Christina Wood On Avoiding Climate Disaster


An environmental-law professor at the University of Oregon, Wood is the author of the 2013 book Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age, in which she argues that the resources necessary for human survival — including the atmosphere — are part of a trust that the government must safeguard on behalf of current and future generations. Since politicians are failing to do that, she created a road map for citizens to take the government to court and demand a science-based, legally enforceable plan to stabilize the climate.

In this interview Prof. Wood talks about climate disaster, our government’s failures to control polluting forces, the judiciary options, the mobilization now necessary, and more.

“Parents have to wake up to the threat. Most are equipping kids for a world that scientists say simply will not exist. And by being “good” parents, many are leading a high-carbon lifestyle, making the problem worse. If they can grasp the peril to their children, they will dive into the problem. If you were at the edge of a river and saw a small child drowning, you would jump in and rescue that child. I think we all would. Well, there are children in that river — it’s my children, it’s your children, it’s everybody’s children — and they are drowning. We need to jump in.”