The Right of Nonuse

The Right of Nonuse

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The Right of Nonuse provides a fresh and remarkably different perspective on the real causes of the ills plaguing the world's resources and environment. It re-examines the very nature of nature, and from this new perspective, argues that what is needed is for humans to grant to natural resources a legal right to be left alone - a right of nonuse. In the process, it explores the following
questions: Why do natural resources continue to be depleted and removed at an alarming rate? Why are species becoming extinct at a pace that may be unprecedented? Why does the environment continue to be polluted? Why do the weather and climate seem to be changing? Perhaps most important, why have laws, legal institutions and governments been unable to address and correct these

Jan Laitos reviews the history of our relationship with the natural environment and develops new ways of thinking about nature and its protection. Instead of proceeding with human-based goals, Laitos argues that we should protect environmental resources for their own intrinsic value. Instead of giving humans more and more rights to clean up the environment, and to halt resources depletion, a right of nonuse held by the resource itself should be created. Natural resources have always possessed
this parallel nonuse function, and society should recognize and legitimize it.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 176 x 235 x 16mm | 392g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0199990786
  • 9780199990788
  • 1,726,951

Table of contents

Acknowedgments ; Part I - INTRODUCTION ; Chapter 1: The Nature of Nature ; Part II - A SOCIAL - ECONOMIC HISTORY OF RESOURCE USE AND NONUSE ; Chapter 2: Defining Natural Resources Use and Nonuse ; Chapter 3: Era I - The Age of Human Survival ; Chapter 4: Era II - The Age of the Market ; Chapter 5: Era III - The Age of Property ; Chapter 6: Era IV - The Anthrocene Age ; Chapter 7: Era V - The Age of Ecocentrism ; Part III - A LEGAL HISTORY OF RESOURCE USE AND NONUSE ; Chapter 8: An Introduction to Law and Natural Resources ; Chapter 9: First Generation Laws: Creating Use Interests in Natural Resources ; Chapter 10: Second Generation Laws: Protecting Human Nonuse Interests ; Chapter 11: Proposed Second Generation Laws: Protecting Human Nonuse Interests by Acknowledging the Public Interest in Natural Resources ; Chapter 12: Toward a Third Generation of Non-Anthropocentric Resource Nonuse Laws ; Part IV - REVEALING THE NONUSE COMPONENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ; Chapter 13: The Biology of Resource Nonuse ; Chapter 14: The Science of Resource Nonuse ; Chapter 15: The Economics of Resource Nonuse ; Part V - TOWARD A LEGALLY-ACKNOWLEDGED RIGHT OF NONUSE ; Chapter 16: The Problem of Government Regulation: The Emerging Shift from Anthropocentric to Ecocentric Nonuse Laws ; Chapter 17: The Problem of Rights Creation: Can Natural Resources Have Legal Rights? ; Chapter 18: The Problem of Standing: May Natural Resources Raise Their Own Right of Nonuse? ; Index
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Review quote

"The Right of Nonuse is a tour de force. Jan Laitos debunks the enduring myth that private property rights and the market will best serve humanity's interest. Drawing on law, economics, ecology, history, and ethics, he makes a compelling case that the dominant instrumentalist view will inevitably fail to achieve its stated goals and that a truly sustainable and efficient path demands that we focus on the values we derive from nonuse of resources, and that we
endow the resources themselves with rights to protect these values. With this book, Laitos moves the concept of nonuse from bit player in crowd scenes to contender for a leading role in shaping
conservation law and policy."
--Alyson Flournoy
Alumni Research Scholar & UF Research Foundation Professor
University of Florida, Levin College of Law
"Drawing from a multitude of disciplines, Jan Laitos elegantly synthesizes a wide spectrum of research and scholarship into a coherent and compelling legal theory of the Right of Nonuse. His sweeping history of resource use and nonuse in law and society spans the Age of Human Survival, through periods of market dominance and rising property rights, to his vision of an Age of Eco-centrism. Using the theory of nonuse as a legal right vested in nature, Laitos
challenges even emerging theories of ecological management policy. Anyone interested in a refreshingly reasoned and practically minded new perspective on the law and policy of nature will find it here."

--J.B. Ruhl
David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law
Vanderbilt University Law School
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About Jan G. Laitos

Jan G. Laitos is the holder of the John A. Carver, Jr. Chair in Natural Resources and Environmental Law at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. Previously, he was the law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, and worked in the Office of Legal Counsel for the United States Department of Justice. Jan Laitos served as Vice Chair and Commissioner on the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission, and is a trustee of the
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. He is the author of the authoritative treatise in the property rights field entitled: Law of Property Rights (1999). He is also the author of: The Law of Hazardous Waste and Toxic Substances, 2nd ed. (2008) and Pioneers in Environmental Law
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