We're excited to host Hackney based activist lawyer James Thornton and writer/poet Martin Goodman to discuss their new book Client Earth.
Environmentally, our planet lacks the laws to keep it safe and those laws we do have are feebly enforced. Every new year is the hottest in human history, while forest, reef, ice, tundra, and species are disappearing forever. It is easy to lose all hope. Who will stop the planet from committing ecological suicide? The UN? Governments? Activists? Corporations? Engineers? Scientists? Whoever, environmental laws need to be enforceable and enforced. Step forward a fresh breed of passionately purposeful environmental lawyers. They provide new rules to legislatures, see that they are enforced, and keep us informed. They tackle big business to ensure money flows into cultural change, because money is the grammar of business just as science is the grammar of nature. At the head of this new legal army stands James Thornton, who takes governments to court, and wins. And his client is the Earth. With Client Earth, we travel from Poland to Ghana, from Alaska to China, to see how citizens can use public interest law to protect their planet. Foundations and philanthropists support the law group ClientEarth because they see, plainly and brightly, that the law is a force all parties recognize. Lawyers who take the Earth as their client are exceptional and inspirational. They give us back our hope.
James Thornton is the founder of Client Earth a pioneering not-for-profit legal firm based in Hackney. The New Statesman named James as one of ten people who could change the world. As well as exploring environmental law, his book tells his personal story: as well as being a lawyer, he also is a Zen Buddhist priest, a published poet and a violinist. He had the idea of founding Client Earth after meeting with the Dalai Lama for an hour to ask how he could do the most good in the world.
Martin Goodman is the author of nine books of fiction and nonfiction. He holds the chair of Creative Writing at the University of Hull, where he is director of the Philip Larkin Centre for Poetry and Creative Writing.