Discussion on “Consent of the Governed”

TocquevilleJeffrey Kaplan asks a basic question: “By what authority can a conglomeration of capital and property, whose existence is granted by the public, deny the right of a sovereign people to govern itself democratically?” The Consent of the Governed takes a hard look at democracy through the lens of rural Pennsylvania sludge issues.

  • Why do you think acts of civil disobedience, such as the stand Clarion County farmers took, seems so novel?
  • What do you make of the quote by Thomas Linzey, “the only thing environmental law regulates is environmentalists?”
  • What do you think it will take for the pendulum to swing back in sovereign localities’ court? How about the natural gas fracking controversy? Locally, we could look at the Labadie Coal Ash issue (to the east of us in Missouri), where local citizens are fighting Ameren on where to store coal ash. (hint: “in a floodplain” is a bad idea)
  • What implications would changing international trade laws have for sustainability?  For environmental justice?  What are the positives and negatives of international law, and where should we draw the line on how to regulate?

The Reading and Media Group meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in the second floor lounge of Memorial Union. This week we’ll eat lemon cookies. New readers are always welcome.

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