Monmouth University Professor Randall Abate will deliver a pair of online guest lectures on Oct. 2 and 5 titled “Anthropocene Accountability Litigation Against the Fossil Fuel and Animal Agriculture Industries: Confronting Common Enemies to Promote a Just Transition.” The talks are free and open to the public.
The Oct. 2 session will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and is being hosted by the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law. The Oct. 5 talk will run from 2:15-3:15 p.m. (EST) and is being hosted by the Environmental Law Society at Arizona State University.
Professor Abate offers a new perspective in the quest for climate justice. He addresses creative common law and statutory law theories that seek to hold fossil fuel companies and concentrated animal feeding operations (“CAFOs” or “factory farms”) accountable for their role as “common enemies” in harming humans, the environment, and animals by exacerbating climate change while profiting from their operations. Myriad cutting-edge lawsuits against these industries are underway in the U.S. in the past few years, but there has been no scholarly inquiry that unites the theories from the environmental law (fossil fuel companies) and animal law (CAFOs) domains into one analysis. This presentation will evaluate these efforts in a broader context to explore how the environmental and animal law movements can collaborate more effectively around the issue of climate change to secure mutual gains in protecting humans, animals, and the environment. He explores how the two movements need to leverage public and private governance mechanisms to promote transitions away from reliance on carbon-intensive fossil fuel use and methane-intensive factory farms as significant drivers of the U.S. economy at the expense of the environment, animals, and public health in the Anthropocene era.