Researchers Propose Compulsory Climate Change Teaching in Core Law Curriculum

[I wonder if this includes bird law ~cr]

For immediate release: Tuesday 24 January 2023

DURHAM UNIVERSITY

Academics from Durham University are urging that climate change education should be made compulsory across the core law curriculum in Higher Education.

The researchers evaluated students’ engagement and their broader views concerning climate change education by integrating climate change and environmental law into the core curriculum at the University of Exeter, a Russell Group University.

The results showed that law students want to study climate law and the climate context of law as part of their core curriculum.

Students also said that climate change education should be compulsory and taught across the programme.

In the study, the researchers argue that climate change is still perceived as a niche topic and that students are leaving Law School without a proper understanding of the legal framework or social context within which they will practice. 

They emphasise the importance of understanding climate constitutional legislation and net zero, climate risk and interpretation of legal rules in the context of climate change.

Their findings are published in the leading generalist law journal, Legal Studies.  

Students graduating from law school will spend their working lives needing to understand and apply legal norms in the context of a society dealing with the impacts of climate change, while transitioning to ‘net zero’ carbon economies.  

Legal educators now face the responsibility of ensuring that law graduates are equipped with adequate knowledge of climate law and social context in which they will operate.

Lead researcher Dr Kim Bouwer, of Durham Law School, Durham University, said: “We have been working on a cross-curriculum approach to climate education at Durham Law School for this academic year, and have found that integrating materials relating to climate change in various modules not only has been very natural, but also supports students’ study of law. 

“We are considering how to approach this long term as part of a broader curriculum review.”

The approach has been developed based upon previous research by Dr Kim Bouwer conducted at the University of Exeter.

As a part of the experiment, Dr Bouwer designed and delivered climate change education in Land Law and conducted the study to evaluate students’ engagement and their broader views concerning climate change education. 

The work was carried out by three Exeter graduates, who were law students at the time of the research, who surveyed, and held focus groups with, other students. 

ENDS

Media Information

Dr Kim Bouwer is available for interview and can be contacted on kim.bouwer@durham.ac.uk.  

Alternatively, please contact Durham University Communications Office for interview requests on communications.team@durham.ac.uk.

Source

“Climate Change isn’t Optional: Climate Change in the Core Law Curriculum”, (2022), K. Bouwer, E. John, O. Luke, and A. Rozhan, Legal Studies – Cambridge University Press.

Full paper can be viewed online: https://doi.org/10.1017/lst.2022.35

Graphics

Associated image is available via the following link: https://bit.ly/durhamuniversity-climate-change-law

About Durham University

Durham University is a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research based in historic Durham City in the UK.

We are a collegiate university committed to inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham and in the world.

We conduct boundary-breaking research that improves lives globally and we are ranked as a world top 100 university with an international reputation in research and education (QS World University Rankings 2023).

We are a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive UK universities and we are consistently ranked as a top 10 university in national league tables (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, Guardian University Guide and The Complete University Guide).

For more information about Durham University visit: www.durham.ac.uk/about/

END OF MEDIA RELEASE – issued by Durham University Communications Office.


JOURNAL

Legal Studies

DOI

10.1017/lst.2022.35 

METHOD OF RESEARCH

Experimental study

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Oldseadog
January 25, 2023 6:13 am

Excellent idea.
I suggest they start with “Everything Climate” as it appears at the top of the WUWT home page.

Scissor
Reply to  Oldseadog
January 25, 2023 6:29 am

Teaching the fundamentals of lying and corruption would be easier.

Oldseadog
Reply to  Scissor
January 25, 2023 7:27 am

Is that not central to all law study?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Oldseadog
January 26, 2023 4:19 am

“I suggest they start with “Everything Climate” as it appears at the top of the WUWT home page.”

I don’t think that’s what these academics mean when they say the want to teach climate change education. They won’t be teaching anything that goes against the narrative that there is a climate crisis brewing and it’s all the fault of CO2.

The academics only want to teach one side of the story. They want their students to ignore the other side of the story. They would prefer their students did not know there was another story.

Climate Change Brainwashing 101, is what they are proposing.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 26, 2023 9:49 am

In UK schools the curriculum is set by the Department of Education and the Exam Boards set the vital secondary school exams according to that curriculum. An individual teacher in secondary school may well have doubts about the climate change narrative, and may even voice some doubts, but they have to teach to the curriculum so as not to damage their students results in the all important exams and possibly their future.

These academics want to impose that kind of system in the Universities.

Editor
January 25, 2023 6:14 am

I know a few lawyers. All of them misused the word climate when discussing weather events. I suspect with the proposed changes to curriculum that it’s not going to get better.

Regards,
Bob

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
January 25, 2023 6:41 am

These lawyers are in good company with not a few politicians and journalists when it comes to mangling or abusing or manipulating language but sadly also teachers.

Last edited 4 days ago by Michael in Dublin
William Capron
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
January 25, 2023 7:35 am

A mind is a terrible thing to waste; don’t go to Exeter!

starzmom
January 25, 2023 6:17 am

Well, I didn’t go to law school in the UK, but when I was in law school in the US, I did study environmental and natural resources law, of which climate change was a big part, hoping to work in the energy law sector. No jobs there, so I worked as a criminal defense attorney and I can honestly say at NO POINT in that career did anybody ever mention climate change or large environmental issues, ever, in connection with their case or in passing. There was one guy who was charged with reckless driving when his work van slid off an icy ramp and tipped over, but the employer’s GPS showed he was only going 10 mph and we got the charges dismissed. Does that count?

JCM
January 25, 2023 6:22 am

Lawyers must be trained in their duty to inform lawmakers of their basic responsibilities to the electorate. This includes fostering a system which does not hinder the provision of basic services in their communities.

https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2023/1/25/photos-power-cuts-hit-south-africas-food-sector

Scissor
Reply to  JCM
January 25, 2023 6:33 am

Today, the electorate is to be sheared and slaughtered, not shepherded.

pflashgordon
Reply to  JCM
January 25, 2023 7:44 am

Maybe in an ideal world. Many are more adept at helping pols twist the law to their own benefit ($, power, prestige).

Ron Long
January 25, 2023 6:31 am

Reminds me of that old joke: What do you call 1,000 lawyers at the bottom of the sea? A good start.

Barnes Moore
Reply to  Ron Long
January 25, 2023 6:42 am

Or, what do you call a busload of lawyers going over a cliff? A good start. What do you call 2 empty seats on the same bus? A crying shame.

DonM
Reply to  Ron Long
January 25, 2023 11:42 am

… just because of the video at the top…

What is the difference between illegal & and unlawful?

The second is essentially ‘contrary to the law’; the first is a sick bird.

2hotel9
January 25, 2023 6:38 am

People? Get your kids OUT of colleges, all they are doing is spreading mental illness. Get them into real schools, learn to be something USEFUL to society.

Oldseadog
Reply to  2hotel9
January 25, 2023 7:31 am

FWIW, the son of a friend was a lawyer, but didn’t like the work, so he retrained as an electrician and started his own business.
He now works fewer hours, works when it suits the family and make about twice the income he made as a lawyer.

2hotel9
Reply to  Oldseadog
January 25, 2023 8:55 am

I know several people who have done this in the last 10 or so years. Three just since this covidicy started.

Joe Shaw
Reply to  Oldseadog
January 26, 2023 3:10 am

It is also worth noting that physical world trades are likely to be a lot more resilient to disruption by AI technologies than the law. I don’t see ChatGPT replacing electricians, plumbers, nurses, etc. any time soon. Conversely other than emotional appeals to the jury there probably is not much legal work that could not be automated.

strativarius
January 25, 2023 6:45 am

“Academics from Durham University are urging that climate change education should be made compulsory across the core law curriculum in Higher Education.”

For education read indoctrination. But some are determined to get them much earlier than that: The Madness of the Saxe-Coburg Gotha family (Now known as Windsor)

[Princess] Eugenie says she is teaching her son August, one, about climate change

Princess Eugenie has said she wants her son to be a climate change activist from ‘aged two’ and has stopped using plastic at home.  

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, the 32-year-old said giving birth to her son August in 2021 ‘totally changed’ her outlook on the environment. “

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/eugenie-says-she-is-teaching-her-son-august-one-about-climate-change/ar-AA16Gi8B

Academia is locked in mortal combat; with each institution trying to outfantasise or even outwoke the next. They begin to make the IPCC appear almost sceptical.

Maybe there’s a model for that?

BigCarbonPrint
Reply to  strativarius
January 25, 2023 7:02 am

has stopped using plastic at home

Nah, she hasn’t. The daft mare probably doesn’t realise there’s plastic in pretty much everything she uses, wears, or even consumes.

mikelowe2013
Reply to  strativarius
January 25, 2023 10:37 am

She’s at Davos! That shows the uselessness of those attendees. Nothing to contribute of any worth, but believing everything Greta ever says!

quelgeek
January 25, 2023 7:27 am

I was once in a meeting with our lawyer when he had to use his calculator to work out 10% of an amount. It is evidently possible to become a lawyer while being innumerate. I don’t think I am being unfair if I suspect Dr Kim Bouwer of being so. Not being able to do the sums is what makes net zero seem attractive.

Richard Greene
Reply to  quelgeek
January 25, 2023 9:15 am

“I was once in a meeting with our lawyer when he had to use his calculator to work out 10% of an amount.”

More billable minutes!

starzmom
Reply to  quelgeek
January 25, 2023 9:29 am

Uh, yes, it is possible to go to law school and pass the bar exam without knowing any math at all. Been there. Some of the students are the most math illiterate people I have ever seen.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  quelgeek
January 25, 2023 10:18 am

If they could do math, they would have gotten good jobs in tech or finance.

pflashgordon
January 25, 2023 7:40 am

‘They emphasise the importance of understanding climate constitutional legislation and net zero, climate risk and interpretation of legal rules in the context of climate change.”

Nonsense. Most lawyers are by nature birds of prey. What they are really saying is that they have found their next angle to gouge the public — chasing the climate ambulance.

As for non-law students, this idea is just the climate version of CRT, DIE, BLM and the rest of the Woke agenda. At many formerly esteemed universities, education is no longer priority. Soon, many will go the way of the dinosaurs.

Since I came to work in higher education administration over 20 years, I have been predicting an end to the tenure system, one of the last vestiges of lifelong job security other than federal judges. Just this session, the Texas legislature is toying with a bill to eliminate or pare back tenure. It is about time.

Gunga Din
Reply to  pflashgordon
January 25, 2023 9:52 am

interpretation of legal rules in the context of climate change.”

Sounds like they want to change the definitions of the words in the legal rules on the books to fit the CliSy meme.

AndyHce
Reply to  Gunga Din
January 25, 2023 1:19 pm

Has been happening for a long time, in relation to all areas of government policy.

KevinM
Reply to  pflashgordon
January 25, 2023 12:00 pm

Careful. Removing speed limits usually sounds best when you’re in a hurry and your neighbor has plenty extra time. Some day it might be different.

AndyHce
Reply to  pflashgordon
January 25, 2023 1:18 pm

Like most things, that would cut both ways. Floss might be easier to clean out but tenured professors are also more free to speak out on the nonsense of their institutions and things in general.

ResourceGuy
January 25, 2023 8:20 am

Exxon Knew 101 and Advanced Exxon Knew

Those go well with stock litigation contrivance courses, methods and other scams, like baby powder, Roundup, and flammable well water in western PA.

ScienceABC123
January 25, 2023 8:27 am

If the course is compulsory and yet the material very much opinion driven, how to you grade someone with a different opinion? Yeah, this sounds more like indoctrination than education.

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  ScienceABC123
January 25, 2023 9:01 am

They should be required to use what they are taught to make predictions. Then grade them 4 years later on the accuracy of their predictions.

starzmom
Reply to  ScienceABC123
January 25, 2023 9:30 am

All of it is opinion driven. In fact, expressing your opinion about the law and how your specific issue fits into it is what lawyers do.

David Dibbell
January 25, 2023 8:33 am

Laws? Sure. The atmosphere operates according to laws we did not write and which we do not fully understand. The climate models cannot faithfully follow even the parts we do understand, by approximation and computed stepwise iteration, to reliably predict conditions for next year or the next century.

So law students should learn to watch from space to see that no human body of deliberation or investigation can ever reliably attribute warming or cooling on land or in the oceans to what the non-condensing GHGs do in the atmosphere.

https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/GOES/fulldisk_band.php?sat=G16&band=16&length=48&dim=1

Grasp the implications of this evidence from space, and lose the impulse to blame fossil fuels and the humans who use them.

Let the link take time to load. This gives an 8-hour animation of the NOAA GOES East visualizations of the CO2 Longwave IR band of wavelengths (Band 16.) The radiance at 30C on the brightness temperature scale (yellow) is 10 times the radiance at -90C (white.)

The end result is that the fingerprints of human influence on the climate through emissions of CO2 are wiped clean by the atmosphere, as the huge array of highly variable emitter elements obscures and overpowers the incremental static effect experienced at the surface looking toward space. There is no proof, no liability, no obligation to make good on the fashionable but frivolous claims of climate harm.

So THERE is the curriculum for your “law” university.

Richard Greene
Reply to  David Dibbell
January 25, 2023 9:18 am

“The end result is that the fingerprints of human influence on the climate through emissions of CO2 are wiped clean by the atmosphere, as the huge array of highly variable emitter elements obscures and overpowers the incremental static effect experienced at the surface looking toward space.”

Total BS
There is much evidence that manmade CO2 is one of many climate change variables. You just choose to look the other way. The evidence has been collected since the late 1800s. You have some catching up to do.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Richard Greene
January 25, 2023 9:27 am

No. I choose to see the problem with attribution arising from the misconception that the static effect MUST control the end result. I do not dispute that CO2’s absorption and emission of infrared radiation is a real thing. You keep missing the relevant point about the validity of the claims of cause-and-effect.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Richard Greene
January 25, 2023 11:21 am

In the spirit of engagement, since you took the time to read my comment and reply, I offer this point for your further consideration. I am linking here to a comment I entered about a year ago. Different evidence from a different perspective, but the same issue about attribution is addressed.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/01/30/essay-contest-results-delayed-a-bit-and-open-thread/#comment-3443611

One more thing. You said, “The evidence has been collected since the late 1800s. You have some catching up to do.” I wonder what Arrhenius, Callendar, and others would say if they had known how it looked from space as we can now observe so readily, and if they had advanced computers to show numerically what happens in the atmosphere with energy and energy conversion.

Richard Greene
Reply to  David Dibbell
January 25, 2023 2:48 pm

In 25 years of climate science reading, with a strong focus on skeptic scientists, I have never discovered one scientist who claimed human had no effect on the climate. You appear to differ. The probability that you are right and every scientist I have read is wrong, is extremely small. Humans do have an effect on the climate. And so do greenhouse gases created by humans are one climate change variable. You are in outer space on climate science.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Richard Greene
January 25, 2023 3:40 pm

I do not make the claim that humans have no impact. Certainly the increased absorption of sunlight by the built environment can modify things perceptibly. But the directly observed evidence from space, both GOES and CERES, shows us that the radiative “trap” explanation of the end result to expect from GHGs is incomplete and misleading. That is what I am highlighting – that the claimed attribution is unsound, as to the surface and ocean warming. Another way to express this point is that the framing of the GHG issue as “forcing and feedback” has been widely adopted among skeptic scientists. I have great respect, for example, for Lindzen, Spencer, Christy, Curry. But it would be better to reframe the issue as an incremental change to the working fluid of the heat engine circulations in response to absorbed energy. Thank you for the compliment that I am “in outer space on climate science” as that is where we are measuring the emitter and reflector outputs. Be well, even as we see things a bit differently.

It doesnot add up
January 25, 2023 8:44 am

Obviously it could form the basis of a highly lucrative career. Then when public opinion flips, you flip as a lawyer into working for the other side extracting compensation from green billionaires before they become penniless. .

starzmom
Reply to  It doesnot add up
January 25, 2023 9:32 am

No different than prosecutors becoming defense attorneys or defense attorneys becoming judges. One prosecutor became a defense attorney and then a judge. She retired two years ago.

Hoyt Clagwell
January 25, 2023 8:57 am

How do you teach anything when the fundamentals of the subject get upended with each news article claiming “it’s worse than we thought!”

Richard Greene
January 25, 2023 9:11 am

“In the study, the researchers argue that climate change is still perceived as a niche topic and that students are leaving Law School without a proper understanding of the legal framework or social context within which they will practice.”

How can a student be allowed to leave school without the proper brainwashing, as is done in all Marxist nations, starting in kindergarten? You can not evolve into a Marxist nation without teaching the following:

Trust the government “experts” on every subject

Trust your teachers and professors because they will teach you the proper government information, and steer you away from disinformation

Trust the media to correctly report the government view, except for Fox News

Distrust the private sector and your church

Do not think for yourself or question the government

Report others who contradict the government — they are spreading dangerous disinformation and need reeducation

Fear whatever the government tells you to fear:
— CO2 “Pollution”
— Putin and
— Covid, or the new disease de jour

Agree with the government solution for what you fear, and do not question why the solution is obviously not working. It is working, but would work better with more money, more government mandates and better communications:
— CO2 (not) solved with Nut Zero
— Putin (not) solved with proxy war using Ukrainian soldiers
— Covid (not) solved with lockdowns, masks and mandatory vaccines

Realize that all elections are fair, and Marxism is the only democratic form of government that can not be overwhelmed by corporation political contributions and lobbying.
*****************************************************************************

A list of the best climate science and energy articles I read today:

The best climate science and energy articles I read today, January 25, 2023 (honestclimatescience.blogspot.com)

 

KevinM
Reply to  Richard Greene
January 25, 2023 12:18 pm

Marxism .. can not be overwhelmed by .. political contributions and lobbying.

Disagreed. Everything, a price.

DavsS
January 25, 2023 9:12 am

About Doh!am University

We are a collegiate university committed to giving even the most stupid people the opportunity to advance in academia.

Walter Sobchak
January 25, 2023 10:00 am

I am a retired, but not yet disbarred, lawyer. I still attend bar association meetings, largely to drink with old friends. I skip the substantive sessions.

At a recent meeting I meet a young law professor at one of the top 5 law schools. He teaches advanced courses in commercial law. Not cutting edge stuff. It goes back to the middle ages, but absolutely vital for trade and commerce. Subjects like sale of goods, payment systems, and trade finance.

He is at his wit’s end because his students come in to his classes without any knowledge of basic concepts of property law such as liens and priorities. They have spent their entire first year learning that property is white supremacy, colonialism, and capitalist theft. He can get them up to speed, but they will not be able to spend much time an the advanced stuff.

Personally, it thrills me. I know two things about the zoomers. One is that none of them know anything about anything other than critical race theory and transgenderism. The other is that they are absolutely certain that their feelings make them the most moral and ethical people in the history of the world.

I take a certain grim satisfaction in knowing that their ignorance and arrogance will soon render them toxic to to possible employers. And that eventually they will become debt slaves to their fancy colleges and professional schools. Unable to hold jobs that will give them a chance of paying off their half million dollar student debts.

So, lets add climate change to the curriculum. More usless bovine dejecta to fill their empty little heads with. Remember, most of them went to law school because they couldn’t hack enough math to get good jobs in finance or tech. What they can be taught about climate is limited to slogans.

It makes me feel good to know that they will suffer for their foolishness.

Ed Zuiderwijk
January 25, 2023 10:49 am

Shouldn’t that be: ‘Second-rate researchers … etc’.

The real scientists know that there is a good argument for not inflicting consensus nonsense on vulnerable youngsters.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 25, 2023 2:22 pm

researchers? Most so-called climate scientists are not researchers. They are video gamers who think that running computer programs is science.

Chris Hanley
January 25, 2023 11:34 am

Two apt quotes from Jonathan Swift:
I said there was a society of men among us, bred up from their youth in the art of proving by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black is white, according as they are paid. To this society all the rest of the people are as slaves”.
And:
“My Lawyer being practiced almost from his Cradle in defending Falsehood; is quite out of his Element when he would be an Advocate for Justice, which as an Office unnatural, he always attempts with great Awkwardness if not with Ill-will”.

Last edited 4 days ago by Chris Hanley
John Hultquist
January 25, 2023 11:35 am

Let’s be honest. Congress or equivalent makes laws, bureaucrats interpret them, and courts try to make sense of it all. Someone actually needs to read the laws. Budding lawyers expecting to work in the context of environmental laws ( & climate parts) ought to be familiar with the laws.
Is that what they are teaching?
Or are they using Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” as subject matter?
There is a difference.

Redge
January 25, 2023 11:40 am

From the paper:

The survey was distributed via email to all second-year law undergraduate students (approximately 400), and was open to responses for a period of one month, ending in June 2021. We applied simple sampling of a closed group of participants.Footnote

95 A number of reminders to complete the survey were sent throughout the period, encouraging student participation. In total, 12 responses (3%) were received. 

How this got published is beyond me

KevinM
Reply to  Redge
January 25, 2023 12:23 pm

12… Wow… 12. This should be in the main article.

Yooper
Reply to  KevinM
January 26, 2023 5:40 am

Isn’t this like how “they” got the 97% consensus? They never said 12 out of 400 replied.

Joseph Zorzin
January 25, 2023 11:53 am

Sure, help the liars….er lawyers get in on the climate gravy train.

Redge
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
January 25, 2023 12:28 pm

The liars…er lawyers are already on the gravy train

martinc19
January 25, 2023 3:46 pm

Another academic institution I have been associated with announces its descent down the toilet. That’s four so far, only one more to go …

CampsieFellow
January 26, 2023 3:12 am

Durham University is located in England, UK. In the UK, there is a distinction between practice and practise. Practice is the noun, practise is the verb. See how well the academics at Durham University understand the distinction:
“In the study, the researchers argue that climate change is still perceived as a niche topic and that students are leaving Law School without a proper understanding of the legal framework or social context within which they will practice.”

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