Delivering the annual Fedder Lecture on November 17, Hope Babcock, director of the environmental law clinic at the Georgetown University Law Center, called for environmental clinics to mobilize to counter the Trump administration’s anti-environmental initiatives. Babcock, a former Interior Department official and former general counsel of the National Audubon Society, drew on lessons from the Reagan administration’s failed efforts to roll back environmental protections.
Babcock described the current efforts to gut environmental regulations as a “crisis that may do long-term damage to the environment, public health, and governing institutions.” But she explained why environmental law clinics are “particularly well suited to respond to this crisis” given their large pool of skilled and highly motivated students.
Describing her lecture as a “pep talk,” Babcock discussed ways to improve the effectiveness of environmental clinics. She proposed that clinics should join forces with each other to magnify their individual and collective strengths, use local problems to tell a national story, help states and private businesses who care about the environment do the right thing, and develop a rapid response capability to counter false narratives. A video of the lecture is available online at: http://video.law.umaryland.edu/OpenPlayer.asp?GUID=9BDE1BD2-F0DC-4FD1-9A41-240603328C5A
Following the Fedder Lecture, students, faculty, alums and guests participated in the Environmental Law Program’s 26th Annual Wine Tasting. With the theme “Wine: Nature’s Thanks for Preserving the Earth” the participants enjoyed nearly 100 different wines from around the world. This year’s mystery wine – a cabernet franc -- was from the District of Columbia’s only winery.