Owley and Hirokawa's Rethinking Sustainability to Meet the Climate Change Challenge

Environmental Law Institute
Primary Subject
Environmental Law
Environmental Law Institute
Publication Date
eBook - Lifetime digital access to the eBook, with the ability to highlight and take notes.


Has the concept of sustainability as we know it reached the end of its useful life? It is a term that means many things to many people, but it has been a positive driving force across all levels of society in a broad-based effort—either through laws and treaties or voluntary action—to keep our planet and our people healthy. But none of those efforts have managed to prevent climate change. It’s a reality that’s here to stay, and it’s bigger than we would have imagined even 20 years ago.

This volume presents a collection of papers from experts in the field articulating a wide range of thoughtful ways in which various conceptions of sustainability need to be re-examined, refined, or articulated in greater detail to address these challenges. The chapters reflect the kind of thoughtful and sophisticated thinking that is needed to accelerate the transition to sustainability in the face of a changing climate. As editors Jessica Owley and Keith Hirokawa note, one of the main challenges is the need for a better understanding of the issues and developing the proper means of communicating them.

The chapter authors demonstrate that sustainability provides a creative space within which to develop ideas and proposals to further social, economic, and environmental goals at the same time. Many propose new or modified laws and policies. All of them contribute to a constructive and helpful discussion about how to address what is easily one of the most difficult and important questions facing the planet.

Rethinking Sustainability will be helpful to a wide range of audiences—lawyers and policymakers as well as students and their teachers.