Environmental Law Program

Hawaii J20 and the Importance of Continued Environmental Protection

The William S. Richardson School of Law, in conjunction with Hawai‘i J20: Inaugurating Resistance, presented “Law & Justice in Perilous Times: A Call to Action” on January 20thThe event consisted of two panel discussions involving professors, lawyers, scientists, and other experts who addressed anticipated policy changes proposed under the Trump administration.  More specifically, the panelists shared their experiences and concerns regarding immigration and climate change issues.

ELP Professor Maxine Burkett provided a concise background on the progress that we have made towards climate adaptation, while highlighting what is at stake if we stop moving forward.  Professor Burkett discussed the present-day impacts of climate change in many areas of the United States and abroad.  Dr. Charles “Chip” Fletcher, Assoc. Dean for Academic Affairs and professor of geology & geophysics at the University of Hawai‘i School of Ocean and Earth Science Technology (SOEST), shared the most recent scientific findings pertaining to Earth’s climate.  The predicted changes are disturbing, to say the least – especially under a Presidential administration that, on its first day in office, removed climate change from the national issues listed on the White House website.  To round out the panel, Nainoa Thompson, Native Hawaiian navigator and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, called via satellite telephone from aboard the Hokule‘a voyaging canoe to share his insights. 

In addition to highlighting their concerns, the panelists also issued a call to action.  They reminded the audience to stay vigilant in the protection of human and environmental rights, and urged everyone to get involved.  

For more information about Hawai‘I J20, visit their website here.