Judy Bush, Andréanne Doyon | Cities
The rise of populism threatens enlightened environmental law. In an age where ignorance is seen as a virtue, not a vice, environmental laws risk regression. No longer are debates about environmental problems driven by opinions founded on evidence, scientific method and reason. Instead, these debates, and how the law should address them, are driven by differing ways of viewing the world. Populists play on cultural biases and intuitive reasoning, personalise politics and use seductive slogans to distort the reality of environmental problems. As we become further estranged from our natural environment, people no longer can verify or deny these populist claims. This comment examines some of the ways populism has taken hold of environmental governance and how it might be addressed.