Unnatural Law

Shortlisted, 2004 Donald Smiley Award, Canadian Political Science Association

Winner, 2004 Best Book of the Year (Environment), Canadian Geographic Magazine

Shortlisted, 2004 Walter Owen Book Prize, Foundation for Legal Research


What David Suzuki thinks…

“Humankind is undergoing an unprecedented and totally unsustainable growth in numbers, technology, consumption, and economic demand. Environmental degradation is a direct consequence. Without a fundamental understanding of our utter dependence on nature for our physical, social, economic, and spiritual sustenance and health, we become predators embarked on a suicidal path.

Environmentalists have long pressed for better legislation — tougher laws, harsher penalties, more enforcement. David Boyd’s monumental work reveals the fatal weakness of the patchwork quilt of legislation that results because laws are invariably cobbled together when environmental crises are encountered rather than attempting to avoid such crises in advance.

Boyd’s analysis is exhaustive and the comparison with other countries, especially Sweden, is quite revealing of our weaknesses. There is a vast opportunity for improvement, but only after Boyd’s critique has been fully digested and understood. He reminds us that as biological creatures, we require clean air, water, soil, energy, and biodiversity and once that is acknowledged, the path of legislation is obvious: to protect those needs for all life above anything else. That would be legislation for genuine sustainability.”
– Dr. David T. Suzuki, Chair of the David Suzuki Foundation, is an award-winning scientist, environmentalist, and broadcaster. Well known to millions as the host of The Nature of Things, Dr Suzuki has received numerous awards for his work, including a UNESCO prize for science, a United Nations Environment Program medal, and the Order of Canada. The author of more than 30 books, David Suzuki is recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology.


What Thomas Berger thinks…

“David Boyd has examined our condition, given us a diagnosis, and written a prescription for a sustainable future. The doctor is in.”
– Thomas R. Berger, O.C., Q.C., is one of Canada’s best known lawyers, a former judge, and the author of four critically acclaimed books.


What Robert F. Kennedy thinks…

“David Boyd deftly explores the differences and similarities between U.S. and Canadian environmental laws with thorough clarity, authorial grace, and welcome concern.”
– Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is founder and president of Waterkeeper Alliance and lead prosecuting attorney for Hudson Riverkeeper. He also serves as senior attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council. Mr. Kennedy has been a champion for watershed conservation and protection for over 25 years.


What Elizabeth May thinks…

“David Boyd has laid bare the Myth of Canadian Environmental Superiority. His authoritative and remarkably complete survey demonstrates a near absence of environmental law, and reveals instead how our legal system is dominated by voluntary arrangements, patchwork regulation, and political expediency in the guise of environmental leadership. For all our sakes, read this book and help make the changes David Boyd prescribes.”
– Elizabeth May is an environmentalist, writer, activist, lawyer and Canada’s first elected MP from the Green Party, which she leads. Elizabeth is also the author of six books, At the Cutting Edge: The Crisis in Canada’s Forests (Key Porter Books, 1998) and is co-author, with Maude Barlow of Frederick Street; Life and Death on Canada’s Love Canal (Harper Collins, 2000).


What Michael M’Gonigle thinks…

“David Boyd’s magisterial work takes the often technical and dry subject of environmental law to its proper realm of what really happens on the ground, in the water, and the air — and why. Boyd presents a clear diagnosis and compelling prescription for Canada’s appalling environmental record. Here finally is a well-written, comprehensive, and proactive strategy to overcome the false dichotomy of economic and environmental imperatives. In the post-Kyoto world, Unnatural Law gives us a roadmap to a sustainable future. For anyone concerned about Canada’s future, including its environment, this book is a must-read.”
– Michael M’Gonigle, Professor of Law, holds the Eco-Research Chair in Environmental Law and Policy at the University of Victoria. The author of many books and articles on environmental issues, Dr. M’Gonigle was also a co-founder of Greenpeace International.


What David VanderZwaag thinks…

“The book offers an outstanding contribution to the environment law and policy field through a comprehensive and critical review of the Canadian legal and political institutions and processes governing natural resource management and environmental protection.”
– Dr. David VanderZwaag, Professor of Law, Dalhousie University


What David Schindler thinks…

“This book is a must-read for all Canadians concerned about our natural resources. They will be shocked to learn that our environmental laws and policies do little to protect the public interest.”
– Dr. David Schindler, FRS, FRSC, Killam Memorial Professor of Ecology, Biological Sciences, University of Alberta

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