book hack
Client EarthBy James Thornton, Martin Goodman

In a Nutshell

Client Earth is a clear-eyed look at why environmental activism is not enough to address the world's ecological problems.

Favorite quote

If you want to change the world, change the rules. A rule is just an idea with an anchor attached to it.

Paul Steinberg, Professor of Political Science and Environmental Policy


Most of us would say we support environmental protections; we want clean air, water, and land. Some of us have marched, or given environmental NGOs money. Some of us even identify as activists or eco-warriors. But really, what do those things accomplish?

In truth, activism can accomplish plenty, but it's weak if it doesn't have teeth – that is, the force of law behind it. That's where eco-lawyers such as James Thornton, founder of the public interest environmental law firm ClientEarth, come in.

Client Earth is a book that weaves charming personal narrative with no-nonsense storytelling to take us inside the world of environmental law. Thornton teams up with novelist Martin Goodman to present science-based inquiry blended with compelling global legal case studies and make the case for how lawyers just might save the planet.

Here are the 3 key insights from this Hack

  1. 1.
    The United States developed the tools to enforce environmental protections in the 1970s
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  3. 3.
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