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2011-2012 ILSP Speaker Series: From Climate Change to Global Sustainability: The Great Transition

2011-2012 California Western/UC San Diego Speaker Series
From Climate Change to Global Sustainability: The Great Transition

Brochure imageThe International Legal Studies Program at California Western School of Law and the Institute for International, Comparative, and Area Studies at the University of California, San Diego are pleased to present their ninth annual Joint Speaker Series: From Climate Change to Global Sustainability: The Great Transition.

Evidence mounts that humanity is changing the world's climate, very possibly in dangerous and irreversible ways. Despite such evidence, scientific, economic, and ethical aspects of climate change remain contested. Governments and the international community have not been able to develop an appropriate response. This series brings together experts from climate science, law, economics, and politics to assess the current impasse and chart the path to a sustainable future.

For more information about this speaker series contact Debra Compton at 619-525-1466 or

View a PDF of the 2011-2012 Joint Speaker Series.

October 20, 2011
Richard C.J. Somerville

Distinguished Professor Emeritus
University of California, San Diego
"The Scientific Case for Urgent Action to Avoid Severe Climate Disruption"
12:10 p.m., California Western School of Law

Richard Somerville is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Research Professor with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. Professor is a Coordinating Lead Author in Working Group I for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published in 2007. He is also a co-author of The Copenhagen Diagnosis, an assessment by 26 climate scientists from 8 countries, updating climate change science. In addition to his work as a researcher, Professor Somerville is active in science education and outreach, beginning with advising graduate students at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He is the author of an award-winning and critically acclaimed popular book, The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change. He has also participated extensively in teacher professional development, given Congressional testimony, briefed U. N. climate change negotiators, and advised Federal agencies on education and outreach. Richard Somerville comments frequently on climate and environmental issues for the print and broadcast media. He lectures widely to scientific, corporate and governmental audiences, and to the general public..


November 2, 2011
Matthew Pawa

Litigator and President, Pawa Law Group, P.C.
"Global Heating and Legal Action in an Uncertain World"
12:10 p.m., California Western School of Law

Matthew Pawa is a litigator who has represented governments, non-profit groups, citizens and small businesses in a wide range of environmental, constitutional, commercial, real property and personal injury cases. Pawa has pioneered the area of global warming tort litigation with lawsuits against major greenhouse gas emitters and fossil fuel companies for contributing to global warming. Pawa currently represents Kivalina, an Inupiat Eskimo village that is being destroyed by global warming due to melting sea ice, in a lawsuit against major fossil fuel companies. Prior to opening his law firm, Pawa worked in Washington, D.C. at a firm that handled class action cases. Prior to entering private practice, Pawa served as an assistant county prosecutor in Burlington, Vermont and as a law clerk for a federal judge. Pawa is a frequent speaker on environmental law at law schools, bar association meetings, and legal symposia, has taught global warming law at Boston College Law School, and has authored legal articles published in the academic and popular press.


January 26, 2012
David Victor
Professor, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies
University of California, San Diego
3:30 p.m., University of California, San Diego

David G. Victor is a professor at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and director of the School’s new Laboratory on International Law and Regulation. His research focuses on how the design of regulatory law affects issues such as environmental pollution and the operation of major energy markets. He is author of Global Warming Gridlock, which explains why the world hasn't made much diplomatic progress on the problem of climate change while also exploring new strategies that would be more effective. Prior to joining the faculty at UCSD Victor served as director of the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University where he was also a professor at Stanford Law School.


February 23, 2012
David Hunter

Professor, American University Washington College of Law
"International Climate Law in a Post-Kyoto Era"
12:10 p.m., California Western School of Law

David Hunter is Professor of Law and Director of the International Legal Studies Program and the Environmental Law Program at American University's Washington College of Law, and a Member Scholar with the Center for Progressive Reform. He teaches US Environmental Law, International Environmental Law, Comparative Environmental Law and the law of Torts. Professor Hunter was the former Executive Director of the Center for International Environmental Law, and was formerly a consultant to the Czech and Slovak environmental ministries, an environmental associate at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and executive director of WaterWatch of Oregon, a non-profit community-based organization dedicated to improving water law. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide-US, the Project on Government Oversight, the Bank Information Center, and the Center for Progressive Reform. He is also a member of the Organization of American States' Expert Group on Environmental Law and of the Steering Committee of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law. He is a 1983 graduate of the University of Michigan and a 1986 graduate of the Harvard Law School.


April 2, 2012
Daniel Bodansky

Lincoln Professor of Law, Ethics, and Sustainability
Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
3:30 p.m., University of California, San Diego

Daniel M. Bodansky is a preeminent authority on global climate change whose teaching and research focus on international environmental law and public international law. He teaches courses in international law and sustainability and is a key player in the College of Law’s new Program on Law and Sustainability.
Professor Bodansky’s scholarship includes three books and dozens of articles and book chapters on international law, international environmental law and climate change policy.


May 17, 2012
Richard J. Finkmoore
Professor, California Western School of Law
"Tropical Forests and Global Climate Disruption: The Promise of a New International Effort to Reduce Deforestation "
3:30 p.m., University of California, San Diego

Professor Finkmoore's interest in environmental issues began in law school, where he was publications director of the Stanford Environmental Law Society and interned with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. He later clerked for a justice of the Washington Supreme Court and was an assistant attorney general for the State of Washington. Finkmoore practiced law for 10 years, including seven years as partner in a law firm handling a variety of civil matters with an emphasis in real estate and land-use law. Since joining the California Western faculty in 1988, Finkmoore has served as faculty adviser to the Environmental Law Society, performed pro bono work for the Defenders of Wildlife, and taught at the National Judicial College. He also has taught regularly at the University of California, San Diego.


Speaker Series Sponsors

The International Legal Studies Program at California Western offers an enriched J.D. curriculum in international and comparative law. The classroom emphasis on theory and practice is complemented with curricular programs that highlight the role of international law in today’s global economy. The program also promotes scholarly work in international and comparative law through faculty development, research support, and scholarly exchange.

The Institute for International, Comparative, and Area Studies (IICAS) promotes research on international, comparative, and cross-regional topics at the University of California, San Diego. IICAS coordinates and supports faculty research in departments, area studies programs, and the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS). It is closely associated with undergraduate and graduate education in international studies, including Eleanor Roosevelt College, the undergraduate international studies major, and IR/PS.