asu bonn un climate change negotiations polar bear

The climate is changing, along with the increasing impressiveness of law students.

I recall law school as periods of intense work surrounding by longer stretches of incomprehensible reading, periodic nervous gazing at my checkbook register, and coffee. Much coffee.

So when I heard about another approach, I had to take notice.

This week and next, a group of ASU Law School students will be in Germany, where they will present their own research on climate change as it relates to the law and international agreements.

And while they’re doing this, they will blog.

ASU Professor Daniel Bodansky

ASU Professor Daniel Bodansky

Did I mention I was good at drinking coffee?

In any case, the students and their faculty members will be abroad from June 3 to June 14.

Here is how the law school’s own Janie Magruder describes the exploits of these talented people:

“A group of professors and students from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University will present their research on international legal regimes at a global climate change negotiation organized under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on June 3-14, in Bonn, Germany.”

“The law students—Daniel Crane, a May 2013 graduate, 3Ls Evan Singleton and Michael O’Boyle, and Ashley Votruba, a student in the J.D./Ph.D. Social Psychology program—will address participants on June 5. They will be accompanied by Professor Daniel Bodansky, the ASU Lincoln Professor of Law, Ethics, and Sustainability, and Daniel Rothenberg, a Professor of Practice in the ASU School of Politics and Global Studies, and the Lincoln Fellow for Ethics and International Human Rights Law.”

ASU Professor Daniel Rothenberg

ASU Professor Daniel Rothenberg

“The students’ work resulted from an independent research project this past spring, taught and supervised by Bodansky and Rothenberg, housed in the College of Law’s Center for Law and Global Affairs, and funded by the ASU Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics. They were chosen from 20 applicants for ‘The Future of Climate Change Negotiations Project,’ during which they learned about the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and other elements of the larger effort to use international law and regulations to address global climate change.”

Both of those professors are amazing scholars, so I’m sure the students are getting the learning experience of a lifetime.

Read more about the trip here.

And as I said, they’ll be posting on a blog throughout their time in Germany. Why don’t you bookmark their page to keep tabs on them. Who knows; they may even allow comments and questions (giving us all a pen pal abroad!).

Judge Mary Schroeder in Arizona Attorney Magazine, May 2003

Later this week, I will attend a panel discussion on environmental sustainability. I’m looking forward to it—but many others run hot and cold on the topic.

The symposium is part of a larger event sponsored by the Women Law Students Association at the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. It is called “Arizona: Exploring Our Legal Landscape,” and it is slated for this Friday, February 11.

The day’s offerings sound great. They include a keynote by Judge Mary Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. (Read our 2003 story about Judge Schroeder here.) Other topics that will be covered are issues in family and social justice, diversity and immigration, and nonlawyer views.

But it is the panel on “Sustainability and Ethics” that is hooking me. It includes Professor Dan Bodansky (whom we featured in a recent story), Ed Fox with APS, and former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes.

In Arizona Attorney Magazine, we have been running features that fall under our banner “Earthwise Lawyering,” and this event sounds like more valuable information to share with readers. I am hoping the speakers explore how a concept like sustainability interacts with climate change.

Dan Bodansky in Arizona Attorney, October 2010

However, a news story I came across today reminds me of the pitfalls that lie ahead in any attempt to address—or even discuss—climate change. The story describes efforts in the U.S. Congress to reverse federal efforts to control carbon emissions—or to participate at all in climate change initiatives. Read the full article here.

I’ll report out after Friday’s conference.

Kris Mayes

Friday, August 13, may be no day to schedule an interview. And yet that’s what awaits me this afternoon.

Interior view (window detail), Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, 2003. Photo: © Richard Barnes

No, not a job interview, gentle readers. This is for a story to run in the October issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine. I’ll be taping a Q&A with new ASU Law Professor Daniel Bodansky, a world-renowned expert on climate change and sustainability. Unfortunately, my skill-set in those topics is negligible, so I’m still pondering some not-stupid questions that I can pose to him.

In the meantime, this is Change of Venue Friday, where I bring you things that lawyers may enjoy in their non-legal time. And so I point you to Dia: Beacon, a phenomenal art space in Beacon, New York.

You may recall that I talked about Beacon back in July, when my family and I launched a whirlwind East Coast trip to visit, well, more family. But we had a few spare minutes, so we headed over to Dia.

Dia Beacon arose because an art space in New York City found it needed additional display space for large pieces. About an hour north on the Hudson River, they found a nearly 300,000-square-foot historic printing factory. They have transformed it into a remarkable facility.

Click here to learn more.

It is worth a visit, next time you’re in the Big Apple. Here is just a small sample of the huge amount of work on display.

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Next Friday, I expect to bring you some art news from unlikely sources: the State Bar of Arizona, and maybe even a law firm. Have a great weekend.