Bruce Cooperstein, How Can We Fix Our Legal System to Protect the Environment?, The Solutions Journal, Volume 2, Issue 6, November 2011, Pages 96-98 (https://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/article/how-can-we-fix-our-legal-system-to-protect-the-environment/) Abstract: We have made much progress in understanding how ecosystems (forests, oceans, the atmosphere, and so on) function and provide the services upon which human communities depend—air and water purification, waste disposal, climate stabilization, pollination, photosynthesis, and soil generation. These and other ecosystem services are priceless. Even if it were physically possible to replace them (highly unlikely, since they involve dozens if not hundreds of self-regulating ecological interactions), the economic cost would be prohibitive. The dependence of human well-being on the continued flow of ecological services notwithstanding, as the global economy has grown, many ecosystems have been stressed to the point where the services they provide are threatened. Fundamentally, when there is a conflict between economic development (driven by humans’ desire for greater material security and comfort) and preservation of ecosystems, and when the playing field that decides this … Topics: Ecosystem Services; Environment; Governance