The United States, the wealthiest country in the world, contributes far more than its share of greenhouse gases. It is now clear that these emissions have caused serious risks to the world as a whole, particularly to the poorest nations. The questions this raises will be the subject of a Distinguished Quinney Lecture February 7 at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law.
DanielA. Farber, the Sho Sato Professor of Law and director of the University of California at Berkeley Environmental Law Program, will speak at 12:15 p.m. in the college’s Sutherland Moot Courtroom. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.
“Does the United States have a moral duty to impose reasonable curbs on its future emissions?”, Farber writes in a summary of his lecture. “Does the United States have a moral duty to make amends for its past excesses — for example, by providing financial assistance to poorer nations that are now faced with the need to adapt to climate change?” Professor Farber argues that the United States does have a moral duty to reduce its emissions and to hold itself accountable for past excessive emissions. He explains how a practical mechanism for awarding compensation could be created.
Farber earned a B.A. in philosophy with high honors in 1971 and an M.A. in sociology in 1972 from the University of Illinois, where he also earned his J.D. He was a member of Order of the Coif, editor in chief of the University of Illinois Law Review, a Harno Scholar, and class valedictorian.
After graduating, Farber clerked for Judge Philip W. Tone of the Eighth U.S.Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court. He practiced law with Sidley & Austin before joining the faculty of the University of Illinois Law School. In 1981, he became a member of the University of Minnesota Law School faculty. During his years there, he was the first Henry J. Fletcher Professor of Law; served as a visiting professor at Stanford Law School, Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago Law School; and was named McKnight Presidential Professor of Public Law in 2000.
His books include Desperately Seeking Certainty, Eco-Pragmatism: Making Sensible Environmental Decisions in an Uncertain World, and The First Amendment and Environment Law in a Nutshell. He has published many articles on environmental and constitutional law as well as contracts, jurisprudence, and legislation.