August 2012


At my workshop in Sweden, I just attended an interesting presentation by Tom Berry from University of Minnesota-Duluth about friluftsliv. In Sweden, "the concept friluftsliv refers to a tradition characterized by respect and care for the environment along with an active physical involvement with the natural world." He is testing the significance of having outdoor recreation in Swedish students’ feelings of environmental connectedness, yet finds that increased environmental connectedness is not highly correlated with environmentally friendly individual behavior. See his research here. There is an interesting comparison to be made here between Swedish friluftsliv and allemansrätten and the American conservation movement and the public trust doctrine, and what role, if any, new initiatives in childhood outdoor education programs in both countries should play.

Today I have been invited to attend a two-day workshop of the Man & Biosphere Health (MABH) project, housed at Kristianstad University. The workshop is being held at a retreat center/bed & breakfast in Ă…hus, Sweden. My invitation arose after the publication of my first book because the MABH researchers and faculty are interested in broadening their scientific research findings into policy and legal implementation, and they are interested in the link between individual behavior and the environment. Going forward, and related to some of my earlier work on eco-labeling, I think our first research collaboration will be at the intersection of evolutionary biology/psychology and existing eco-labeling regimes.

Reading Brian Leiter’s post made me long for my days studying law at the University of Chicago where Judge Posner is on faculty and where debates about the meaning of text are ongoing.

Law School Reports: Judge Posner on Justice Scalia’s Jurisprudence

A short update: I’m in Sweden for a little over a week; a stopover on my way to China. Traveling to visit colleagues in Sweden is always a treat due to the ease of train travel in Europe. I spent day today at the University of Gothenburg Department of Law where I’m collaborating with environmental law professors on a comparative project to evaluate different national systems of environmental quality standards. I’m providing information on the American environmental law regime, specifically federal and state implementation and regulatory standards under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. While on the train back, I also gave a phone interview to Bloomberg News about the National Organic Program, the USDA’s enforcement and certification role, and food safety in the U.S. It was a full and exciting day (now approaching hour 17 and counting) which included a bizarre dinner at an Irish Pub in Gothenburg where I all the sudden realized I was surrounded by photos of Doug Flutie, JFK, Tom Brady, Larry Bird and other New England icons.

As an aside, the best website about train travel is

The New England Aquarium will be hiring a new Conservation
Associate/Wild Fisheries Specialist. This person will act as an independent researcher, focusing on commercial fisheries for a sustainable-seafood sourcing project and provide support on additional projects within the Sustainable Seafood Programs. This is a one year position, with a strong possibility for renewal. See

See here at Legal Planet.

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