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What I Did on My Summer Vacation

The following is a guest post by Constance Johnson, a senior legal information analyst at the Law Library of Congress. Connie has previously written or co-written a number of posts for In Custodia Legis including: Law Relating to Refugee Rights-Global Legal Collection Highlights, Water Rights at Star Island and Laws on Homosexuality in African Nations.

Solar array on Star Island at sunset. Photo by Dennis O'Keefe.

Solar array on Star Island at sunset. Photo by Dennis O’Keefe.

This year, as in many previous years, I took my summer vacation on Star Island, a conference center on an island off the coast of New Hampshire. The theme for this year’s international affairs conference was climate change. I heard a number of excellent speakers on the topic, covering a range of aspects, including science, policy, and social justice issues. I learned a lot–including why the wood-burning stove craze of the 1970s is now controversial as issues have been raised about the energy efficiency of burning wood.

One development highlighted by Heidi Weiskel, a scientist who works for the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW), is the establishment in India of the National Green Tribunal, a court handling environmental cases. The 2010 Act that established the court described its purpose as the “effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environment protection and conservation of forest and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right related to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property….”

Star Island itself is doing something to limit the use of fossil fuels and thus help with global warming. Its solar array, activated this year, is now producing a substantial amount of the power used on the island.

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