October 19, 2021

The Rights of Nature: Saving the Planet or Harmful to Humanity?

Event Details

Date & Time

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2021 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Event Link

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Center for Climate, Society, and the Environment


Free and open to the public.


Zoom Meeting



Event Type & Tags

  • Sustainability
  • Academics

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About This Event

Moderated debate hosted by Brian G. Henning, Director of the Gonzaga Center for Climate, Society, and the Environment, Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies.

Featured panelists:

Portrait of Thomas Linzey
Thomas Linzey, Senior Legal Counsel, the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER)

Mr. Linzey is an attorney and senior legal counsel for the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER). He is widely recognized as the founder of the contemporary “community rights” and “rights of nature” movements, which have resulted in the adoption of several hundred municipal laws across the United States. Linzey’s work has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, and the Nation magazine, and he was named, in 2007, as one of Forbes’ magazines’ “Top Ten Revolutionaries.” In 2018, Linzey was named by American Environmental Leaders as one of the top 400 environmentalists of the last 200 years. He is the author of several books, and has been featured in Leonardo DiCaprio and Tree Media’s films 11th Hour and We the People 2.0.


Portrait of Wesley J. Smith
Wesley J. Smith, Chair and Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism

Mr. Smith is an attorney, and serves as Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Since 1985, he has published thousands of articles, columns, and opinion pieces on issues pertaining to the moral importance of human life, addressing the entire spectrum of bioethical issues relating to conscience, patient protection, eugenics, suicide, transhumanism, medical ethics, and law and policy. His writing has appeared in Newsweek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Forbes, among others, and he has appeared on more than a thousand television and radio talk/interview programs, including ABC Nightline, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, CNN Anderson Cooper 360, CNN World Report. He has testified as an expert witness in front of federal and state legislative committees, and is an international lecturer and public speaker.