WALLA WALLA, Wash.— An Earthjustice attorney will address the human consequences of global warming when he visits the Whitman campus Monday, Feb. 5. Martin Wagner ’83, will present “The Right to be Cold: Global Warming, Human Rights and the People of the Arctic” at 8 p.m. in Gaiser Auditorium (Room 165), Hall of Science, on the Whitman campus. His lecture, presented by Whitman’s Benedict Endowment, is free and open to the public.
Wagner is managing attorney of Earthjustice’s International Program, Oakland, Calif. He said he will discuss why human rights are relevant to global warming and to creating a solution to the problem. His talk will focus on three main topics: 1) How human beings are impacted by global warming, using the experiences of the Inuit people of the Arctic as an example; 2) How the impacts relate to international human rights; and 3) Why human rights perspectives can be useful in efforts to address global warming.
After graduating from Whitman, Wagner joined the Peace Corps, volunteering in a small village in West Africa, where he “began to appreciate the intricate relationship among a healthy environment, social justice and human rights,” which motivated him to study law. After graduating from law school, he worked for a federal judge, and then worked for a private law firm which was willing to support his work with an international human rights organization. In 1996 Earthjustice offered him a job where he could “combine his separate passions for the environment and international law by bringing international legal tools to bear on environmental problem,” he said, and today his work in public interest international environmental law “energizes” him.
Contact: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156