PELR is necessary because…

Someone asked me the other day, “why is PELR necessary?” Having to think fast, I came up with a somewhat generic answer. My diatribe consisted of: “PELR is important because there needs to be an academic voice, giving strength to the idea of environmentalism, so that it is not just thought of as a hippie movement.” I went on to explain that, “when I was at Skidmore College, about 80 years ago, there were a large group of students who were very ‘environmental.’ Most other people thought of them as just being ‘pot smoking hippies’ who drove around in SUVs and talked about this weird thing called Global Warming. When I graduated, this perception I found was not just at Skidmore. In talking to people about climate change, no one really wanted to believe that they need to change their habits, or that the science behind climate change was sound. It was much easier to believe that environmentalists are crazy tree huggers who do not want to get real jobs and just complain about things that are not real. Getting back to the need for PELR, well, like most academic texts, a law review article is hard to write (as I have noted in my previous blog, citing is tedious). While every thought written down has to be source checked and cited; this exercise gives actual credence to the beliefs of the writer. Suddenly, the writer has to be taken seriously because, though the direction of the article is hers, her voice is being backed up by about fifty other voices throughout her cites. Academic articles force the writer to have to back up every idea she has. Whatever the proposition, the author has to show that her conclusions stand on firm ground.”

Okay, so my answer was a lot shorter than this and probably less eloquent, if that’s possible, and I may or may not have just wanted to use the phrase “pot smoking hippies,” but what I said bears truth. As an associate on PELR this year, I, and I’m sure most of the other associates, while Bluebooking 57 citations in a row, have thought, “why am I doing this!?” Well, when that question was asked it hit me, because if we don’t make sure every bit of the article we put out is academically sound, there are people out there who want to just dismiss them. Before I start to pronounce my love for mother earth and make some readers (or the one person reading this blog) think that I’ve been drinking the enviro kool aid, let me explain that I am a skeptical person. That is probably why I am in Law School. With that said, in researching for my own article and reading those of professionals in the field this year, I can’t help but to think I should send a couple copies of the PELR back to the Skidmore Environmental Action Club with a note that says “you win.”

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