Jill M. Fraley


Property rights are, I argue, the single largest legal limitation on our ability to respond effectively to the climate change crisis. This is because our understanding of the scope of property rights shapes and limits legal concepts such as regulatory takings, land use law, common law tort and property claims, and statutory environmental regulation. Property sets our cultural norms about how much the government can or should control the uses of land. The goals of this Article are to (1) historically demonstrate the failures of socially oriented property theory as they are represented in the analytical framework of doctrines such as social utility and (2) advance a sustainable theory of property whose usefulness is demonstrated by that historical examination.