December 14: Zygmunt Plater, “Big Lessons From a Little Fish”

plater1Zygmunt Plater is Professor, Director, Boston College Land and Environmental Law Program, at Boston College Law School.

In the 1970s, the media gave extensive coverage to “The Most Extreme Environmental Case Ever”, a Tennessee citizens campaign against the last of TVA’s 68 dams, using the federal law that protected a tiny endangered fish—the “snail darter”—that the dam would kill. Still today politicians and right-wing media use the snail darter as an icon of liberal governmental foolishness; the facts and images from that notorious case will raise some very different impressions, with resonance for the current dysfunctions we see in national governance.