Property in the Anthropocene

7 Brigham-Kanner Prop. Rts. Conf. J. (Forthcoming)

11 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2017

See all articles by J. Peter Byrne

J. Peter Byrne

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: June 7, 2017


Human-induced climate change threatens perilous risks for our physical homes and also poses a serious challenge to our legal institutions. Several scholars already have remarked on the disruption climate change has brought to specific legal areas, such as tort, standing, and national security. This essay argues that climate change will also disrupt fundamental ideas about real property. It maintains that the growing need for human management of dynamic natural forces, distorted by greenhouse gas emissions, will erode the foundations of physical stability and owner autonomy that shape basic doctrines of property law.

Keywords: property, climate, flooding

Suggested Citation

Byrne, J. Peter, Property in the Anthropocene (June 7, 2017). 7 Brigham-Kanner Prop. Rts. Conf. J. (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN:

J. Peter Byrne (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
(202)662-9066 (Phone)

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