| James Thornton|| Writer|
| Immediate Harm, A Field Guide to the Soul, American Wine Economic, Chore Wars: How Househol, Men of My Father's Generation|James Thornton (environmentalist) Wikipedia
James Thornton is an environmental lawyer and writer. He is the founding CEO of ClientEarth, a non-profit environmental law organisation with offices in London, Brussels and Warsaw. Born in New York he is also an Irish Citizen. The New Statesman named James as one of ten people who could change the world. He was also called 'a new kind of environmental hero' by BBC Radio 4 and Metropolitan magazine called him 'La force tranquille'. In 2013 The Lawyer identified him as one of the Top 100 lawyers practising in the UK. He is a member of the bars of New York, California, and the Supreme Court of the United States, and a Solicitor of England and Wales. He is a Conservation Fellow of the Zoological Society of London and a fellow of Ashoka, the network of leaders in social innovations. His latest novel is Sphinx: The Second Coming.
Thornton founded ClientEarth in 2006. The International Bar Association has called ClientEarth “a public interest law firm, the first in the UK and continental Europe”. Now with offices in London, Brussels and Warsaw and operating globally, it uses advocacy, litigation and research to address the greatest challenges of our time - including biodiversity loss, climate change, and toxic chemicals. Its work is built on solid law and science. ClientEarth’s patrons are Coldplay and Zac Goldsmith, and Brian Eno is a trustee. In 2012 ClientEarth won Business Green’s NGO of the Year award. In 2013, it won the Law Society Gazette's Excellence in Environmental Responsibility Award.
In 2011, ClientEarth’s action in the High Court forced the UK government to admit that it was breaching legal limits for air pollution. In 2012 ClientEarth’s amicus curiae (friends of the court) brief in the cases challenging the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon pollution was the first time that European groups have entered a US environmental case this way. Thornton calls the Common Fisheries Policy 'the worst law in the world' and is working with the Fish Fight campaign of TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to make it workable. He also works to enforce the Aarhus Convention, working to give citizens access to courts in order to seek environmental justice.
Thornton appeared on stage with Brian Eno at the Luminous Festival, Sydney Opera House, in 2009 to discuss the environment. He also featured in the BBC2 Arena documentary of Brian Eno. At this time Thornton wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald on why humanity needs a new renaissance.
Before heading for Europe, Thornton worked for NRDC, for whom he set up the citizens' enforcement project focusing on the Clean Water Act when the Reagan administration dropped its own enforcement. He brought and won sixty cases in the federal courts in six months It was funded by the McIntosh Foundation, which under Mike and Winsome McIntosh became the founding funders of ClientEarth. Attracted to study with the Japanese Zen Master Taizan Maezumi Roshi, Thornton headed for the NRDC office in San Francisco, from where he founded the LA Office of NRDC. He moved to LA to run it, staying at the Zen Center of Los Angeles.
He did a retreat with the Indian teacher Mother Meera in Germany for 14 months, after which he started Positive Futures, an organization to teach meditation to environmental activists. For some years he was Executive Director of the Heffter Research Institute, which worked on the medical application of halluinogens among other neuroscience developments. For Theodore Roszak he wrote one of the founding documents for the ecopsychology movement, an early precursor of Wild Law. He was ordained a priest in the Soto Zen order at the Zen Center of Los Angeles in April 2009, by Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao. He wrote A Field Guide to the Soul, a guide to spiritual practice. He also co-authored a major study of company reporting law 'Environmental and social transparency under the Companies Act 2006: Digging Deeper' and his first novel Immediate Harm was published in 2011, and his second novel Sphinx the Second Coming came out in 2014. He is a frequent blogger on the Huffington Post.