Running Into Running Out” recognizes that we are quickly and actively changing the natural world with little consideration for the survival of other species and our own. According to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, we are witnessing a wave of extinctions unprecedented since the die-off of dinosaurs, with extinction rates rising 1,000 times faster than normal. These are not fun facts to face. They beg for a long and sober assessment of the race human culture has been running into: the destruction of the planet and those who call it home. They call for a course change and reorientation to rapidly changing circumstances. This year’s Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) will be a space for critical assessment of past strategies – honestly measuring failures and successes – and, of course, new solutions dedicated to ending the destruction.

Running Into Running Out” conveys a sense of urgency that we must take greater action to prevent ourselves from running out of the resources necessary for survival, and we must do it now. Our best scientists warn that continuing on our business-as-usual trajectory will place life as we know it amidst unpredictable, and essentially irreversible planetary catastrophe. We are running out of time to avoid this scenario, and we are running out of options, but we have not run out yet. PIELC is an opportunity for concerned lawyers, students, scientists, activists, and citizens to gather and discuss issues affecting humanity’s race toward a planetary tipping point and how we might confront these dilemmas. Our goal is a common one; we must find new ways to solve old problems.

Confronted with responsibility for our survival, we must align with life-giving, life-sustaining practices. We must persist. We have worked too hard to give up now and the stakes of letting our current destructive race simply run its course are too high. We must remain determined. We must not succumb to defeat. We must continue our efforts to change course.

Please join us February 27th – March 2nd in Eugene, Oregon for the 32nd annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference. Panel submission forms are now available on our website at and registration will open in January.

In solidarity,

2014 PIELC Co-Directors