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Biodiversity to the Rescue?

A 1L ponders lessons that bats can teach us about viruses and American government.


“What do bats and viruses teach us about American government?”, 1L Ian Ramsey-North asks in his provocative and surprisingly apt BC Law Impact blog post on March 17. It turns out that biodiversity provides important lessons on the ability of disease to pass from animals to humans—a phenomenon to do with “dilution effect.”

Ramsey-North applies those lessons to his discussion of the state of affairs in which our Covid-19-battered government currently finds itself.

He writes that a concept similar to “dilution theory” is at work in our Constitution’s separation of powers and federalism: “The diversity of institutions and actors required for government to take action limits how much unilateral power can accrue in any one place, preventing it from spilling over into tyranny.”

To find out where he takes things from there, read the full story on the Impact blog.