Jonathan Adler has an interesting post on why he chose to specialize in environmental law:
On the other hand, because environmental concerns are ubiquitous, environmental law itself can pose a serious threat to individual liberty. Today, environmental protection is probably the only intellectually respectable basis for urging policies that amount to central planning. As I see it, the stakes are enormous on both sides, making this a challenging and important field, and one that is worth far more serious attention from those who generally prefer limited government.
I agree that those who value limited government and personal liberty eschew the field of environmental law at their own peril. Like it or not, this is where the fights are being waged and if we refuse to engage in the fight we cannot be heard.
Then he says something that always irks me:
For those who are curious, I caught the trout on a fly rod using flies with pinched barbs, and all fish were returned to the river properly so as to ensure their survival. I don't fish for trout any other way.
Well I do. Of course he doesn't elaborate on why he doesn't fish any other way, but most of the people I've come across who make a big deal about catch-and-release do so because they think they're being good to the fish or because it's better for the environment. The latter argument is kinda hard to deal with one way or the other, but the former I find to be just awful.
It's hard to imagine something more tramatic for a fish than being hooked through the mouth, jerked around, and yanked out of the water on a line and then having the hook pulled out of the mouth. I just can't morally justify this action unless my intent is to eat the fish. Performing these actions purely as a means of entertainment is unfathomable to me.
Again, I have no idea what Adler's specific motives are, but his statement reminded me of something that always rubs me raw.