Luke Cole, environmental lawyer, died as the result of an accident in Uganda on June 6.
Cole was the executive director of the San Francisco-based Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment. A brilliant lawyer who graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Law School, “Luke could have worked anywhere,” says Fordham University law Professor Sheila Foster, Cole’s co-author on From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement. According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, “At the time of his death, Mr. Cole was representing the village of Kivalina, on the northwest coast of Alaska, in a lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco claiming that firms including ExxonMobil Corp., Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell were contributing to global warming, which was destroying the village.”
Tributes to Cole’s enthusiasm, integrity, and passion for his work continue to pour in. His loss will be deeply felt, as was the impact of his life’s work.