Renewable Energy on the Lower Mississippi

From Missouri to Louisiana to Alabama, fundamental similarities but individual differences.

The states in the lower Mississippi basin have a lot in common. From Missouri down to Louisiana and Alabama, they all voted for Trump. These states – Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee – were all part of the Confederacy. (I’m stretching geography a bit by including Alabama, since only the top of the state […]

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The Anthropocene and public law

Major doctrinal changes could occur in constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law

In this post, I will discuss ways in which the Anthropocene might affect public law doctrines, focusing on constitutional law, administrative law, statutory interpretation and criminal law. Again, the changes here are driven by three characteristics of the interaction of the Anthropocene with the legal system that I have developed in my prior posts: a […]

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Public Lands Watch: Izembek National Wildlife Refuge

Interior Department proposes to authorize road through wildlife refuge in Alaska

Tom Schumann authored this blog post. News outlets report that the Interior Department, reversing a decision made under President Obama, has agreed to a land exchange with an Alaska Native village that would allow construction of a road across a national wildlife refuge that provides important habitat for migratory birds, bears, caribou, and other species. […]

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The Anthropocene and private law

Areas such as torts and property will face significant challenges

I’ve posted about how the Anthropocene will see major changes in how humans affect our planet, and how those changes will have major impacts on human society, triggering substantially larger interventions by the legal system in a wide range of individual behavior.  In this post, I want to spin out some of the implications of […]

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The Anthropocene and the legal system

Responding to the Anthropocene will produce pressure for substantial changes in our legal system

In my prior two posts, I discussed how humans are increasingly impairing natural systems on a global scale, and how those impairments of natural systems will have major negative impacts on human societies. How will these changes affect the legal system? The first important point in answering that question is that many of the changes […]

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Pennsylvania’s Backward Energy Policy

PA’s policies look more like the upper South than the mid-Atlantic.

Pennsylvania has a fairly pitiful profile in terms of renewable energy. As of 2015, it got about 4% of its power from renewables, and only about half of that from wind and solar. Nearly all of the remainder was from nuclear (37%), coal (30%) and gas (28%). Perhaps not coincidentally, the state was the nation’s […]

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The impacts of the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene will produce profound economic, social, and political effects on human societies

In my prior post, I explained how humans are increasingly altering or influencing natural systems at a planetary level, and not just through climate change.  Now I want to explain a little about the impacts of those changes on human societies, and the implications of those impacts for how we will respond as societies to […]

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The science of the Anthropocene

Human impacts on global natural systems are large and diverse

Climate change is well known now as a major impact of humans on the planet.  But climate change is only one of a wide range of ways in which humans are dramatically changing natural systems at the regional, continental and planetary levels. For instance, greenhouse gas emissions are the driver of anthropogenic climate change.  But […]

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Law in the Anthropocene Era

Human impacts on our planet will trigger changes in our legal system

As becomes more and more evident every day, climate change is increasingly a dominant and sometimes devastating factor for human society and natural systems on a global scale. Much has been, and will continue to be, written about how we as a society can reduce the future impacts of climate change and adapt to the […]

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Finally, California Gets A Meaningful Housing Bill

SB 827 (Wiener) would be a game-changer to solve the housing and sprawl crisis

California State Senator Scott Wiener just introduced the bill I’ve probably been waiting for since I started following land use and transit in California over a decade-and-a-half ago. SB 827 would dramatically scale back local government restrictions on housing near major transit stops (see the fact sheet PDF). These restrictions by local governments have prevented […]

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Where the Wild Things Are

For endangered species, don’t think Alaska or Montana. Think Hawaii and California. And Alabama.

When we think about preserving nature in the United States, we tend to think of the country’s great wilderness areas in places like Alaska and the Rockies. We don’t think about Alabama or Puerto Rico, for instance. But in terms of biodiversity protection, this is almost the opposite of the truth. By and large, the […]

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