I gather that people are tired of hearing about climate change. I’m tired of hearing about climate change, too. Sadly, Nature just doesn’t care that much about entertaining us. It’s going to be climate change this year, climate change next year, climate change the year after that . . . But don’t worry, it won’t […]
A new book examines the roots of judicial conflict in environmental law.
Views on environmental issues are related to broader culture differences. According to social scientists, environmentalists tend to be egalitarian, believe in harmony with nature, and stress responsibility over autonomy. Their opponents, who are skeptical about regulation, tend to favor traditional hierarchies, believe in human mastery of nature, and stress autonomy over responsibility. Jon Cannon’s new book, Environment […]
Position on Climate Change Evolving
Jeb Bush is now “concerned” about climate change. He also believes the U.S. needs to work with other countries to “negotiate a way to reduce carbon emissions.” Though some environmental groups remain skeptical –largely because Bush also embraced natural gas as the primary tool to reduce U.S. […]
New Lawsuit Claims Dam and Reservoir in Yosemite National Park Violate California Constitution
This week, the longstanding battle over the dam and reservoir that have for a century flooded Yosemite National Park’s storied Hetch Hetchy Valley moves to the courts. A new lawsuit, filed by conservationists on the 177th anniversary of John Muir’s birth, asserts that the City of San Francisco’s continued operation of O’Shaughnessy Dam and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir […]
How to limit climate change without giving the Feds enforcement powers or revenue.
What I’m going to sketch here isn’t a zero government approach. But the government’s role is very limited: federal agencies don’t do any enforcement and the government doesn’t touch any revenue from the scheme. So this approach deals with the concern that a carbon tax or something similar would either expand EPA’s ability to abuse […]
good news, bad news
Every day seems to bring new news about climate change, some of it encouraging and some of it so disheartening that doomsday feels around the corner. Here’s a catalogue of recent climate news, starting with the optimistic stories: Bloomberg news reports that the end of fossil fuels is in sight. The World Bank today announced […]
Responding to claims that EPA must withdraw its proposed rules to control power-plant GHGs under CAA § 111
Challenges to EPA’s emergent program to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under Clean Air Act section 111 continue to mount. Recently, the Attorneys General of 19 states sent a joint letter to EPA arguing that because EPA failed to finalize its proposed New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for GHG emissions within one year—as the Clean […]
Or -- Timing Is Everything
As part of the book I am writing on the Mono Lake case, one question stands out: how was the Mono Lake Committee able to assemble the resources to bring a lawsuit against the powerful Los Angeles Department of Water and Power? At one level, the answer is obvious: it found a Sugar Daddy, in […]
Are climate gag rules constitutional? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
There have been recent reports about state agencies that forbid employees from discussing climate change. Since this is obviously a restriction on speech, it’s natural to wonder what the First Amendment has to say on the subject. The answer depends in large part on the kind of employee speech at issue. Let’s being with a ban […]
Deforestation went down for a decade. Now it's going up. The reasons aren't clear.
Brazil’s rate of deforestation went down dramatically over the last ten years. It’s not completely clear why that’s happened. The trend now seems to be reversing (or at least encountering an upward blip). But it’s not clear why that’s happening either. I wish I had a clear explanation to give you. A big part of […]
Envisioning greener energy, cleaner air, and reduced consumption in LA by 2035
Perhaps no metropolis is better positioned than Los Angeles to pioneer ground-breaking environmental initiatives. As the second-largest U.S. city, and with the country’s largest municipally owned utility, a world-class research university–UCLA, and the blessings of abundant sunshine and a temperate Mediterranean climate, Los Angeles could serve as a global model for urban sustainability. Today, the […]