I’ll Just Be Over Here In My Fallout Shelter

The Green New Deal may be ambitious, but it’s not alarmist.

It would be impossible to react to every piece of misinformation or poor reporting about climate change—let alone every misguided opinion editorial—that lives online today, but Bret Stephens’ February 15 piece in the New York Times strikes me as warranting a response.  That’s not because of the clickbait title (“Is Nancy Pelosi A Climate Skeptic?” […]

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Cannabis Research Center

New UC Berkeley Research Center Focuses on Issues Around State Legalization of Cannabis

Over the past couple of years, California has moved into the brave new world of fully legalizing (as a matter of state law) recreational and medical cannabis.  That transition was premised in part on promises that legalization would reduce the negative environmental impacts from illegal cannabis cultivation, and would facilitate the development of a sustainable […]

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The Carbon Emission Upanishad

Can Pseudoscience Be Used To Foster Climate Action?

The new issue of Science has a disturbing but unsurprising report on science under India’s Hindu nationalist government: The most widely discussed talk at the Indian Science Congress, a government-funded annual jamboree held in Jalandhar in January, wasn’t about space exploration or information technology, areas in which India has made rapid progress. Instead, the talk […]

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What I Wish The Green New Deal Hadn’t Left Out

Greening our infrastructure is part of the solution, but so’s city planning.

While there’s certainly been no shortage of criticism of last week’s Green New Deal resolution, the common line hasn’t been that the resolution doesn’t try to cover enough ground.  On the contrary, it’s been called an everything-but-the-carbon-sink approach; even Trevor Noah devoted a few minutes of the Daily Show to gaping at the proposal’s efforts […]

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Donald Trump Creates the Green New Deal

Emergency Powers Can Be Very….Flexible

Mitch McConnell announced on the Senate floor today that Donald Trump will sign the new border compromise, then declare a National Emergency at the border, and use Presidential powers under the Emergency declaration to fund at least part of his border wall.  Demonstrating his central philosophical principle — party over country — McConnell announced his […]

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Breaking Up with Fossil Fuels

It’s not us. It’s you.

WORLD: Thanks for the card. . . . But I think we need to talk. FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY: About what? W: About us. FFI: About us?? Can’t it wait until some other time? This is Valentine’s Day, and I’ve made plans for us.  Big plans. W: No, I think we need to get some things […]

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More Tree-Huggers, Please

The Anti-Environmentalist Epithet Actually Derives From India’s Great Environmental Justice Movement

If you want to insult an environmentalist, the standard go-to is to dismiss them as a “tree-hugger.” But where does the term come from? The answer might surprise you: The term ‘tree-hugger’ originated not as an insult but as a protest tactic. It is said to date back to 1730, when a village of Bishnois […]

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One Cheer For “Corruption”

New Public Lands Bill Is A Triumph For The Environment — and an Attack on American Public Philosophy

Some unanticipated good news: The Senate on Tuesday passed the most sweeping conservation legislation in a decade, protecting millions of acres of land and hundreds of miles of wild rivers across the country and establishing four new national monuments honoring heroes from Civil War soldiers to a civil rights icon. The 662-page measure, which passed 92 […]

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Governor Newsom Retreats On High Speed Rail

Revised Merced-Bakersfield vision in “State of the State” speech indicates reluctance to spend political capital

Governor Newsom’s “State of the State” speech today offered an abrupt scaling back of the state’s vision for its signature infrastructure project, high speed rail from Los Angeles to San Francisco: [L]et’s level about high speed rail.  I have nothing but respect for Governor Brown’s and Governor Schwarzenegger’s ambitious vision. I share it. And there’s […]

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Is the Green New Deal’s Ambition Smart Policy?

Some Lessons from Environmental History

At the the heart of the Green New Deal — which demands slashing U.S. carbon emissions by 2030 by shifting to 100 percent clean energy  — is a major conundrum.  Even the most enthusiastic proponents of ambitious climate policy don’t believe the goals are achievable, technologically let alone politically.  Stanford Professor Marc Z. Jacobsen, for […]

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New report on housing entitlement in LA

Report covers regulatory approvals for residential projects in four LA cities in 2014-16

I’ve blogged previously about work that a team here at UC Berkeley (Moira O’Neill, Giulia Gualco-Nelson, and myself) have been doing on studying land-use regulation, environmental law, and housing production in California, to get a better sense of how regulatory processes may be driving the housing crisis in the state, and eventually to produce specific […]

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