Why Paris won’t be Copenhagen

Christiana Figueres at UCLA

Christiana Figueres, head of the UN climate convention, makes the argument at UCLA

As Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change since 2010, Christiana Figueres jokes that it has been her job to “put 195 countries in a better mood” after the overhyped Copenhagen talks in 2009.  The Emmett Institute hosted a lunch at UCLA with Ms. Figueres earlier this week, in which she assured California stakeholders that this year’s Paris […]

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Does Pope Francis Really Hate California’s Cap-And-Trade Program?

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Encyclical take a negative view that may be misplaced

As Dan and Jonathan noted, the Pope weighed in on Thursday with strong moral arguments in favor of addressing climate change. But in his landmark encyclical, he apparently bashed cap-and-trade as a means of addressing carbon pollution: “The strategy of buying and selling ‘carbon credits’ can lead to a new form of speculation which would […]

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Religion’s “Traditional” View: A Friendly Dissent

St. Francis With Plants...

Faith Has Long Embraced Environmental Values

Dan’s nice summary of Laudato Si will be the first of several commentaries on the page. But before we get going, I have to offer a friendly dissent on one aspect of it — an aspect that unfortunately plays into a lot of discussion of religion. Dan writes that Pope Francis’ encyclical seeks to re-read […]

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Caritas and Climate Change

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Pope Francis has linked the issue of climate change with compassion for the global poor.

Laudato Si’, the new encyclical on climate change, is receiving global attention because of its potential impact on political debates over climate change.  Part of the Pope’s message seems to be based on the idea that humans have a duty to care for natural world, a rereading of the traditional assumption that God gave humans […]

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Republican Change We Can Believe In

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.): Tilting at Windmills?

Sen. Bill Cassidy's Bill Would Ditch Wasteful Ethanol Subsidy

As readers of this page know, I am extremely fair and balanced: I criticize each party if it does something wrong, and praise each if it does something right. If one of those parties happens to do wrong things close to all the time, well, that’s not my fault. But let us now praise a […]

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Pope Francis Channels Mike Tyson

Pope Francis gives his thumb up as he leaves at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Who Will Get the Movie Rights to the Encyclical on Climate Change?

Many hope that the Pope’s impending encyclical on climate change (and inequality) will change the debate on both topics. Certainly right-wing Catholics are getting nervous about it. But who will get the movie rights? I don’t know, but here’s a potential trailer. What does this have to do with Mike Tyson? Just watch:

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California Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Housing Ordinance

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Unanimous Court Rejects Developers' Takings Challenge to San Jose's Inclusionary Housing Measure

The California Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision issued today, rejected state developers’ efforts to nullify the City of San Jose’s affordable housing ordinance.  That decision, California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, is critically important for both state land use policy and for constitutional principles governing private property rights and the proper scope […]

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CEQA and the Drought

Republicans are using the drought as an argument for CEQA exemptions

One thing that the deep drought in California has prompted is more discussion of water storage projects like dams. Part of that discussion has been arguments that environmental review pursuant to CEQA should be “streamlined” for water storage projects. A bill to streamline environmental review for two dam projects died in the Assembly this year. […]

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The Next Six Months

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A half-dozen crucial developments will shape environmental policy for years to come.

The next six months will be unusually important in environmental law.  There are six key areas to keep an eye on: 1.  The Paris climate talks.  The world’s governments meet every year in December as part of continuing negotiations on climate issues.  This year’s meeting will be the most critical since Copenhagen, six years ago.  The […]

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Flame Retardants, Furniture, and Polar Bears

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One woman’s search for a toxics-free couch in California

A year and a half ago, I found myself in a position that has caused so many people to rethink the world around them: impending parenthood. One of the many changes I decided to make in advance of welcoming our little bundle of joy was to procure a couch without flame retardants. Flame retardants have […]

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