It’s fairly common to refer to environmental law or energy law as being like the Law of the Horse – implying that they are somewhat ersatz legal fields. For those who are not familiar with the reference, The Law of the Horse was apparently the title of a legal treatise that collected all the cases […]
John Nash's contribution to game theory illuminates environmental issues.
John Nash and his wife died yesterday in a cab crash while returning from a trip to Norway to receive a major mathematical prize. He is best known to the public because of the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, which described his struggle with mental illness. His concept of the Nash Equilibrium is basic to a […]
UCLA's Don Shoup Has Transformed Urban Planning
Every scholar wants to do good, productive, important work, but I suppose all us secretly would like to redefine our fields — to go down in academic history, so to speak. Virtually none of us do. But UCLA’s Don Shoup, who is retiring this year from the Urban Planning department, is one who has. And […]
Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place
The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is no doubt generating significant conflict, including claims of undue industry influence, competing bills from prominent members of the same party, consternation among states, and divisions among health and environmental groups. And it may also be the closest we have gotten to TSCA reform—ever. […]
Ann’s excellent post concerning Jody Freeman and Richard Lazarus’ evisceration of Laurence Tribe raises an important question: why on earth would Tribe make such patently absurd arguments? Ann delicately suggests that the money Tribe is getting from fossil fuel interests may have “addled his judgment.” I’m not so sure. Obviously, we can’t put the man […]
Argument that Clean Power Plant an "Unconstitutional Power Grab" Ridiculed
Famed constitutional law professor Lawrence Tribe is serving red meat to opponents of climate change regulation. Not only is he representing Peabody Coal in a pending court challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, but this week he testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee that EPA, in adopting the plan, is […]
The Emerging Sub-Field of "Envirodevonomics" Seeks to Find Out
It’s hardly news that environmental quality in the Global South is often disastrous. Even middle income countries such as China and India face enormous pollution problems and destruction of ecosystems. But why? Do people in the Global South not care? Or is something else going on? A new paper in the Journal of Economic Literature […]
We need research to feed a larger population without plowing the whole planet.
Who’s coming for dinner? The answer, in case you’re wondering, is “two billion more people.” That’s the population increase predicted for 2050. How are we going to feed those people? One method is to cut down a lot of the world’s remaining forests and plow the world’s remaining grasslands. That’s a bad approach environmentally: it will […]
Reform of the federal chemicals statute, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), is in the news again. It got me wondering, are we are better off with the devil we know? In a legislative era characterized by harsh partisanship and excruciating deadlocks, there are signs that TSCA reform could be a rare example of cooperation […]
Attack on academic freedom? Or misunderstood management effort?
Both the NY Times and the Washington Post have reported on a recommendation that the North Carolina Board of Governors close several university centers. [Update: the recommendations were adopted by the Board a week later.] There are strong allegations that this is part of a conservative attack on the university system. There are certainly grounds to suspect […]