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 […]
Are recent East Bay water troubles a taste of what lies ahead?
What makes a city world-renowned? For New York (according to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection), it’s the quality of its drinking water. Should this be so surprising? After all, what more fundamental connection does a city have to its residents and visitors than the life-sustaining water that it provides? Recent events in San Francisco’s […]
Observations from the Lima UN Climate Conference - by Sarah Kozal
This post is by Sarah Kozal, UCLA School of Law Class of 2016, who participated in the Lima COP last week as part of UCLA’s delegation. One surprise of COP20 has been the large presence of indigenous peoples’ issues and voices. In particular, many of the side events at the conference have focused not only […]
Earlier this year I wrote critically about a New York Times op-ed that proposed making the restrictions on development in wilderness areas more flexible in order to allow for adaptation to climate change. This week the Times published what I think is a much more helpful op-ed on the topic of how we should address […]
Ebola’s natural reservoirs are animals, if only because human hosts die to too quickly. Outbreaks tend to occur in locations where changes in landscapes have brought animals and humans into closer contact. Thus, there is considerable speculation about whether ecological factors might be related to the current outbreak. (See here). At this point, at least, we […]
Don't Try This At Home
A couple of weeks ago, I noted in a discussion of water and climate change, that in many cases, seeking to adapt to climate change effects might actually wind up undermining efforts to mitigate it. My example was lining irrigation canals, but there are lots of them out there. I began to think “Gosh. There […]
Will Conserving Water Contribute to Global Warming?
All of us (except Republicans and adherents of Movement Conservatism) know that climate change is dangerous for rising temperatures, but also because of its effects on other natural resources. Most significantly, it is hardly news that increasing and variable temperatures will reduce, for example, the Sierra snow pack and cause greater evaporation, eventually leading to […]
Happy birthday to the federal government’s most recognizable environmental advocate
The U.S. Forest Service is a key actor in a lot of environmental and land use policy decisions. It oversees the national forests and handles various research and conservation efforts. The Service is a common defendant in environmental suits, often as a result of its substantial permitting duties. But what USFS is best known for […]
Is Increased Reliance on the Public Trust Doctrine an Essential Part of Effective State Adaptation Policy?
I often tell students in my Climate Change Law and Policy course that adaptation–that is, how we can best adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change–is the poor stepchild of the debate over greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. By that I mean that climate change mitigation (i.e., how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions) generates far more […]
Changing the Wilderness Act to respond to climate change is a terrible idea
The Wilderness Act is one of the iconic pieces of environmental legislation, and it is 50 years old this year. It created a process and management standard by which millions of acres of relatively undeveloped federal land were protected from development and most forms of active human management. These lands are to be managed, as […]