Climate Change

Revised SLCP Strategy Demonstrates the Impact of SB 1383

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Many in the environmental community, myself included, heralded the passage of SB 1383 in the California legislature. This bill is the first state law to target short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), and it codified the reduction goals that ARB had adopted as part of its general GHG reduction agenda. This is not a trivial accomplishment – […]

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Trump’s Public Statements Aren’t Relevant in Assessing His Likely Climate Policy

The Media Need to Take Trump’s Advisors, and Their Policy Proposals, More Seriously Than They Take Trump’s Off-the-Cuff Comments

The media need to get their act together when they report and editorialize about President-elect Donald Trump’s public statements.  Chief among many failures in reporting on the campaign was the tendency of major newspapers and television outlets to focus on candidates’ rhetoric, symbolism, and character, to the virtual exclusion of governance and policy. This contributed […]

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Surviving the Trump Research Funding Drought

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A Model for State Support of Climate and Energy Research

Federal funding for research on renewable energy and climate change is likely to take a nose-dive under Trump. For instance, a senior advisor recently announced that NASA’s earth sciences research program would be scrapped. In a previous post, I argued that state governments should help pick up the slack. Doing so could have economic benefits […]

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Conflicting News about President-Elect Trump and Climate Change

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Transition Team Uniformly Anti-Climate but Trump Signals Open Mind to NY Times

Today we got a sliver of hope from President-Elect Trump about remaining in the Paris Agreement.  He also acknowledged a connection between human activity and climate change, something obviously at odds with his campaign rhetoric.  Trump told the New York Times he would “keep an open mind” about the U.S. commitment to the Paris Agreement.  He […]

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Be Thankful for Millennials – Our Best Environmental Hope

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The present belongs to Trump. The future is a lot greener.

We may not have much to be thankful right now, but I do have one bright thought for Thanksgiving. These are dark days for the cause of environmental protection, and it would be easy to give way to despair. But I continue to believe that prospects will improve.  This election was a huge and costly […]

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Making China Great Again

America’s Retreat from Global Climate Change Action Cedes Leadership to China (co-authored with Ann Carlson)

China loomed large in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He accused the country of stealing American jobs and manipulating its currency for trade advantage. He famously tweeted that global warming was a concept created by the Chinese to “make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” At its core, Trump’s argument was that China had grown strong at the United […]

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Surprise! Bill O’Reilly Says Trump Should Accept the Paris Agreement

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No, this isn’t a hoax, and I didn’t find it on the Onion. Seriously.

Bill O’Reilly has said on Fox News that Trump should accept the Paris Agreement because “it’s not that big a deal” and ‘it would buy good will.”  When I read this, my first thought was that it was somebody’s idea of a joke, or was just some of that fake Internet news that we’ve all heard […]

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All Eyes on the Subnationals

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After the election of Trump, state and local leaders have to step up

As my colleague Ethan Elkind pointed out in a blog post the other day, the most viable path forward in the fight to slow (cause we’re kind of past the ability to prevent) climate change after the election of Donald Trump as President on Tuesday will be at the sub-federal level. As Ethan pointed out, […]

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What Does a Trump Presidency Portend for California’s Environmental Policies?

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Constitutional Issues Loom Large in Future, Likely Federal-California Legal Confrontations

Sensing political storm clouds ahead, California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday issued a statement on the presidential election results that concludes: “We will protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time–devastating climate change.” Several of my Legal Planet colleagues have recently posted thoughtful commentary on what Donald Trump’s […]

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Could A Trump Presidency Actually Slow Climate Change?

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A Trump-induced recession could temporarily slow global emissions

This might sound crazy, but Donald Trump’s presidency could actually have a temporarily positive impact on climate change. How? Nothing reduces emissions like a recession, and according to economists, Trump’s stated policies are likely to cause one. Specifically, if Trump follows through on his promise to start a trade war with countries like China, he […]

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