Climate Change

A Roadmap for State Comments on the Clean Power Plan

"Dear EPA..."

Considerations for State Regulators Tackling EPA's §111(d) Proposed Rule

Yesterday, EPA announced its decision to extend the comment period on the Clean Power Plan—the agency’s proposed rule to regulate power plant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under Clean Air Act § 111(d)—until December 1, 2014. The comment period was originally scheduled to last 120 days, until October 16th. You can find a list of compiled […]

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UCLA / UC Berkeley Law Report On Harvesting Electric Vehicle Batteries For Grid Storage

Reuse and Repower Cover

Joint law school report will be discussed at a webinar on Friday at 10am

As I blogged about last week, California and the nation may have a golden opportunity to harvest used electric vehicle batteries for inexpensive energy storage. These repurposed batteries can be stacked for bulk storage to absorb surplus renewable energy for cloudy and dark windless times. They can save ratepayers money, clean the grid, and potentially […]

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Los Angeles Heat Waves, Electricity Use and Climate Change

Heat-Wave-Hot-Weather---24161103

It is 102 degrees in Los Angeles as I write this.  Not in the San Fernando Valley or in the communities east of Los Angeles whose temperatures are regularly several degrees higher but in downtown Los Angeles.  We’re in record heat territory and way above historical averages.  But temperatures aren’t the only records that are […]

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Groundwater Management Lite for California

New State Groundwater Legislation a Key Step Forward, But No Immediate Fix or Long-Term Panacea

The California Legislature, in the waning hours of its 2014 session, enacted legislation creating a first-ever  statewide system of groundwater management.  The three-bill package (SB 1168 [Pavley]; SB 1319 [Pavley]; and AB 1719 [Dickinson]) is expected to be signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown before the end of this month, and will take […]

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Some (sort of) good news on sea level rise

Bikeman islet in Kiribati has essentially disappeared below the waves. Photo by Reuters.

Reef growth may be able to keep pace with climate change, keeping island nations above water

That sea level rise driven by global warming will soon make low-lying island nations uninhabitable has been widely publicized and readily accepted. In 2009, then-President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives held a cabinet meeting underwater in full scuba gear to raise global awareness of the threat of climate change. (The underwater meeting later became the […]

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The Wonders of Denialisms

Louis Pasteur

Are there no limits to the human capacity to deny scientific facts?

If you’re inclined to doubt science, why not start with the germ theory of disease?  After all, isn’t it implausible that illness, death, and even mass epidemics are caused by tiny invisible organisms that invade our bodies?  And what’s the evidence for that, really?  Just the findings of scientists who can get big grants from […]

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The Emergence of Climate Law Courses

Obama law school

It's an increasingly widespread law school course.

The U.S. legal system has only begun to address climate change in the past ten or fifteen years. It was inevitable that this subject would infiltrate basic environmental law courses, especially given that there have now been three Supreme Court cases on the subject.  But climate change is now increasingly the subject of separate courses […]

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Why Michael Mann’s Defamation Suit Against Climate Denialists Is the Right Move

Michael Mann

With the facts on his side, there's no reason to hide

Dr. Michael Mann, one of the country’s leading climate scientists, has been harassed, threatened, and berated for his views that human actions are contributing to global climate change. But not just from anonymous commenters on websites — from leading publications like the National Review Online. After being compared to Jerry Sandusky and having the credibility […]

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U.S. Agricultural Policy, Climate Change, and Existing Legal Authority

USDA Report Cover

New research from Berkeley Law finds that the U.S. Department of Agriculture can act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is much in the news these days, as it implements the massive and always-controversial farm bill, works to improve access to national forests, strives to enhance the U.S. position in international agriculture markets, and wrestles to contain this season’s extensive wildfire activity. What is less obvious to many is […]

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