Climate Change

Saving California’s Beaches

Isla Vista

New expert report offers recommendations for shoreline armoring management

As California’s beach goers and residents well know, erosion and climate change are already impacting the California coastline. Eighty percent of California’s coast is actively eroding, and the latest science projects that sea levels may rise up to 5 additional feet along much of the coast by the end of this century. Higher sea levels […]

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Drought and the Supreme Court

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Does the Court's Decision in the Raisin Case Imperil Water Management?

When I first read Rick’s writeup of the Supreme Court’s decision in USDA v. Horne, concerning the federal government’s Depression-era system of “marketing orders” that required farmers to set aside a percentage of their raisin crop in a government-controlled account, I was worried about water. And that’s not just because I always worry about water. Horne turned on […]

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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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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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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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Another One Bites The Dust

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New Peer-Reviewed Study Shows That "Global Warming Hiatus" Is Bogus

One of the most annoying climate-denial memes has been the supposed “global warming hiatus.” It goes something like this: 1998 was a spectacularly hot year. It has not been as hot since then, thus global warming has stopped. Anyone with a passing familiarity with variance should see right through that one, but now we have […]

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BREAKING: SB 32 and SB 350 both pass in the Senate

Key elements of California's new climate legislation package clear major hurdle

For those following the fate of this year’s suite of California climate legislation, Senator Pavley’s SB 32 and Senator De Leon’s SB 350 were brought to a vote in the Senate this morning and both passed easily.  I wrote about these bills here.  SB 32 would enshrine California’s goal, already set forth in executive orders, of reducing […]

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