Truth be told, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017-18 Term has been an unsually quiet one for environmental and natural resources law. Until now. This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a last-minute addition to the Court’s current docket. Washington v. United States, No. 17-269, a case the justices only accepted for review in January, […]
Culture & Ethics
Personal Reflections on the Raging Debate Over Trump’s Utah Monument Reductions
One of most highly visible disputes arising out of the Trump Administration’s multifaceted efforts to roll back and nullify the natural resources policies of previous administrations is the decision by President Trump and Secretary of the Interior Zinke to substantially reduce two national monuments in Utah created by former President Obama under the Antiquities Act. President Trump’s December […]
Republican Presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Herbert Hoover Designated Millions of Acres Under the Antiquities Act
As several colleagues and I noted here recently, President Trump recently issued an executive order that will result in “review” of national monuments created since 1996. (The Antiquities Act grants Presidents the authority to reserve federal lands as national monuments, protecting them from much new resource extraction and development that would otherwise potentially be available on those […]
And Scott Pruitt is the new High Inquisitor at EPA
Last week, after saying that he did not believe that carbon dioxide is the primary cause of climate change, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reminded me for the second time since he took office of someone I met at age fifteen: Dolores Umbridge. Yes, that Dolores Umbridge, the one that functions as the main villain of the […]
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 […]
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 […]
Suggestive Links Between Gender Equity and Sustainability
I suppose that the holy grail of environmentalism, and environmental scholarship, is integrating equity concerns with global priorities. The environmental justice movement has sought to do this, sometimes with success and sometimes less so. Now Jennifer Duncan of Landesa, one of the most innovative think tanks focusing on land rights and the Global South, thinks […]
Thoughts from the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i
I am writing this weekend from a sunny spot in the Pacific, from the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu. For the uninitiated, the IUCN—International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources—is a global union of governments and non-governmental organizations (including over 1300 member institutions, organizations, and countries worldwide) focused on the conservation of […]
Are we too worried about climate change to focus on the other problems we know about?
Yesterday, Nature published a noteworthy comment on the biodiversity crisis, written by researchers at the University of Queensland and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The piece is based on a study of 8,688 species that are classified on the IUCN’s Red List either as threatened (vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered) or near-threatened. The main […]
The Libertarian Party platform leaves many open questions about environmental protection.
A number of people seem drawn to the Libertarian Party during this election cycle. As it turns out, the Party believes not only in minimal government but a minimal platform. Compared to the platforms of the major parties, the Libertarian platform is blessedly brief. (It also seems notably more purist than the Party’s presidential ticket.) […]