Culture & Ethics

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 […]

Continue Reading

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

fox-news-fair-balanced

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 […]

Continue Reading

Can Women’s Land Rights Combat Climate Change?

BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - MARCH 13: A young African woman at work in the fields, checking the crops to be harvested just outside Bangui pictured on March 13, 2014 near Bangui, Central African Republic. (Photo by Thomas Koehler/Photothek via Getty Images)

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 […]

Continue Reading

The Future of Environmental Law?

Presenters at the event on Emerging Leaders and the Future of Environmental Law in Honolulu, Sept. 2, 2016

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 […]

Continue Reading

What Threatens Biodiversity?

Silverback mountain gorilla in Rwanda (2007)

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 […]

Continue Reading

The Libertarian Party and the Environment

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.) […]

Continue Reading

Red, white, blue and smog

fireworks 3

Fireworks leave behind a lot of pollutants

As a kid on the South Side of Chicago, summertime meant seeing White Sox games at Comiskey Park (technically now called U.S. Cellular Park, but I will never call it that). If the Sox won, there were fireworks. And on Saturdays, there were fireworks even if they didn’t. I have a distinct memory of asking […]

Continue Reading

Mr. Jefferson’s Bridge

Natural_Bridge_VA_size

Anticipating modern environmental views, Jefferson viewed nature as a public trust.

This being the Fourth of July, it seems appropriate to talk about Jefferson’s relationship with nature. A revealing example involves some land he owned between Lexington and Roanoke.  Two years before the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson purchased 157 acres of land  from the King.  He bought the land because it contained a remarkable feature — a 200-foot […]

Continue Reading

Let Us Now Praise Famous Plants

Lace Lichen

Taking environmental law education outdoors

Lawyers spend their lives among tree slices (using 20,000-100,00 sheets of paper per attorney annually), but distressingly little time among whole trees. This became evident when I hauled a class of bemused clinical environmental law students up a wooded slope near the UC Berkeley campus this spring for a lesson spanning ecology, agency jurisdiction, and […]

Continue Reading

The Irony of a Developing Nation’s Climate Agenda

AerialViewPhotochemicalSmogMexicoCity_2

The challenge of developing and decarbonizing at the same time

Mexico has been busy. Or at least, its energy and environmental ministers have been. Over the last several years, Mexico has held its first auction for renewable energy contracts, opened its energy market to private competitors, and increased its renewable energy capacity by more than thirty times the level in 2008. At the same time, […]

Continue Reading