Culture & Ethics

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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Jeb, the Pope and Climate Change

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Maybe we need to pay more attention to the link between religion and environmentalism.

Jeb Bush’s environmental views seem to be evolving.  At a recent speech at Liberty University, he had this to say about environmental protection: “America’s environmental debates, likewise, can be too coldly economical, too sterile of life . . . Christians see in nature and all God’s creatures designs grander than any of man’s own devising, the […]

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Giving Indigenous Peoples a Voice at COP20

Indigenous peoples poster at Lima COP20

Observations from the Lima UN Climate Conference - by Sarah Kozal

This post is by Sarah Kozal, UCLA School of Law Class of 2016, who participated in the Lima COP last week as part of UCLA’s delegation. One surprise of COP20 has been the large presence of indigenous peoples’ issues and voices. In particular, many of the side events at the conference have focused not only […]

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The Future of Conservation

Earlier this year I wrote critically about a New York Times op-ed that proposed making the restrictions on development in wilderness areas more flexible in order to allow for adaptation to climate change. This week the Times published what I think is a much more helpful op-ed on the topic of how we should address […]

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What Is An “Environmental” Lawyer?

No side of the profession should have a monopoly on the term

My post last week on renaming “environmental” law to “resources” law greatly peeved a number of private bar attorneys, who thought I was impugning their entire side of the practice. My post clearly played into some longstanding tension and defensiveness (no pun intended) about this issue. These attorneys believe that even though they may represent […]

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Happy Birthday, Yosemite–and California’s State Parks System

The Core of Yosemite National Park, & California's First State Park, Were Created 150 Years Ago

2014 marks the 150th anniversary of the creation of what we now know as Yosemite National Park.  It’s also the sesquicentennial anniversary of California’s State Parks System.  The two events are, in fact, inextricably related.  And how they occurred is a noteworthy and truly inspirational story. In 1864, in the midst of the Civil War, […]

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Only You

Happy birthday to the federal government’s most recognizable environmental advocate

The U.S. Forest Service is a key actor in a lot of environmental and land use policy decisions. It oversees the national forests and handles various research and conservation efforts. The Service is a common defendant in environmental suits, often as a result of its substantial permitting duties. But what USFS is best known for […]

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Celebrate Earth Day By Destroying The Planet!

Is It Possible To Have A Holiday Without Going Shopping?

The first e-mail in my inbox this morning was from a regional pharmacy chain, advertising “Great Earth Day Savings!” That seemed to me to be a little ironic: celebrate by the planet by consuming as much as you can! It isn’t alone. Just Google “Earth Day Shopping” and you’ll get hundreds of hits.  Now, obviously, […]

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