Environmental Science

When No News Would Be Good News: The Ongoing Trials of Prop 65

California’s Proposition 65 law has been consistently making the news lately — but not for the reasons it should.

This summer, California’s unique-in-the-nation law governing human exposure to toxic chemicals, Proposition 65, has been consistently making Page 1 — but in ways that belie the adage that “all publicity is good publicity.” Most heavily reported, and acutely politically perilous to the law’s supporters, has been a state trial court ruling that coffee must bear […]

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Awaiting the Climate Change “Trial of the Century”

Juliana v. U.S. “Atmospheric Trust” Federal Trial Set to Begin in October

The Trump Administration really, really doesn’t want the Juliana v. United States case, a.k.a. the “atmospheric trust litigation,” to go to trial. But despite the persistent efforts of President Trump’s Justice Department to have the Juliana case dismissed, it now appears that the most important currently-pending climate change case in the nation will indeed go to trial […]

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UCLA Law Wells Environmental Law Clinic Files U.S. Supreme Court Brief on Behalf of Scientists in Endangered Species Act Case

Scientists’ Brief Argues Federal Agencies and Courts Must Use Science in Interpreting “Habitat” Under the Endangered Species Act; Clinic Clients Include Profs. Stuart Pimm & E.O. Wilson, Along With Three MacArthur “Genius” Award Recipients & Ten Other Esteemed Scientists

Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act in 1973 to protect species at risk of extinction.  Congress viewed species extinction as an urgent threat requiring urgent, decisive action.  The result was a bipartisan law designed to apply scientific knowledge and expertise to managing the threats to U.S. species.  While the Act has been controversial, and characterized […]

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The Hurricane Outlook

The journalists are sure about the 2018 hurricane season. The scientists? Not so much.

I’m actually in Puerto Rico today for a conference on the situation here after Hurricane Maria. Since hurricanes are on my mind, I wondered what the forecast for this year looks like. As it turns out, the headlines give significantly different takes on what to expect. Here is a sample of news stories, all issued […]

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Tales From the Front: A Field Trip to the Utah Monuments

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 […]

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Why California gets to write its own auto emissions standards: 5 questions answered

Authored by Nicholas Bryner and Meredith Hankins

Rush hour on the Hollywood Freeway, Los Angeles, September 9, 2016. AP Photo/Richard Vogel This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Editor’s note: On April 2, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the Trump administration plans to revise tailpipe emissions standards negotiated by the Obama administration for motor […]

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Global market for ecosystem services surges to $36 billion in annual transactions

New article in Nature Sustainability tracks global payments for ecosystems services

In the early 1990s, New York City began paying for land management in the Catskills watershed to ensure safe drinking water for the city, avoiding the cost of building an expensive water treatment plant. New York City provides just one example of a growing number of programs – called payments for ecosystem services (PES) – […]

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Progress on California water data

Michael Kiparsky and Alida Cantor

Water data has become quite a hot topic in California, and rightly so: throughout the state, decision-makers desperately need better information to guide their efforts to better manage this resource. Recent legislation has gotten us to the starting line, but how well new data platforms ultimately serve water management will depend on clear thinking and […]

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Cities are suing oil companies for climate change harms. Could they win?

Join UCLA Law Emmett Institute and Union of Concerned Scientists for January 25 evening talk on new climate lawsuits

Who should pay for the significant costs that cities and other local governments incur in responding to climate change? Los Angeles is the most recent city to explore the idea of suing fossil fuel companies for these harms, following in the footsteps of San Francisco, San Mateo County and a growing cohort of other jurisdictions […]

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The science of the Anthropocene

Human impacts on global natural systems are large and diverse

Climate change is well known now as a major impact of humans on the planet.  But climate change is only one of a wide range of ways in which humans are dramatically changing natural systems at the regional, continental and planetary levels. For instance, greenhouse gas emissions are the driver of anthropogenic climate change.  But […]

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