Pope Francis Goes to Washington


What he said and didn’t say

Pope Francis arrived in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to begin a much anticipated trip to the United States. While here, the pope will visit DC, New York City, and Philadelphia. Pope Francis, a former chemist, has gained much attention for his calls for action on climate change, in addition to his focus on inequality and […]

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Registration Opens for 2015 Yosemite Conference–The Nation’s Top Environmental Law Event

Yosemite brochure

This Year's Yosemite Conference Promises to Continue a Tradition of Excellence

Registration is now open for the 2015 edition of the State Bar of California’s Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite.  That conference, held each fall, is unquestionably the premier environmental law-related event in California.  I would go so far as to argue that it’s actually the top such program in the entire United States. The Yosemite Conference […]

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U.C. Campuses Top Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools” Rankings

UC Logo

U.C. Irvine, U.C. Davis Rank 1 & 2 as Nation's Greenest University Campuses

The Sierra Club has released its latest rankings of the “greenest” colleges and universities in the United States, titled “Cool Schools 2015.”  The University of California fares extremely well in that survey, with four of its campuses placing in the top 10 of the Sierra Club poll.  U.C. Irvine nabbed the top spot in the […]

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CA Supreme Court Rejects California State University’s CEQA Dodge–Again


Justices Hold CSU Can't Pass the Buck re: Environmental Mitigation Measures Tied to Campus Expansion

In an important decision issued last week, the California Supreme Court forcefully rejected the California State University’s efforts to avoid paying for mitigation measures needed to offset the adverse environmental impacts associated with CSU’s ambitious expansion plans.  That’s welcome if predictable news from a court that has in recent years been protective of the state’s bedrock […]

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Sacramento Judge Halts California Regulator’s Efforts to Impose Water Cutbacks

Court Rules Water Board's Administrative Process Violates Water Users' Due Process Rights

A Sacramento judge has thrown a wrench into the California State Water Resources Control Board’s efforts to impose water cutbacks on several of the state’s senior water rights holders.  In a July 10th order, Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang ruled that the Water Board’s administrative process, designed to implement drought-based water reductions, violates the due […]

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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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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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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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California Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Housing Ordinance

California Supreme Court

Unanimous Court Rejects Developers' Takings Challenge to San Jose's Inclusionary Housing Measure

The California Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision issued today, rejected state developers’ efforts to nullify the City of San Jose’s affordable housing ordinance.  That decision, California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, is critically important for both state land use policy and for constitutional principles governing private property rights and the proper scope […]

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Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transport Fuels

LCFS Poster

The Performance and Prospects of California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard

Transportation is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in California, responsible for about 37 percent of the state’s total emissions. This distinction makes the sector a prime target for regulation. But with tens of millions of emitting tailpipes, fuels sourced from out of state and around the world, decades-long vehicle lifespans, and many other […]

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