Yesterday’s post discussed economic growth and how it relates in principle to carbon emissions. Basically, economic growth just means that people will be getting goods and services they prefer over today’s goods and service. There’s no intrinsic reason why the “better” bundle necessarily has to involve more carbon. In fact, it could involve a lot less carbon. […]
The Lima Accord lets countries name their own price to address climate change. But that doesn't mean it failed.
As you’ve probably heard by now, this year’s UN climate change conference has produced an agreement, the “Lima Accord.” The Accord invites each of the nearly 200 negotiating countries to develop an “intended nationally determined contribution” (INDC) to reduce its GHG emissions. INDCs represent some step forward from each country–in the words of the Accord, “a progression […]
What do we mean by "economic growth"? Does it always mean more carbon?
The Washington Post recently had a column arguing that even climate advocates and scientists are in denial, for thinking that we can have economic growth and still fight climate change. is that true? It’s useful to take some time to think through what we mean by economic growth and how that relates to carbon emissions. […]
Climate change, ozone and mercury rules all the result of citizen suits
Three sets of Obama Administration’s environmental rules are in the news these days: those on climate change, mercury and ozone. The President is being praised among environmentalists for his ambitious actions and lambasted by some business and Republican leaders for engaging in a “war on coal.” Yet lost among the clamor is one key […]
Ann Carlson and I talk with the New York Times on US politics, Chinese implementation, and the potential impact on India.
Ann Carlson and I talked with Edward Wong from the New York Times last week about the US-China Climate Announcement. We repost the Q&A here. From Edward Wong, NYT: The biggest commitments to come out of President Obama’s recent visit to China involved climate change policy. The leaders of the two nations stood beside each […]
Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted cert. in several cases to hear the following question: “Whether the Environmental Protection Agency unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.” The fundamental issue is whether it was unreasonable for EPA to interpret section 112 to preclude consideration […]
Most people find statistics off-putting — who wants to look at a bunch of numbers? And Statistics courses, which are required for students in many majors, are usually viewed as a painful box to check. But when you put aside the numbers and the technicalities, statisticians also have some simple yet powerful concepts. One of […]
Industry has come up with a Scalia-like argument to fight the proposed climate regulations for existing power plants. The problem arises because Congress passed two different versions of section 111(d) without realizing it. The Senate version clearly gives EPA the authority to regulate CO2 under this provision. But opponents of regulation argue that the House version […]
Symposium in Sacramento, November 17
Please join us as the UC Berkeley School of Law, with stakeholders in the Mono Lake Cases, convenes a symposium in Sacramento on November 17, 2014, to mark the 20th anniversary of the State Water Resources Control Board’s Decision 1631. Panel presentations feature an cast of thought leaders, including: Marty Adams (Los Angeles Department of Water […]
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, […]