Politics

The UnBushes and the Environment

Republican Party

Cruz, Graham, Paul, Rubio & West are all equally hostile to environmental protection.

My post last week discussed Jeb Bush’s environmental record. At this point, there’s something of a free-for-all among candidates hoping to emerge as the Bush alternative – the UnBushes. Five of the remaining candidates announced or likely candidates have served in Congress, so they have scores from the League of Conservation Voters. Some of them are considered more […]

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Abalones and Gulls and Judges, Oh My!

Logo of the Abalone Alliance (and a possible trademark violation)

Comparing the Mono Lake Committee with the Abalone Alliance

For several months now, I have been looking for a good comparison case to the Mono Lake Committee, whose work is one of the great success stories of the modern environmental movement. Why did the Mono Lake Committee succeed when other organizations failed? Lots of organizations had good causes and dedicated leaders: what made Mono […]

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Is Jeb Too Green?

GOP Primary voters may think so.

At this point,  the GOP Presidential field looks like Jeb Bush versus Everyone Else.  (Of course, there’s a big fight over who get’s to play Everyone Else when this particular play opens in Iowa and New Hampshire.) It’s an open question whether Jeb will turn out to be too green for the average GOP primary voter. […]

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Climate Fatigue

You might be tired of climate change. But climate change isn't tired of you.

I gather that people are tired of hearing about climate change.  I’m tired of hearing about climate change, too. Sadly, Nature just doesn’t care  that much about entertaining us.  It’s going to be climate change this year, climate change next year, climate change the year after that . . . But don’t worry, it won’t […]

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Culture Wars at the Supreme Court

Cannon book

A new book examines the roots of judicial conflict in environmental law.

Views on environmental issues are related to broader culture differences.  According to social scientists, environmentalists tend to be egalitarian, believe in harmony with nature, and stress responsibility over autonomy.  Their opponents, who are skeptical about regulation, tend to favor traditional hierarchies, believe in human mastery of nature, and stress autonomy over responsibility. Jon Cannon’s new book, Environment […]

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Carbon Vouchers: A Small-Government Approach to Climate Action

How to limit climate change without giving the Feds enforcement powers or revenue.

What I’m going to sketch here isn’t a zero government approach. But the government’s role is very limited: federal agencies don’t do any enforcement and the government doesn’t touch any revenue from the scheme. So this approach deals with the concern that a carbon tax or something similar would either expand EPA’s ability to abuse […]

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Climate Gag Rules and the First Amendment

gag-tape-silence-censor-630

Are climate gag rules constitutional? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

There have been recent reports about state agencies that forbid employees from discussing climate change.  Since this is obviously a restriction on speech, it’s natural to wonder what the First Amendment has to say on the subject.  The answer depends in large part on the kind of employee speech at issue. Let’s being with a ban […]

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The Case Against Sulking

Let's Destroy the Environment!

States will only lose out if they refuse to cooperate with the Clean Power Plan.

Mitch McConnell has urged states to refuse to submit plans if the Clean Power Plan is upheld by the Court.  He has been accused of inciting lawless behavior on the part of state governments.  Let me come to his defense on this.  (How often do I get to do that??) The states are under no legal obligation […]

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Are California’s New Mandatory Water Restrictions an April Fool’s Day Joke?

Yippee! We win again!

It's Time to Pressure Alfalfa Growers to Stop Wasting Water

Now that Governor Brown has ordered the state’s first mandatory water restrictions, it’s important to keep one number in mind: one-sixth. That is the amount of California water that goes to one crop: alfalfa. It’s a pretty low value crop. And it is not even for human consumption directly; it is used for cattle feed. It […]

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Should the WTO Run International Climate Policy?

WTO Logo

William Nordhaus' New Paper Implies That It Should

Last Thursday, Ethan explained the difficulties with attempting to craft a new international climate treaty, and suggested biting off more snackable chunks to work on the problem piece-by-piece (a recommendation I have also made). Now, hot off the presses, the new American Economic Review features a lead article by William Nordhaus suggesting climate clubs as […]

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