Are Front Lawns Unconstitutional?

In California, They Are

Textually, this is not difficult. Article X Section 2 of the California Constitution reads: The right to water or to the use or flow of water in or from any natural stream or water course in this State is and shall be limited to such water as shall be reasonably required for the beneficial use …

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How Much Rain is L.A. Capturing?

Local measures like Measure W are working. But more needs to be done to capture stormwater and rainwater.

At least nine atmospheric rivers blasted California between December 20th and January 15th, causing flooding and extensive damage, while also delivering much needed precipitation to our parched state. The Los Angeles County Public Works Department announced recently that more than 33 billion gallons of stormwater have been captured in the early months of the winter …

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50 Years Ago: Environmental Law in 1973

Five decades back, the country was in the midst of unprecedented environmental ferment.

1973 was at the crest of the environmental surge that swept the United States half a century ago.  In the previous three years, Congress had passed NEPA, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act. The first EPA Administrator took office in 1971. Continuing the legislative wave, 1973 saw the passage of the Endangered …

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Unraveling Hydrogen: Part I

The first in a series that examines the hype around hydrogen production.

For over a century, supporters of hydrogen energy have billed H2 as the fuel of the future. In his 1874 novel, The Mysterious Island, Jules Verne wrote that “water will one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen which constitute it, used singly or together, will furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and …

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Here’s a New Acronym: CBAM. You’re Going to be Seeing It a Lot.

European Union flag

The EU has taken a major step to pressure global industries to clean up their act.

In December, the EU provisionally adopted a carbon tariff on imports. The official name is the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, or CBAM for short. The purpose of the mechanism is that EU companies, unlike many in other countries, have to pay a price for the carbon emitted in manufacturing. They need a border adjustment to …

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Tightening the Net

Rainbow fishing nets in Malta

Tackling climate procrastination by closing the loopholes in ‘net-zero’ climate goals

The global stampede to adopt net-zero climate goals continues unabated. As a goal net-zero is achieved when any residual carbon emissions are counter-balanced fully by dedicated carbon removal. Delivered at a global level, this would stabilise global temperatures. Almost 70% of states (accounting for 90% of the world’s economic activity) have adopted net-zero goals, as …

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…In Which I Attempt To Read My Water Bill

Failure To Install Smart Water Meters Is Wasting Billions of Gallons Each Year

I felt at least decently about myself when I paid my water bill recently, because I was told that my usage was somewhat better than other people in my neighborhood (which is a low bar, but you take what you can get). But when I tried to figure out why it was better, I got …

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The fight over California’s greenhouse gas and ZEV car standards continues

UCLA Clinic files amicus brief on behalf of Sen. Carper and Rep. Pallone to uphold standards

Of the many achievements of California’s legendary legislator Fran Pavley, one of the most remarkable is then-Assemblywoman Pavley’s modest bill, AB 1493, which directed California to become the first jurisdiction in the country to control greenhouse gas emissions from cars.  That bill, introduced in 2001 and passed the next year, told the California Air Resources …

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The Obesity Pandemic

It’s a global phenomenon, with poorly understood causes. But there’s no point in blaming the victims.

I’ve written in the past about the American obesity epidemic. Obesity rates have continued to climb in the United States, though the rate of increase has leveled out. But obesity is also on the rise globally. The obesity rate has increased everywhere. In nine countries, at least one out of five people is now obese: …

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Is Bipartisanship Possible?

An image of the U.S. Capitol Building in the evening.

It’s not easy in today’s polarized politics. But maybe it’s not completely off the table.

We are now, as so often, in a time of divided government. That makes bipartisan cooperation necessary. We are also in a time of hyper-partisanship.  The problem may be compounded by the concessions made by McCarthy to the far Right in order to become Speaker.  Nevertheless, there may be some opportunities for cooperation across party …

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