The Pro-Environmental Lochner Court

How a conservative Court defended environmental protection a century ago.

Like today’s Court, the Supreme Court a century ago was dominated by conservatives. The Lochner era, from around 1900 to 1935, was named after the most notorious case of that period. The Lochner case, which struck down a maximum hours law for workers, epitomized the conservative Supreme Court of that era.  Yet that conservative Court […]

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Climate Politics Down Under

Australia is leaping from the frying pan into the fire.

Australian climate politics has been strange if not chaotic.  And in terms of climate policy, things seems to be going from bad to worse. This is partly a function of general political upheaval. In an enlightening 2018 paper, three University of Melbourne law professors (Baxter. Milligan, and McRae) traced the developments from 2007 to 2016. […]

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In Defense of Live Carbon II: Subnational Leadership in the Fight Against Tropical Deforestation

From California to Brazil, state and provinces around the world are stepping up to fight tropical deforestation.  They need and deserve more support.

The fires burning in Brazil and the broader Amazon basin have shined a spotlight on the role of forests and land use in the climate change challenge.  For the first time in many years, the fate of tropical forests and their connection to our common future have captured the public imagination around the world.  There […]

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The filibuster and climate change legislation

Should we eliminate the Senate filibuster to advance climate change legislation

As the Democratic Presidential primary season has unfolded, a number of the candidates have argued for eliminating the filibuster in the Senate completely.  (It is currently gone for confirmation of nominations of judges and executive branch officials, but remains for substantive legislation.)  So has former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. One of the key […]

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Why is Newsom vetoing SB 1?

Comparing the Governor’s statements with the text of the bill

The California legislature recently passed SB 1, which would translate into state law a range of federal environmental and worker safety standards that were in place before the inauguration of President Trump to protect against federal roll backs in those areas.  However, Governor Newsom has indicated he will veto SB 1, on the grounds that […]

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A New California-China Cooperation on Climate Change

China and the United States are the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, accounting for some 45 percent of global emissions. The world is unlikely to find a solution to climate change without aggressive action from both. With the Trump administration retreating from climate action, U.S. states and cities are pushing to […]

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Launching the California-China Climate Institute

Welcoming a famous new faculty member and a critical new initiative.

I have two exciting announcements to make.  The first is that Jerry Brown has accepted an appointment as visiting professor at the law school and the College of Natural Resources (CNR) at Berkeley.  That appointment would be exciting enough. But it goes hand in hand with my other news: the public launch of the California-China […]

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Why are automakers fighting Trump’s emissions rollback?

The answer may lie in the electric vehicle investments the industry is busy making

As we move ever deeper into an all-out legal war between California and the Trump Administration over rollbacks of automobile emissions standards (something Ann, Cara, and Julia have been covering very well), I want to explore in a little more depth why the automakers have been so resistant to Trump’s rollback efforts. The auto industry […]

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Defending the Environment, Deep in the Heart of Dixie

It’s not hospitable territory for environmental work, but some law schools are still trying.

National environmental groups tend not to devote many resources to the Deep South.  State governments and often courts are barren ground for environmental arguments.  And.the local activist community is also thin.  Law schools are also fewer in number than in the Northeast or Pacific Coasts.  So what’s going on in those schools in the environmental […]

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Teach Your Parents Well

A view from the Youth Climate Strike in S.F.

Youth Climate Strike signs and the young marchers holding them in San Francisco today were fed up, hopeful, witty and powerful—and offered helpful lessons to those of us entrusted with training the next generation of environmental advocates. Protesters offered concrete green visions (Only 363 offshore wind turbines needed to power the city of San Francisco); […]

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