Cars, Obama and Climate Change

There’s big news coming out of Washington and Detroit this week about the fate of U.S. automakers.  Rumors surfaced yesterday that G.M. will furlough its U.S. factories for most of the summer due to declines in auto sales.  And the Obama Treasury Department is said to be pressuring Chrysler to prepare for bankruptcy, to be filed as …

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Flexing Obama’s administrative muscle (& a victory on home furnaces)

Just after the election, the environmental group Earthjustice published a list of six easy things the Obama administration could do to help the environment.  On the list was the suggestion that Obama back off from defending Bush-era failures to ramp up the efficiency of home furnaces–a topic that sounds narrow but has remarkable implications for saving …

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Climate Mitigation and U.S. Self-Interest

Jody Freeman and my colleague Andrew Guzman have posted an important paper, “Sea Walls are Not Enough.” The paper is particularly significant because Jody is now a senior White House advisor on climate policy.  The gist of the paper is this: We demonstrate that even if one accepts that the premises of the climate change …

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“Nature,” not nature, makes us happier

Yale professor of psychology Paul Bloom published an essay this week in the New York Times Magazine arguing that the pleasure that “real natural habitats” provide to humans is a significant argument for “preservation” of these habitats.  The essay was deeply unsatisfying to me, as it avoided all the hard questions that anyone grappling with the …

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The death of Macho B

Jaguars, the largest new-world cat species, are extremely rare in the United States. The US-Mexico border region marks the very northern edge of their range. They were thought to have been extirpated from the US until one was seen in Arizona in 1996. That, together with a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, prodded …

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Make a Gift for Mother Earth

This blog is a joint product of six centers.  Each of the centers does pioneering work on the legal and policy issues that need to be solved if our planet is going to have a sustainable future.   Consider commemorating Earth Day by making a gift to support our work. It’s easy to do.  The list …

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Nanopolicy Bumps in California

California continues to lead the way nationally on nanotechnology regulation, despite some bumps along the way.  Most recently, the Department of Toxic Substances Control issued a request for information regarding analytical test methods, fate and transport in the environment, and other relevant information from manufacturers of reactive nanometal oxides.   Substances covered include aluminum oxide, silicon …

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Waxman-Markey hearings

As Dan mentioned in his post yesterday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding hearings through Friday on the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, dubbed The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.  Climate Progress has the schedule here. The hearings can be viewed live or after the fact at the Committee’s website, here.

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Getting to the root of recurring water conflicts

This post is co-authored by A. Dan Tarlock, Distinguished Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law, and cross-posted by permission from the Island Press Eco-Compass blog. The western United States is characterized by highly variable and seasonal rainfall patterns. To deal with the constant threat of drought, the West relies on intensively managed water …

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Climate Change Legislation: Is the Train (Finally) Leaving the Station?

I posted yesterday about Rep. Boehner’s bone-headed statement about climate change.  My first thought was that this was completely idiotic, making a childish argument that even George W. Bush would have scorned.    The fact that some CO2 is normal and even necessary proves nothing about what happens when concentrations go beyond the normal level: salt …

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