Climate Change

Planned Outages, Planning for Resilience, and Reducing Emissions

The power shutoffs begun yesterday by Pacific Gas & Electric across swaths of Northern California, cutting electricity for hundreds of thousands of Californians, are many things: a serious risk for vulnerable and immobilized populations; an economic hit for local businesses; a tremendous inconvenience for everyone; both an outrage and industry best practice, according to Governor …

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Aging Dams, Forgotten Perils

You’ve heard it before but it’s still true: U.S. infrastructure is a mess.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Critical U.S. infrastructure is dilapidated and unsafe. Regulation is week, and enforcement is weaker. Everyone agrees on the need for action, and climate change will only make the problem worse.  but no one seems to do anything about it. Sadly, this has become a familiar story. Take …

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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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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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Welcome to the Next Phase of the Great California-Trump Car Wars

First lawsuit filed, more to come

California didn’t wait long to file its first court challenge to the rules just finalized by the Trump Administration related to California’s GHG and ZEV car emissions standards (discussed here and here by Julia and Ann).  Here’s the complaint filed by California together with 23 other states, along with the cities of LA and NY.  …

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Governance infrastructure for water resilience

Responding to climate change is more perilous than climbing a frozen waterfall in the sun, and requires even more fortitude and balance. Photo Mike Kiparsky.

CLEE comments on Governor Newsom’s water portfolio executive order

Governor Gavin Newsom has directed state agencies to prepare a water resilience portfolio. Executive Order N-10-19 describes a set of broad principles to inform the development of the portfolio, as well as extensive outreach that should accompany the process, which is being conducted on an aggressive timeline. The EO states, correctly, that California needs a …

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American Public Wakes Up, Smells the Coffee

Further evidence of a shift in public opinion on climate change.

As I discussed in a September 9th post, public opinion has been shifting toward greater recognition of climate change and the need to respond.  Much of the evidence came from polls dating back a few months. Further evidence is provided by two polls released this week. People do seem to be waking up to the …

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What Hath California Wrought?

Has California climate policy succeeded? Yes, but it’s complicated.

California’s climate policy have been a success, but quantifying the effects is complicated. It’s harder than it might seem to determine whether a climate regulation has succeeded.  California has clearly hit or exceeded its target for overall carbon emissions reductions under its method of carbon accounting.   But if we ask how much global emissions are …

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Weaponizing Water in Kashmir

India’s legal moves on water put Pakistan on edge

A month after India’s move to exert more direct control over Jammu & Kashmir, the Indian state that occupies part of the larger Kashmir region, the country is also now in a position to exert control – in both illegal and legal ways – over important river waters that Pakistan relies upon to sustain people …

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