sea level rise
How much does zero emissions warming commitment matter, and what are its political implications?
The world is gathering soon in Glasgow to debate how to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. But what happens when we achieve the goal of zero carbon dioxide emissions from human actions? Does the climate keep warming, stay the same, or even cool? It turns out this is a critical question for …CONTINUE READING
The latest science confirms the need for urgent action.
The IPCC issued the massive first volume of its new report on climate change on Monday. This volume focuses on climate science: how much will the world warm, and what will the impacts be? The bottom line is that the evidence is becoming ever firmer that (a) humans are causing an unprecedented rate of climate …CONTINUE READING
State and Local Governments’ Common Law-Based Lawsuits Against the Energy Industry Are Steadily Gaining Traction
The latest chapter in American climate change litigation has been launched by local governments–and one state–across the U.S. against domestic and international fossil fuel companies. These lawsuits have been brought under one of the oldest and most venerable legal doctrines–state common law. They seek compensation from the energy industry for the myriad, adverse effects of …CONTINUE READING
With a nudge from its courts, Massachusetts is pushing back against Trump’s climate agenda.
Even in 2006, it was clear that climate change is a serious threat to Massachusetts. That year, in its path-breaking decision on climate change, the Supreme Court gave Massachusetts standing to challenge the Bush Administration’s refusal to regulate greenhouse gases. The basis for standing was impact of sea level rise on the state. It now …CONTINUE READING
Center for Ocean Solutions Releases Consensus Statement and Report on the Public Trust Doctrine, Sea Level Rise, and Coastal Land Use in California
Report Analyzes State Public Trust Responsibilities on the Coastline, Coincides With Coastal Commission Staff’s Release of Draft Residential Adaptation Policy Guidance
UPDATE (September 1, 2017): The statement’s drafters have provided a link (shared at the end of the post) for California attorneys who wish to sign on to the statement discussed here. Last month, a group of public trust and coastal land use experts, working under the auspices of the Center for Ocean Solutions, released two …CONTINUE READING
An octopus in a parking garage? It’s a sign of the times.
Jim Cason, the GOP mayor of Coral Gables, Florida, wants us to talk about climate change: “‘We’re looking to a future where we’re going to be underwater, a great portion of South Florida,’” Cason said. ‘For all of us down here, this is really not a partisan issue. We see it. We see the octopus in …CONTINUE READING
The Implications of the Decision to Fire Charles Lester – and the Decision Not to Explain It
As Rick Frank insightfully discussed earlier this week, the California Coastal Commission has fired its former executive director, Charles Lester. Readers interested in more background information and analysis should read Rick’s post, as well as the excellent reporting by Tony Barboza and others from the LA Times. (And anyone who wants to hear about it …CONTINUE READING
New expert report offers recommendations for shoreline armoring management
As California’s beach goers and residents well know, erosion and climate change are already impacting the California coastline. Eighty percent of California’s coast is actively eroding, and the latest science projects that sea levels may rise up to 5 additional feet along much of the coast by the end of this century. Higher sea levels …CONTINUE READING
Implementing CA’s Innovative Sea Level Rise Planning Database
Higher sea levels are already affecting California’s 3400 miles of coastline, millions of coastal residents, economy, buildings, and critical infrastructure. Yet, oddly enough for a state that is a worldwide leader in climate change mitigation, California has only recently begun to focus seriously on sea level rise adaptation. Recent reports have cited a lack of preparedness …CONTINUE READING
Is Increased Reliance on the Public Trust Doctrine an Essential Part of Effective State Adaptation Policy?
I often tell students in my Climate Change Law and Policy course that adaptation–that is, how we can best adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change–is the poor stepchild of the debate over greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. By that I mean that climate change mitigation (i.e., how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions) generates far more …CONTINUE READING