“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” These words, attributed to famed anti-racist activist Angela Davis, permeated my thoughts as I walked through the halls of the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany (referred to as the “COP,” for conference of parties). The major question for this year’s […]
The Paris Agreement. The Clean Power Plan. Geo-Engineering. Trump. And there’s more!
I’m really excited to announce the publication of Climate Change Law: Concepts & Insights (Foundation Press 2017), by Cinnamon Carlarne and me. There are lots of great scholarly tomes on the subject — either monographs or collected volumes. But there really hasn’t been anything that provides a comprehensive introduction to climate law as a whole, […]
We’re slowing improving disaster resilience. But there have been some notable setbacks.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes. The same is true for disasters. We are slowly getting better at mitigating disaster risks. These improvements don’t generally take the form of dramatic breakthroughs. Rather they involve incremental progress on a number of fronts. For instance, homes that were constructed […]
Hawaii completely depended on imported oil and coal. But it has a plan for kicking the carbon habit.
In June, Hawaii adopted a law endorsing the goals of the Paris Agreement and reinforcing its efforts to deal with climate change. Until that law made the news, I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t paid any attention to Hawaii’s impressive record in this area. In fact, Hawaii may get the prize for passing the […]
Ostriches actually don’t hide their heads in the sand, but the Trump administration sure wants to
It’s a myth (of course) that ostriches hide their heads in the sand when they’re afraid. Hiding one’s head is about the worst possible way to react to danger: it won’t make a threat go away, but it will make it awfully difficult to respond effectively. Ostriches are not that stupid. (They apparently do sometimes […]
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 […]
In light of Trump’s actions, foundations and donors need to step up.
If we learned nothing else from Trump’s disavowal of the Paris Agreement, it’s that we can’t count solely on the federal government to deal with the problem of climate change. It’s not a matter of whether we need state government or municipalities or corporations or non-profits – we need all of the above. But private […]
Justices Reject Property Owners’ “Regulatory Takings” Challenge to Seawall Permit Condition
The California Supreme Court today issued its long-awaited decision in Lynch v. California Coastal Commission, rejecting a lawsuit brought by San Diego beachfront homeowners claiming that permit conditions imposed by the Coastal Commission triggered a compensable taking of their private property rights. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Carol Corrigan concluded that the homeowners had forfeited […]
Justices to Hear Oral Arguments in Three Major Environmental Cases This Week
The California Supreme Court currently has approximately twenty pending environmental cases on its docket. This week, the Court’s justices will hear oral arguments in three of the most important of those cases. Taken together, these looming decisions raise important issues concerning the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), federal preemption, climate change mitigation and adaptation, private […]
Looking for people who care about climate change? Try the Pentagon.
Sometimes, it seems like the world is upside down: the head of EPA is a climate skeptic; the head of DOD takes climate change very seriously. But the view of the Secretary of Defense isn’t a fluke. There’s a liong list of Pentagon documents about the risks of climate change, going back over twenty years. […]