Climate Change

Dear 1L . . . .

Welcome to law school. You’re just in time to help save the world.

Dear 1L: You’ve gotten to law school at a crucial time for the future of the planet. The good news is that you’re arriving at a pivotal point when your work as a lawyer can make a big difference. The bad news is that we have a limited amount of time to get the situation …

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Tackling Agricultural Methane: Monitoring and Policy Strategies

A review of inventory, monitoring, and regulatory tools needed to reduce agricultural methane emissions

(This post was authored by Eric Peshkin, a JD candidate at NYU School of Law and CLEE summer research assistant) Last week, global leaders announced a commitment to reducing global methane emissions. In a previous blog post, I briefly reviewed some of the innovative strategies to reduce methane emissions from agricultural livestock and rice operations, …

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Greening the Land of Lincoln

Illinois passes pathbreaking energy law.

Last week, Illinois’s governor signed into law a major piece of climate legislation. The law deserves more attention than it has received.  Sadly, however, Illinois seems to be something of a neglected stepchild in the media. That’s a pity, because there are some important lessons in Illinois’s experience, both for the Midwest and the country …

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Tackling Agricultural Methane: An Overview of the Science

Promising strategies and technologies to address an urgent climate priority

(This post was authored by Eric Peshkin, a JD candidate at NYU School of Law and CLEE summer research assistant) Agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the raising of livestock and growth of crops for human consumption represent 14% of global GHG emissions. Methane (CH4) is a central GHG generated during agricultural production (via microbial …

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California’s Recall Election Has Serious Climate and Environmental Implications

A new governor wouldn’t disrupt core mandates but could redirect spending and priorities

(Many thanks to my colleagues Ken Alex, Louise Bedsworth, Jordan Diamond, Nell Green Nylen, and Katie Segal for their contributions.) On September 14, California will hold a gubernatorial recall election to decide two questions: 1) whether to remove Governor Gavin Newsom from office; and if a majority of voters choose removal, 2) who will replace …

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What if someone just does it?

A scenario exercise on unauthorized use of solar geoengineering

Note: This post is co-authored with Jesse L. Reynolds, who recently completed an Emmett Institute Geoengineering Governance Fellowship As the climate crisis grows more urgent, unconventional technological responses are getting increased attention and controversy. We’ve written previously on Legal Planet about these technologies and their promise and risks. The most high-stakes and controversial of these …

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What If We Succeed?

If we “beat” climate change, what will we have to show for it?

Suppose we bring climate change under control and deal with its fallout. What will have we achieved? We will have prevented great harm. That, of course, is the main goal. Untamed climate change means an dangerous, ugly future for all of us on “Spaceship Earth.” Preventing that future is surely enough of a reason to …

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The Recall

Here are the replacement candidates’ views on climate.

With the California recall election coming up a month from now, it’s time to take a look at the candidates. The environment hasn’t been a signature issue for incumbent, Gavin Newsom, but he has strongly supported climate action.  Now let’s take a look at who might replace him. It’s hard to know who, out of …

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Hot off the Press: The New IPCC Report

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 …

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A Sleeper Provision in the Senate Infrastructure Bill

The bill gives the Feds broad authority to authorize transmission projects.

We will need a much more robust transmission in coming years.  Sources of renewable energy, such as Iowa wind farms, are often located far from the urban centers that need the power. Transmission also helps to deal with weather issues that may impact renewables: even if it’s too cloudy for solar in one state, the …

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