Culture & Ethics

Economists vs. Environmentalists: Time for Deténte?

You don’t have to love economics to see it as a possible ally.

Cost-benefit analysis has long been the target of environmentalist ire.  But one lesson of the Trump years has been that economic analysis can be a source of support for environmental policy — it is the anti-regulatory forces who have to fudge the numbers to justify their actions.  Most energy and environmental economists are aghast at […]

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What DO You Call Someone Who Rides a Scooter?

The Dangers Of Pigeonholing

  Meredith’s now-classic post on scooters buried within it a crucial question: what do you call someone who rides a scooter? Meredith herself suggested “scooterist” or “scooter-rider.” The hard-working staff here at Legal Planet fiercely debated the issue. I originally thought that the name for someone who rides a “scooter” is…”scooter.” The point is that […]

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Not Quite The Analogy We Wanted

Kurt Vonnegut and Seeming Futility

My rapidly accelerating senility means that I have to catch up on reading I should have done when I was younger. So I just started Kurt Vonnegut’s classic Slaughterhouse Five. And right at the beginning, this exchange jumped out at me. The protagonist tells a big Hollywood producer that he is thinking about writing a […]

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The 2019 Oscars Has a Climate Change Contender

Paul Schrader’s First Reformed nominated for best original screenplay  

Clear your calendar and prepare your popcorn – the 2019 Oscars will be awarded on Sunday night. This year climate change has a contender, and no, it’s not An Inconvenient Sequel. In the category of original screenplay, Paul Schrader has been nominated for First Reformed, a contemporary tale about the struggles of a priest in […]

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The Carbon Emission Upanishad

Can Pseudoscience Be Used To Foster Climate Action?

The new issue of Science has a disturbing but unsurprising report on science under India’s Hindu nationalist government: The most widely discussed talk at the Indian Science Congress, a government-funded annual jamboree held in Jalandhar in January, wasn’t about space exploration or information technology, areas in which India has made rapid progress. Instead, the talk […]

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Straws in the Wind? Climate Change and the GOP.

There are some signs the GOP may finally bestarting to acknowledge the reality of climate change.

Is Republican climate denial starting to crack?  The GOP’s official position has long been that climate change isn’t happening, or if it is, it’s not caused by humans, and anyway it’s not that serious and there’s nothing to be done about.  Three events last week may be signs that this position is starting to weaken. […]

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Trump’s Theory of Law

He probably doesn’t know he has a theory, but he does. It’s shaping his deregulatory agenda..

OK, using the word “theory” in connection with Trump may seem like a stretch.  But he does seem to have an implicit theory of law, which helps explain a lot of his approach to regulatory change. He’s also an intuitive believer in a strong form of the unitary executive. Theories of law can be classified […]

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What’s the Best Way to Motivate Climate Action?

Answers reside deep in the heart of Texas

Texans have a few things to teach policy advocates about the way to incite and bolster political will for climate action at the local level. This is not a claim based on a lack of climate action, but rather because of a new surge of it. The majority of Texans have begun to recognize the […]

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Where Does California Stand On Managing Vehicle Pollution?

4 stories to watch as policymakers aim for cleaner air and safer streets

While California has been a decades-long leader in technologies and policies to reduce smog from cars, the state has in recent years been seriously ramping up efforts to simultaneously deliver cuts to vehicle carbon emissions, one of the state’s most stubborn climate policy challenges. Vehicle pollution poses both long-term risks for climate change and immediate […]

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