Despite the pandemic-induced global economic contraction, deforestation increased last year, with significant increases in the destruction of primary tropical forests.
Earlier this week, the World Resources Institute released its first assessment of global forest loss for 2020, offering a chance to take stock of what happened to the world’s forests during the pandemic. The news is not good. Despite a shrinking global economy, deforestation increased around the world in 2020. In temperate regions, some …CONTINUE READING
The $25 Million Question: How Sonoma County Can Spend Vegetation Management Funds to Bolster Wildfire Resilience
by Ethan Elkind, Ted Lamm, & Katie Segal
How would you spend $25 million to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire through vegetation management? Sonoma County leaders found themselves facing this question and enlisted UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) for help. Today, CLEE is releasing a report with specific recommendations for Sonoma County, which we …CONTINUE READING
A lot will need to be done to undo Trump’s harm to global cooperation. Here’s a start.
Trump’s hostility domestic environmental regulation is notorious. He also stalled or backpedaled on the international front. Here are seven steps that President Biden could take to remedy the situation. Rejoin the Paris Agreement. The U.S. needs to immediately rejoin the Paris Agreement. It also needs to update its climate target, because we can do a …CONTINUE READING
In a new paper, I introduce the international governance of synthetic biology, gene drives, and de-extinction for conservation.
In addition to climate change — the primary topic of my academic writing — biodiversity loss is the other major global environmental challenge. Like climate change, efforts over the last three decades keep failing to meet agreed-upon objectives. And like climate change, scientists and others are considering novel technologies that would intervene in natural systems …CONTINUE READING
My latest article is published by Global Environmental Politics
A set of new biotechnologies are being developed that will force many of us, especially those concerned about biodiversity loss, to re-examine how we understand the relationship between biotechnology and conservation. These are “gene drives,” which would be used to genetically modify, reduce, or eliminate populations of species. My paper “Governing New Biotechnologies for Biodiversity …CONTINUE READING
A special issue on new technologies is now available
I am proud to announce a special issue of Global Environmental Politics on new technologies, edited by Simon Nicholson of American University and me, is now available. We write in the introductory essay: Human beings are at once makers of and made by technology. The ability to wield tools was an essential ingredient in propelling an …CONTINUE READING
Get ready for a rough ride, with sudden weather reversals and climate shifts.
Steady predictable changes in climate and weather would be easier to adapt to. Instead, we may well see some very sudden shifts, both in terms of short-term weather and longer-term climate regimes.CONTINUE READING
New Reports Document Accelerating Wildlife Extinctions, Global Deforestation Trends
While public attention in recent weeks and months has understandably focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice shockwaves triggered by George Floyd’s tragic death, another disaster continues apace. This week the New York Times published two alarming stories documenting the accelerating decline of our global environment. The first, entitled “Extinctions Are Accelerating, Threatening …CONTINUE READING
Ranking the lost landscapes and environmental features
California has a paradoxical history with its environment. On one hand, the state boasts incredible natural beauty, along with a government that is an internationally recognized leader for strong environmental policies. But the state’s residents have also caused severe environmental destruction, particularly in the late nineteenth century — some of which helped spur the mobilization …CONTINUE READING
Sheltering in place during the pandemic has had dramatic impacts on various wildlife, raising questions about our relationship with animals in urban spaces.
Two months into a global pandemic, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on human society. But outside of the monumental human suffering and disruption to our livelihoods, Earth continues to turn at the same rate, and the natural ecosystem continues to operate as it normally does. Except this time, the human influence on the natural environment is …CONTINUE READING