Environmental Justice

Standing and the Juliana v. United States Plaintiffs

Sympathetic Plaintiffs Also Help Legally

It’s not news that the 21 children (some now adults) who are suing the United States for the right to a safe and stable climate are sympathetic and telegenic.   They are the primary reason Juliana v. United States has garnered so much attention, including a lengthy, highly positive segment on 60 Minutes.  But the Juliana …

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The Governance of Solar Geoengineering: Managing Climate Change in the Anthropocene

The Governance of Solar Geoengineering: Managing Climate Change in the Anthropocene

My book is now available!

I interrupt my ongoing blog series on new biotechnologies and their governance (1, 2, 3) to announce that my book The Governance of Solar Geoengineering Managing: Climate Change in the Anthropocene is available today from Cambridge University Press. The brief description is: Climate change is among the world’s most important problems, and solutions based on …

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What Do We Know About Environmental Justice?

Not As Much As We Should

If you are not a regular reader of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, you should be. Most economists fetishize what my friend and colleague Steve Bainbridge refers to accurately as “recreational mathematics.” But often, these models add more heat than light, and in any event, function as a private language. Fortunately enough, JEP’s magician-editor Timothy …

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UCLA Law’s Ann Carlson Interviewed on CBS’s 60 Minutes Discussing Juliana v. U.S., Landmark Climate Change Lawsuit

Segment Provides Legal Context for Groundbreaking Children’s Climate Case

Our colleague Ann Carlson appeared on 60 Minutes this past Sunday for a lengthy on-camera interview with Steve Kroft, discussing the Juliana v. U.S. lawsuit filed by Our Children’s Trust. Begun in 2015, the lawsuit has survived several appeals so far, and is headed to oral arguments in June at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Portland, Oregon. …

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Does the Fossil Fuel Industry Support Geoengineering?

Fuel to the Fire

A misleading new report from Center for International Environmental Law and the Heinrich Boell Foundation demeans the discourse

Geoengineering is controversial in the climate change community, and understandably so. Proposed interventions like negative emissions technologies (a.k.a. carbon dioxide removal) and solar geoengineering (a.k.a. solar radiation management or SRM) — which some writers group together as “geoengineering” — involve large-scale intervention in the climate system that could have adverse physical or social impacts. At …

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I’ll Just Be Over Here In My Fallout Shelter

The Green New Deal may be ambitious, but it’s not alarmist.

It would be impossible to react to every piece of misinformation or poor reporting about climate change—let alone every misguided opinion editorial—that lives online today, but Bret Stephens’ February 15 piece in the New York Times strikes me as warranting a response.  That’s not because of the clickbait title (“Is Nancy Pelosi A Climate Skeptic?” …

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What I Wish The Green New Deal Hadn’t Left Out

Greening our infrastructure is part of the solution, but so’s city planning.

While there’s certainly been no shortage of criticism of last week’s Green New Deal resolution, the common line hasn’t been that the resolution doesn’t try to cover enough ground.  On the contrary, it’s been called an everything-but-the-carbon-sink approach; even Trevor Noah devoted a few minutes of the Daily Show to gaping at the proposal’s efforts …

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More Tree-Huggers, Please

The Anti-Environmentalist Epithet Actually Derives From India’s Great Environmental Justice Movement

If you want to insult an environmentalist, the standard go-to is to dismiss them as a “tree-hugger.” But where does the term come from? The answer might surprise you: The term ‘tree-hugger’ originated not as an insult but as a protest tactic. It is said to date back to 1730, when a village of Bishnois …

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What is Environmental Justice, Anyway?

New UCLA Law Review Article Attempts To Connect It To Community Legal Empowerment

I have a new piece out in the UCLA Law Review Discourse. Here’s the abstract: This Article considers Gitanjali Nain Gill’s recent book Environmental Justice in India, the first comprehensive look at India’s National Green Tribunal.  India’s environmental crisis—major international surveys highlight its severe environmental degradation—is of interest to the global public, for no progress on …

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Will There Be a Global Environmental Constitution?

Global Pact for the Environment, draft cover

The potential of a proposed Global Pact for the Environment remains uncertain

The 1990s were the heyday of international environmental lawmaking. The 1992 United Nations “Rio Conference” on Environment and Development catalyzed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Convention on Biological Diversity, and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. The decade also witnessed the launch of the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent as well as protocols  …

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