Extreme Heat

A Total Eclipse of the Heat

The eclipse mania gripping U.S. media and the entire nation is an opportunity to gaze in awe at the climate crisis we’ve unleashed and talk about our collective response.

Millions of Americans traveled this week to the path of totality to hunker down with loved ones and total strangers to gaze upwards at one of the most amazing astronomical events of our lives and share something like a transcendent, spiritual experience. I hope we can collectively reckon with another terrifyingly awesome atmospheric event: the …


Florida is a Climate-Denying Hellscape

Florida lawmakers want to erase climate change from their laws and ban local heat protection ordinances ahead of what could be another summer of record-breaking heat.

Take the latest, science-backed climate policies that are gaining traction in state houses around the country — and then do the exact opposite. That seems to be the Florida playbook for dealing with the climate crisis facing Floridians in the form of rising sea levels and deadly temperatures.  This legislative session, state lawmakers in the …


We Crossed 1.5 C. Did We Breach the Paris Agreement?

Here’s what the recent rise in global temperature means for international climate targets.

If you’re not a climate scientist—and maybe even if you are—reading news headlines this month has been confounding and a little scary. “In First, Earth’s Temperature Breached Key Threshold Over a 12 Month Period” is how the Wall Street Journal put it. “Earth Just Experienced 12 Months Of Global Temperatures Above Critical 1.5C Climate Threshold,” …


Biden Should Declare a National Climate Emergency

The Inflation Reduction Act is working after one year, but it’s not enough. Pres. Biden could supercharge the IRA with more executive action.

People love anniversaries. Or journalists do anyway. So, we’re seeing a lot of news stories assessing the Inflation Reduction Act, which Pres. Biden signed on Aug. 16, 2022. One year on, we have a clearer picture of what we vaguely knew already: the biggest-ever climate law and its robust tax incentives is igniting the clean …


Supreme Court Allows Major State, Local Government Climate Change Litigation to Proceed on Merits

Justices Decline to Intervene in Government Lawsuits Seeking Damages from Fossil Fuel Industry

This week the U.S. Supreme Court gave state and local governments a big–if preliminary–legal win against the fossil fuel industry.  The justices declined to take up numerous cases in which government entities have sued oil, gas and coal companies, seeking compensation for the climate change-related damage the jurisdictions they claim to have suffered, and which …


Two Cheers For CEQA

A recent case shows why the law is so important – and how it can be abused

Even the best and conscientious developers gnash their teeth at CEQA, California’s environmental review law, and one can see why: it can allow NIMBYs to block useful housing and supercharge exclusion. But there’s a reason why the law was passed and why it has persisted, and we saw it three days ago: Trees of Los …


Climate Change and Indian Country

The tribes are on the front lines of climate change.

In light of Native American Heritage Day last Friday, we should also be thinking about the future of the tribes in the era of climate change. Tribes face serious challenges from climate change, but also some potential opportunities. In terms of climate impacts, many tribes are at high risk. Tribes are especially vulnerable to climate …


New Legislation Starts Process of Strengthening Protections for Outdoor Workers

AB 2243’s provisions prompt Cal/OSHA to look at heat and air quality regulations in light of increasing temperatures and poor air quality

Thank you to Jasmine Robinson, Advanced California Environmental Legislation and Policy Advocacy Clinic student, for her research support. Last month, AB 2243 (E. Garcia & L. Rivas, 2022) was chaptered, requiring the California Division of Occupational Health and Safety (Cal/OSHA) to consider adopting rules requiring (1) employers to distribute copies of heat-related illness prevention plans …


Extreme Heat: A Hot Issue in Sacramento

Looking back on the 2021-2022 session, California Legislators made progress on extreme heat, but gaps remain

This post is co-authored by Jasmine Robinson, Advanced Clinic Student, UCLA California Environmental Legislation and Policy Clinic In the midst of a record-breaking heat wave, the California State Legislature wrapped up a legislative session that considered numerous bills on heat mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency. There were some big wins, including a bill to create the …