General

Guest Blogger Ken Alex: California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard

Post #2 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the second post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world.  The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] SB 350 (2015) requires that California’s investor and municipal owned utilities provide 50% of their customer’s electricity […]

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: California’s Vision on Climate Change

Post #1 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

California accounts for about one percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. As the Brown Administration enters its final year, I want to set out my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world.  I thank the faculty at Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy, […]

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One Year and Counting

He’s played his cards. Next year, we’ll see how well the other side plays theirs.

In September, Eric Biber and I released a report assessing the state of play in environmental issues 200 days into the Trump Administration, based on an earlier series of blog posts. As we end Trump’s first year, it’s time to bring that assessment up to date. It follows the same outline as the previous report […]

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The Anthropocene and public law

Major doctrinal changes could occur in constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law

In this post, I will discuss ways in which the Anthropocene might affect public law doctrines, focusing on constitutional law, administrative law, statutory interpretation and criminal law. Again, the changes here are driven by three characteristics of the interaction of the Anthropocene with the legal system that I have developed in my prior posts: a […]

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The Anthropocene and private law

Areas such as torts and property will face significant challenges

I’ve posted about how the Anthropocene will see major changes in how humans affect our planet, and how those changes will have major impacts on human society, triggering substantially larger interventions by the legal system in a wide range of individual behavior.  In this post, I want to spin out some of the implications of […]

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The Anthropocene and the legal system

Responding to the Anthropocene will produce pressure for substantial changes in our legal system

In my prior two posts, I discussed how humans are increasingly impairing natural systems on a global scale, and how those impairments of natural systems will have major negative impacts on human societies. How will these changes affect the legal system? The first important point in answering that question is that many of the changes […]

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The science of the Anthropocene

Human impacts on global natural systems are large and diverse

Climate change is well known now as a major impact of humans on the planet.  But climate change is only one of a wide range of ways in which humans are dramatically changing natural systems at the regional, continental and planetary levels. For instance, greenhouse gas emissions are the driver of anthropogenic climate change.  But […]

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Law in the Anthropocene Era

Human impacts on our planet will trigger changes in our legal system

As becomes more and more evident every day, climate change is increasingly a dominant and sometimes devastating factor for human society and natural systems on a global scale. Much has been, and will continue to be, written about how we as a society can reduce the future impacts of climate change and adapt to the […]

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Where the Wild Things Are

For endangered species, don’t think Alaska or Montana. Think Hawaii and California. And Alabama.

When we think about preserving nature in the United States, we tend to think of the country’s great wilderness areas in places like Alaska and the Rockies. We don’t think about Alabama or Puerto Rico, for instance. But in terms of biodiversity protection, this is almost the opposite of the truth. By and large, the […]

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ Most Important Environmental Law Decisions of 2017

Constitutional Issues, Water Law, Native American Rights Dominate Court’s Environmental Docket

Happy New Year! As we move into 2018, let’s take a look back at the most significant environmental law decisions issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 2017. Conventional wisdom is that the second most important federal court in the nation (after the U.S. Supreme Court) is the D.C. Circuit […]

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