Land Use

An Abundance Research Agenda

If we need to build lots of things fast to address climate and housing crises, how will we do that?

There’s been a lot of buzz about this column by Ezra Klein in the New York Times.  Klein’s basic argument: We need to do a lot of infrastructure and other development projects to make the world a better place.  For example, we’ll need to build power lines and renewable projects to address climate change.  But …

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Income-targeted environmental policies, Episode 2

Affordable housing and the Transit-Oriented Communities program

This is the second post in a short series on income-targeted environmental policies. You can read the first post, introducing the concept of “Area Median Income,” here. In this second part of my series on income-targeted environmental programs, I want to talk about affordable housing, and one particular housing program, Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC). TOC has …

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My Kind of Town

Climate change is coming to Chicago and Lake Michigan.

“My kind of town, Chicago is my kind of town.” Or so Frank Sinatra sang. I’m not sure he really felt that way himself, but the song rings a chord with me.  I didn’t grow up in Chicago but we visited frequently to see my parents’ families. Chicago is also, as it turns out, ground …

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Turning Wildfire Treatment Debris Into Marketable Wood Products

New report & May 9th webinar offer solutions to reduce emissions and improve wildfire resilience

Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) and UCLA Law’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change & the Environment are releasing today a new policy report: Branching Out: Waste Biomass Policies To Promote Wildfire Resilience and Emission Reduction. The report offers solutions to develop a sustainable market for the residual waste material generated …

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Before Yellowstone: The Arkansas Origin of National Parks

In a forgotten incident, Congress set aside Hot Springs in 190 years ago.

The origins of the national park system is usually traced back Lincoln’s 1864 signature of the Yosemite Grant Act.  But Congress had actually had the idea of protecting extraordinary places over thirty years earlier, in Arkansas of all places. Hot Springs isn’t high on the list of American places to see, which may be one …

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Why Energy Conservation Will Remain Crucial

Even after switching to clean power, we’ll still need to limit energy use.

If we switch to renewables, we won’t need to worry about saving energy. Right? Wrong! One reason to save energy is to limit carbon emissions from the energy we  use. That’s going to important until the energy system has been completely cleaned up. But energy conservation is important for reasons that go beyond the direct …

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Olá Jeff

Governor of Amazonas calls on Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos (and other wealthy business leaders) to invest in a sustainable tropical forest economy

A new video from the governor of Amazonas kicks off with an informal salutation: “Olá, Jeff.” Directed at Jeff Bezos, the founder and former CEO of Amazon, the video is narrated in the voice of the Amazon rainforest and contrasts the activities and value of the mega corporation with that of the world’s largest tropical …

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Governors Launch Action Plan to Reduce Deforestation and Improve Lives in Forested Regions

Wilson Lima, Governor of Amazonas and chair of the GCF Task Force 12th Annual Meeting, introduces the Manaus Action Plan alongside other governors and high-level representatives. Photo credit: GCF Task Force

Manaus Action Plan for a New Forest Economy advances ambitious action at Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force 12th Annual Meeting hosted by state of Amazonas

For more than a decade of leadership and innovation, member states and provinces of the Governors’ Climate and Forests (GCF) Task Force have been developing strategies, programs, investment plans, and new legal structures to address tropical deforestation, embark on a low-emissions development path, and benefit their populations and the climate. These governments have developed jurisdiction-specific, …

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Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force Kicks Off Annual Meeting in Heart of the Amazon Basin

The Amazon and Rio Negro rivers meet in Manaus, Brazil

12th Annual Meeting of GCF Task Force hosted by Governor of Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil, March 15-18, 2022

This week, on the banks of the largest river system in the world, Governors, environment secretaries and civil servants, Indigenous peoples and local community leaders, national governments, the private sector, and partner organizations will be meeting to discuss innovative partnerships and solutions to the threat of tropical deforestation at the 12th Annual Meeting of the …

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It’s Not All CEQA’s Fault

Public process can actually be pretty important.

I first wrote a version of this post way back in July 2021, when Ezra Klein dropped a couple of lines knocking the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) into one of the op-eds The New York Times loves to perennially run about how California is actually the worst (I’m sorry it can’t be 80 degrees …

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