Politics

Networks of Misinformation

How Anti-Public Health Messages and Activities Spread

Like a virus, misinformation can spread within a population. It has its super-spreaders, just like the coronavirus. It can mutate in ways that make it more contagious. And it can be weaponized. Research into networks of coronavirus-related communication has revealed how both true and false information spread through social media .  Misinformation can spread like …

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What’s the Matter With Bill de Blasio?

The Progressive-Leaning Democrat has more in common with Donald Trump than you might think.

Willful bungling of the coronavirus crisis cuts across ideologies and political parties. That’s the lesson that we learn from the story of Bill de Blasio. He is very different, across many different dimensions, than Donald Trump. But it turns out that he shares something important with Trump: a tendency to place personality over expertise. De …

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Climate Change in the General Election

How much talk about climate are we likely to hear?

Climate change has surfaced as an issue in the Democratic primaries much more than it has in past elections. What’s likely to happen in the general election? Start with Trump. Given his freeform speaking style, he’s likely to at least touch on climate change and fossil fuels from time to time. The question is how …

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Resuscitating Obama’s Environmental Legacy

Trump has had a single-minded focus on eliminating any traces of Obama’s presidency. But it’s not too late to turn the tide.

We’ve now had nearly four years of Trump’s all-out war on environmental protection. Trump has single-mindedly tried  to wipe out every trace of Obama’s legacy.  It’s time to see what’s left of Obama’s achievements. And what could a new President do to revive his legacy? In a Legal Planet post a week before the last …

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Coastal Beaches, Public Access & the Pandemic

Important Legal & Policy Considerations in Closing Beaches to Protect Public Health

As part of America’s steadily growing restiveness over state and local shelter-in-place directives, the issue of government-mandated public beach closures has recently emerged as a particularly contentious issue.  It’s especially prominent now, given that many coastal states are experiencing their first heat waves of 2020. Many Americans are increasingly weary of and angry over public …

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Conservatives versus Lockdowns

Conservatives versus Lockdowns

Spurred on by conservative groups, protesters are demanding that their states go back to business as usual.  This sentiment isn’t limited to the kinds of hotheads who insist on congregating in public during an epidemic, or even to  conservatives like Betsy DeVos who  help to fund these groups and promote their protests. It also includes …

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Asserting “Climate Necessity” in Defense of Civil Disobedience

Giving climate change activists a fair hearing in court

The first Earth Day, fifty years ago, was a product and catalyst of political movements that established bedrock environmental laws in the United States. Without decades of political activism, there would be no Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, or Endangered Species Act, nor would there be vigorous enforcement regimes to carry these laws out. …

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Red States, Blue Governors

Democratic governors in deep red states can only do so much.

Democrats flipped a number of statehouses in the past two years.  In some of those states, the new governors have faced GOP legislatures.  Their travails indicate some of the limits of what a new President could accomplish with a GOP Senate. North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Kansas are three cases in point.  I want to ask …

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Remember “Beautiful, Clean Coal”? Trump Apparently Doesn’t.

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but Trump has stopped talking about coal.

One of Trump’s iconic campaign photos showed him with a sign saying “Trump Digs Coal.”  He vowed to bring back the coal industry. Even after his election, he delighted in photo ops with coal miners ( many of whom turned out to be coal company executives) wearing their helmets. But those days are gone. I …

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Every Day I’m Hustling, Or: What To Do For Earth Day?

Environmental Voter Project’s Election Engagement Is The Best Way To Celebrate The Day

What to do for Earth Day? For me, the answer is obvious: send 2,000 text messages. That is neither as difficult nor as ridiculous as it sounds. I do it most days, actually. For the last several weeks I have been volunteering with the Environmental Voter Project, to me one of the most interesting and …

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