Politics

Grandma Saves The City!

New Data Shows Hope For Affordable Housing In the Most Unlikely Place: Los Angeles

It’s not often that you get some good planning news from Los Angeles, but at least if you believe the City’s numbers, there are some. The Planning Department’s latest housing numbers, from its year-end 2018 Quarterly Report, state that in light of SB 1069 (Wieckowski), which substantially liberalized the construction of Accessory Dwellling Units (ADUs), […]

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Trump’s Campaign to Gag Activist Shareholders

His recent executive order tries to “protect” oil companiy management from smart climate planning.

Exxon management was not pleased when shareholders forced them to produce a report on how climate change would impact their business. In May, Exxon is facing another shareholder vote on whether to form a climate change committee on the Board of Directors and whether to  disclose how sea level rise will impact its investments on the […]

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Journalism and Political Polarization

Reporters Might Hold A Key To Improving Environmental Politics

It’s no surprise that American politics has gotten significantly more polarized over the last three decades, so it stands to reason that legislatures have gotten more polarized as well. But in a recent article in the Journal of Political Economy by James Snyder and David Stromberg, brought to my attention by Professor Seth Masket writing […]

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Can Voter Registration Combat NIMBYism?

Homeless Voting Can Change the Urban Political Calculus

NIMBY land use politics stems from a classic political process failure: the people who would benefit from more housing do not yet live in the jurisdiction where it will be built — and for the most part, do not even know that they will be the ones who will live there. Thus, local officeholders have […]

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Happy Tax Day!

It’s the perfect time to talk about a carbon tax.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that taxes are the prices we pay for a civilized society.  A carbon tax, if we ever get one,  might turn out to be the price we pay for a sustainable planet.  I’m not wedded to it as a tool for cutting carbon, and I don’t think it would […]

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Even Worse Than Duke

San Francisco Takes NIMBYism to a New Level

A few years ago, an episode of South Park saw Cartman attempting to rescue Kyle in San Francisco from a SMUG  alert. It was, as it is so often, ahead of its time: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously rejected a 63-unit apartment complex, including 15 below-market-rate units, because it would cast […]

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Goodbye, Cleveland!

Newspaper Collapse Threatens The Environment: Universities Need To Fill The Gap

In 1970, Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River famously caught fire. This past week, we have seen an even worse environmental disaster for the city: The Plain Dealer on Monday laid off 14 newsroom employees as part of a staff reduction first announced in December. The 14, most of them reporters and all members of Local 1 of […]

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Reviving LBJ’s Vision

Maybe What We Need is a Green Great Society

Talk about a Green New Deal is rife these days, but perhaps what we should be talking about instead is a Green Great Society. Actually, Lyndon Johnson’s vision of the great society was green from the get-go, so maybe we could just call for a renewed Great Society. What the Great Society is known for […]

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Ray of Hope in Eastern Europe

Environmental Issues Help Foster Victory for Democratic Forces

The world got some very good news yesterday when political newcomer Zuzana Caputova, a political newcomer, won a smashing victory in Slovakia’s President elections. Unlike the right-wing authoritarians like Hungary Viktor Orban and Poland’s Law and Justice Party, which have dominated east European politics in recent years, Caputova, is a political liberal, strongly committed to […]

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April, Fools, and Climate Change

Originally, an April Fool was someone who didn’t realize the times are changing.

April Fool’s jokes are a curious tradition, and I started to wonder where this custom came from. The origins of April Fool’s Day aren’t known with certainty, but there’s reason to connect it with blindness to change. In 1582, France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. This meant that the year began […]

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