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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Paper – China’s Growing Energy Demand: Implications for the US

Working Paper Series – Congressional Budget Office Washington, DC. China’s Growing Energy Demand: Implications for the United States. Andrew Stocking Formerly an employee of the Congressional Budget Office; Terry Dinan, Congressional Budget Office. June 2015. Working Paper 2015-05.

“Growing rapidly in recent decades, China’s demand for energy has nearly doubled since 2005—making China the world’s largest consumer of energy. That growth and the energy policies that China pursues increase the level and possibly the volatility of some energy prices, reduce the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing firms in relation to Chinese firms but provide benefits for U.S. consumers, and increase greenhouse gas emissions. This paper examines trends in China’s energy consumption, the implications of those trends for U.S. households and businesses, and policy options that might help minimize adverse effects.”

Independent report for G7 on climate change risks

“A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks”, an independent report commissioned by members of the G7, identifies seven compound climate-fragility risks that pose serious threats to the stability of states and societies in the decades ahead. Based on a thorough assessment of existing policies on climate change adaptation, development cooperationContinue Reading

Urban Tree Canopy Cover and Environmental Justice

Schwarz K, Fragkias M, Boone CG, Zhou W, McHale M, Grove JM, et al. (2015) Trees Grow on Money: Urban Tree Canopy Cover and Environmental Justice. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0122051. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122051 “This study examines the distributional equity of urban tree canopy (UTC) cover for Baltimore, MD, Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Raleigh,Continue Reading

The Board’s Responsibility for Crisis Governance

Trautman, Lawrence J., The Board’s Responsibility for Crisis Governance (June 26, 2015). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2623219 “A clear strategy and implementation plan for reasonably foreseeable industry disasters — before they take place, helps to prevent mistakes made under conditions of severe stress. Low probability but survival-threatening disasters such as the BP Gulf ofContinue Reading

The Little Green Data Book 2015

World Bank – “Welcome to The Little Green Data Book 2015. For 15 years, we have been taking the pulse of development and the environment using more than 50 indicators for more than 200 countries. We strive to update and improve the indicators provided in The Little Green Data Book, so that it continues toContinue Reading

Study predicts mass species extinction

Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction Science Advances  19 Jun 2015: Vol. 1, no. 5, e1400253 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400253 “The oft-repeated claim that Earth’s biota is entering a sixth “mass extinction” depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the “background” rates prevailing between the five previous mass extinctions.Continue Reading

Report documents extensive drought in western states

Follow up to previous posting – California Curtails Senior Water Rights via ProPublica –  California’s Drought Is Part of a Much Bigger Water Crisis. Here’s What You Need to Know, by Abrahm Lustgarten, Lauren Kirchner and Amanda Zamora. June 25, 2015. “Why do I keep hearing about the California drought, if it’s the Colorado RiverContinue Reading

Study – Uncertainty in global groundwater storage estimates

Uncertainty in global groundwater storage estimates in a total groundwater stress framework. Accepted manuscript online: 16 June 2015 Full publication history  DOI: 10.1002/2015 WR017351 “Groundwater is a finite resource under continuous external pressures. Current unsustainable groundwater use threatens the resilience of aquifer systems and their ability to provide a long-term water source. Groundwater storage isContinue Reading

Environmental Monitoring and Ecosystem Management in Oil Sands

Olszynski, Martin, Environmental Monitoring and Ecosystem Management in the Oil Sands: Spaceship Earth or Escort Tugboat? (June 22, 2015). McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law & Policy, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2014. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2621795 “Spurred on by mounting international concern about the environmental impacts of the oil sands and determined toContinue Reading

Report – climate change damage cost at national parks

Adapting To Climate Change in Coastal Parks: Estimating the Exposure of Park Assets to 1 m of Sea-Level Rise Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NRSS/GRD/NRR—2015/916: “In advance of the two-year anniversary of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released a report revealing that national park infrastructure and historic and cultural resources totalling more thanContinue Reading

NASA Study – World running out of groundwater

Quantifying renewable groundwater stress with Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) – accepted manuscript online: 16 June 2015, Full publication history “Groundwater is an increasingly important water supply source globally. Understanding the amount of groundwater used versus the volume available is crucial to evaluate future water availability. We present a groundwater stress assessment to quantify the relationship between groundwaterContinue Reading

Paper – How Not to Save the Planet

Brooks, Thom, How Not to Save the Planet (June 19, 2015). Brooks, Thom “How Not to Save the Planet,” Ethics, Policy & Environment (target article) (Forthcoming). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2620647 “Climate change presents us with perhaps the most pressing challenge today. But is it a problem we can solve? This article argues thatContinue Reading