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On The Environment

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Nature’s Rights in Practice: Envisioning Sustainable Communities and Economies

In her October 20 webinar,Nature’s Rights in Practice,’ Linda Sheehan made it painfully clear that environmental laws in the US are founded on outmoded principles: Most of them still embody the concept that nature is separate from – and exists in order to serve – human needs.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Climate Change Vet Cameron Explains How He’s Learned from Failure

When James Cameron – now director of Climate Change Capital – was a law student. Greenpeace asked for his help on a research project. Could the US be sued in an international court of law for not acting on a newfound environmental problem largely caused by fossil fuels: climate change?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Yale Law students ask California Governor Brown to halt fracking

Last month I delivered a letter to California Governor Jerry Brown when he visited Yale Law School. Signed by twenty-two members of the Yale Environmental Law Association, the letter asks Governor Brown to place an indefinite moratorium on the use of unconventional oil extraction techniques such as fracking.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Post-Communist Landscape: Mother Latvia and her Sustainable Countryside

In this guest post Avana Andrade, a second-year MEM candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental studies, writes about her summer in Latvia working for the Baltic Environmental Forum (BEF) on its grasslands restoration project, VivaGrass.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Plodding Toward Paris: UN Climate Negotiations Summer 2014

As if somehow aware of the arrival of over ten thousand diplomats, researchers, and observers focused on climate change, the weather in Bonn, Germany turned a humid and hot 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the June 2014 international climate negotiations. While participants cleared security and swiped badges to enter the air-conditioned halls of the Hotel Maritime, the contrast stood out starkly between the “weirding” climate outside, and climate-controlled world of international policy inside.

News

Of 178 countries and principalities, Thailand rates 78th overall, right in the middle. In Southeast Asia it's behind Malaysia and Singapore but ahead of the other nations. For air quality, Thailand rates 145, which is near the bottom, but not as low as India or China, which are in the basement.
Clouds of smoke rise above mounds of burning rags and garbage, engulfing the area in unbearable smog and stench. Splendid cars carrying well-groomed passengers pass by the mess. How would the passengers take notice of this open dumpsite? The windowpanes are rolled up and appear to be hazy with the vapour created by artificial air-cooling systems within the cars. The comfort takes us to a world where no smog, no stench can ever reach us, or so we wish.

For this #MapMonday we return to Yale’s Environmental Performance group, featured previously here on #MapMonday. The newly released biodiversity map brings together a whopping amount of data to detail the state (quality not just quantity) of species around the world, and while the staggering diversity of life on our planet is breathtaking (and sometimes pretty weird), the overall picture is grim.
Recent weeks have seen unprecedented action on climate change. The European Union recently announced a plan to slash carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030 and the United States and China, the world's two largest emitters, have pledged to make their own dramatic cuts. Yet for all the fanfare, no nation can hold a candle to the climate policy of Denmark, whose ambitious approach to combating global warming could provide an international model for clean development.
Only 5 percent of Kenya has major tree cover today, so it might be surprising to learn that it has some of the oldest national parks in the history of the conservation movement. In 1900, after the first landmark international conference of African wildlife in London, the Southern and Northern Game Reserves were formally created by a colonial government.
After two decades of international meetings on climate change have failed to reach consensus, the environmental world is beginning to sense a change in direction. The impacts of climate change no longer are being projected, they are being observed and measured, especially by those with the most to lose: corporations, cities and states.
The prevalence of pesticides may seem like something of a bygone era, one marked by Silent Spring and the Bhopal Disaster, but the grim reality is that they are unfortunately very much around. Whether it is BPA in your water bottle or neonicotinoids decimating bee populations, action has not been uniform.
At the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday in New York, President Obama issued a strong challenge to the Beijing leadership. China and the US “have a special responsibility to lead” on climate change, he said. “It’s what big nations have to do.” Obama said he had talked directly with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli at the summit (President Xi Jinping did not attend) and urged the two countries to work together to cut global greenhouse gas emissions.
With a September 22 Op-Ed in the New York Times, YCELP Faculty Director Dan Esty proposes a new framework for "sealing the deal" on climate policy.


Vanessa Hauc interviews Professor Dan Esty and actress and activist Maggie Grace to see why they are hopeful about progress in renewables.

Click here to watch the video.


Upcoming Events

Climate Risk and Opportunity

Thursday, February 19 | 06:10PM
Please join us Thursday, February 19, for a conversation with Kate Gordon of Next Generation.
LOCATION: Room 129, Yale Law School | 127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT

New Directions in Environmental Law: Harnessing Momentum

Saturday, February 28 | 08:30AM
A Conference by the Yale Environmental Law Association
LOCATION: Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies | 195 Prospect St., New Haven, CT


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