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“Scientists Announce That Humanity Can Afford to Burn Twice as much Carbon as Previously Thought.”   File that thought among headlines-you-never-saw-in-the-New-York-Times.  But buried in Eduardo  Porter’s  Economics Scene column last month endorsing nuclear power as mitigation for global warming was just such a suggestion. Porter cites an “authoritative new study” for the proposition that  ”humanity […]

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Over the past two decades, some coherence in the federal environmental legal system has been achieved, but climate change now demands a stronger legal framework ensuring that federal, state, and local agencies work together to leverage available resources. Despite this imperative, recent legislation in North Carolina prohibiting the State Coastal Resources Commission from defining sea […]

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Open Space Law: Sequestration

The last two decades witnessed a surge in adopting local and state open space protection laws and strategies. These techniques are now being examined as capable of protecting and enhancing the sequestering environment, which captures and stores from 15 to 20 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions. This blog post is adapted from my […]

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From Coal & Oil To Gas

Debates are raging in states underlain by shale gas formations, triggering arguments about the economic, health, and environmental impacts of a seemingly more climate-friendly source of energy. As we move from coal and oil to gas, countless decisions must be made about which level of government in our legal system should regulate which aspects of […]

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During the past twenty years, sustainable development law has come of age, with an increasing number of law firms, public officials, and scholars viewing environmental, land use, real estate, energy, and other related fields of law as an integrated area of policy, practice, and scholarship: one that is capable of achieving impressive gains in energy […]

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The per se taking doctrine of Lucas and the less-than-certain projections of sea level rise hinder the use of land use and environmental regulations in preventing and mitigating development on coastal properties threatened with gradual inundation and sudden storm damage.  In these areas, the regulatory approach may have to yield to more flexible negotiations regarding […]

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The advent, beginning roughly in 1992, of local environmental law is adding expansive bottom-up land use strategies to top-down environmental law: local strategies that now constitute an accepted area of practice and scholarship.[1] Critics of any attempt to solve the problems of sea level rise and climate change at the local level have a point: […]

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I watched Bill McKibben’s movie about his “Do the Math” Tour last night, and got to watch some of my good friends and personal environmental heroes getting arrested for civil disobedience protests against the Project XL pipeline. McKibben’s “Do The Math” campaign draws on the civil rights protests against 1960s segregation as well as the […]

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From One to Many American Dreams

In 1992, families with children predominated, creating a market for single-family, single-lot homes in suburban greenfields—the American Dream; 2013 sees a different market emerging of younger and smaller households, most of whom seek rental apartments or smaller for-sale homes in urban places, while cities learn to create sustainable neighborhoods to accommodate a new settlement pattern […]

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While New York and New Jersey recover physically from Tropical Storm Sandy, law professors and practitioners are examining the adequacy of the legal system to respond to worsening storms associated with climate change.  Legal Issues in Managed Coastal Retreat was the name of a forum on the topic at Columbia Law School on March 28th. […]

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