ELI In the News
A top White House climate adviser denounced "fiscally irresponsible repeat spending on disaster after disaster" and said the government should improve the nation's resilience to floods and other perils. David Hayes, President Biden's special assistant for climate policy, says in a new article that the Federal Emergency Management Agency should encourage states to develop "climate resilience plans" to help them incorporate risks from warming into disaster recovery. . . .
President-elect Joe Biden ran his campaign, in part, on a promise to fight climate change. But climate isn’t the only crisis in town. The world also faces biodiversity losses on a massive scale. In 2019, the United Nations put out a report documenting the current biodiversity crisis, noting that 1 million animal and plant species could be at risk of extinction. And, just as with climate, the Biden administration could take action to protect biodiversity, conservationists say. . . .
Federal courts could stand in the way of President-elect Joe Biden's efforts to undo the Trump administration's environmental rollbacks and stymie any efforts to take bold climate action, legal experts say. Biden's team will need to quickly develop a nimble courtroom strategy, first deciding what to do about the dozens of Trump environmental rules currently tied up in litigation. And the incoming administration will have to tread carefully in promulgating any new, far-reaching climate regimes, recognizing that it faces a court system with more than 230 Trump appointees — including a new 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court. "The question that the Biden administration is really going to face is how to engage in rulemaking in the shadow of the Supreme Court," UCLA School of Law professor Ann Carlson said during a recent panel discussion hosted by the Environmental Law Institute. . . .
I was raised in the segregated Deep South in Jackson, Miss., and was not yet 12 in 1963, when Bull Connor used firehoses and snarling dogs in an effort to prevent students from demonstrating outside of Birmingham’s City Hall. In June of that same year, civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, was assassinated in Jackson. Later that fall, four African-American schoolgirls, ages 11 to 14—Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Carol McNair—were killed by a white supremacist who bombed their Birmingham church during Sunday morning services. The following summer, civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were found dead, buried in an earthen dam in Mississippi. . . .
Initial data indicate ride-hailing isn’t as good for the environment as many assumed, at least not in its current form. With a focused, practical bent, Joshua Skov, an instructor of management and sustainability at the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon, and his colleagues sought to disentangle ride-hailing from other sources of carbon emissions in community-scale greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories. . . .
Since time immemorial, the Inuit were solely responsible for managing Arctic resources. A new multi-year study published last month looks at ways to once again put traditional knowledge and Indigenous people in the driver's seat of marine management decisions. "There is a very strong sense that Indigenous people have a very deep understanding of our ecosystem that western science or people do not have," said Mary Peltola, an advisory member on the project as well as the director of Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission in Bethel. "This is not one person or a faction of people, this is unanimous from people.". . .
This week, thousands of people will convene (virtually) for the Global Bioeconomy Summit, a biennial event normally held in Berlin to discuss emerging opportunities and challenges of the bioeconomy. Many anticipate the biotechnology market to be worth $727.1 billion by 2025, so events like these are capturing the increased attention and active involvement of government agencies that may be key to driving growth in multiple economic sectors in the future. As public and private sector investments ramp up, what exactly can we expect in terms of new applications and products? . . .
On November 7, Joe Biden was projected to become President-elect. This news alert provides a high-level review of issues to watch and changes to expect in a Biden administration. Although the makeup of the Senate is not yet entirely clear, it seems that there will not be a change in Senate leadership and that the House will remain under Democratic control. The ultimate fate of the Senate majority will be decided on January 5, 2021 with the runoff of the two Georgia Senate Seats. For the Democrats to become the majority, they would need to prevail in both Senate races. . . .
The most deadly, destructive and widespread catastrophic-scale forest fires in Oregon’s history erupted on Labor Day this year, driven by strong east winds. Unless we change how our national and state forests are managed, these events will be just one more chapter in this age of predictable, increasing and ever-greater firestorms. I spent my career studying forest fires and forest health. In a 2018 Daily Caller interview, a few weeks before the California Camp Fire destroyed the town of Paradise, I said: "You take away logging, grazing and maintenance and you get firebombs." Then someone took my quote, put it on a forest fire photo and posted it from the ruins of Paradise. The resulting meme quickly went viral on Facebook. . . .
Under President Donald Trump, the federal government has rushed into a deregulation push unlike anything longtime environmental advocates say they have ever seen. The changes, including rollbacks to landmark rules on issues such as clean air and endangered species, go beyond familiar partisan seesawing between Republican and Democratic leadership. “On some level, the administration .... see(s) this as perhaps a generational opportunity to remake what the federal role in environmental protection is about,” said James McElfish, a senior attorney at the Environmental Law Institute. . . .