The Environmental Forum

Volume 35 Issue 6

November-December 2018

This issue's articles are available below.

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"No Ordinary Lawsuit"

LEAD FEATURE ❧ Youth plaintiffs in Oregon are suing the federal government for climate inaction — one of many similar suits around the country and the world. Litigation based on the public trust doctrine can be difficult to win, but Millennials are speaking out about an issue that profoundly affects them.

By Barry E. Hill
Vermont Law School

With SIDEBARs from an activist professor and a pundit at the Pacific Legal Foundation.

A Voluntary Federal Framework

CENTERPIECE ❧ Establishing a nationwide system for carbon reporting and an offset exchange will empower states, municipalities, and businesses to decrease emissions while increasing investment in clean energy and improving transparency and accountability.

By Charles Hernick
Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions

With a SIDEBAR from the American National Standards Institute.

Reconstruct an Administrative Agency

COVER STORY ❧ By examining the structures that Scott Pruitt dismantled during his tenure at EPA, the agency’s mission comes into focus and a blueprint for rebuilding its functions is revealed — if successor Andrew Wheeler likes the shape intended by the pollution statutes’ drafters.

By Joseph Goffman

With SIDEBARs from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a small-business group.

A Life of Quality

TESTIMONY ❧ I started at EPA just after the Clean Water Act was passed and have helped to implement it at the federal and state levels ever since. Now retiring as executive director of the Rivanna Conservation Alliance in central Virginia, I have come to realize that government policymakers can learn a lot by studying solutions worked out at the watershed level.

By Robbi Savage
Rivanna Conservation Alliance
The Time for Abatement Alone Is Passing Us By — Should Humanity Consider Geoengi

Scientists around the world have begun to hedge their bets and not count on society’s decarbonizing in time to avoid disruption to the Earth’s climate. Enter a once-taboo topic shunned by greens and governments alike — geoengineering, a suite of suggested technological remedies to solve the climate crisis or at least buy humanity more time to rid its energy and agricultural systems of greenhouse gas emissions.

Is geoengineering necessary? What techniques will be the most successful while minimizing downside risks? And who will answer these questions and begin any needed interventions in the Earth’s climate system?

By Arunabha Ghosh, Edward A. Parson, Cynthia Scharf and Simone Tilmes
Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, UCLA Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, C2G2/Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative, National Center for Atmospheric Research
By: David P. Clarke

The Agency’s proposed “science transparency” rule is opaque.

By: Craig M. Pease

The origins of political polarization and the fractured climate dialogue.

By: Linda K. Breggin

Recycling increases in red states, but blue states still recycle more.

By: Kathleen Barrón

The opportunities and challenges for states' clean energy policies.

By: Richard Lazarus

The prospect for boring times is becoming increasingly attractive.

By: Ethan Shenkman

Peak behind the curtain of act two of the Trump environmental policy.

By: Robert N. Stavins

Some reflections on the role of economics in environmental policy.

By: Stephen R. Dujack

Fifty years ago, Apollo 8’s “Earthrise” photo kicked off environmental era.

By: Oliver Houck

Oliver Houck on "Losing Earth" in the 1980s.

By: Laura Frederick

Colleagues’ new jobs, promotions, and achievements.

By: Laura Frederick

ELI trains Indonesian judges on forest preservation.

By: David Rejeski

Tech opportunities for some tough problems.

By: Scott Fulton

Independent oversight and the rule of law.