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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Should Rivers Have Rights? A Growing Movement Says It’s About Time

Yale Environment 360: “…In Chile, as in other places, we have come to this point because the traditional Western view of rivers — and of nature generally — has failed us. Western legal systems and governments traditionally viewed water and water rights as property, leading to overuse and contamination. One criticism levied by environmental groups is that in countries like Chile and the United States, corporations are granted the same rights as people while the living ecosystems upon which we depend for survival are not. Chile’s Water Code was established during the Pinochet dictatorship, and still treats water as a replenishable (rather than increasingly scarce) natural resource. Under the code, companies may trade water rights to the highest bidder. Water is not a universal right in Chile, but a corporate one. This has inevitably led to the degradation of many rivers and the ecosystems they support, as well as to ongoing conflicts among users. In figuring out how countries can reverse this environmental degradation and reduce conflicts, a lot can be learned from the indigenous view of rivers. Legal innovations that successfully incorporate this outlook could better protect rivers, essentially by giving them the same basic rights as people…”

The Weight of Numbers: Air Pollution and PM2.5

Undark: “Emanating from smokestacks, vehicle engines, construction projects, and fires large and small, airborne pollution – sometimes smaller than the width of a human hair, and very often the product of human activity – is not just contributing to climate change. It is a leading driver of heart disease and stroke, lung cancer, and respiratory… Continue Reading

The Olmsted Papers You Didn’t Know You Needed

CityLab: “Frederick Law Olmsted might be best known for New York’s Central Park and Washington’s U.S. Capitol grounds, but his role in shaping modern America spans far more than a few famous sites, as the Library of Congress’ newly digitized collection of Olmsted’s writings and personal records makes abundantly clear. The materials, including drafts of… Continue Reading

Who owns the space under cities? The attempt to map the earth beneath us

The Guardian: “…In London, a city with 150 years of trenching, digging and boring to its name, the chaos is reaching new depths. According to Newcastle University’s Global Urban Research Unit, more than 4,600 basements have been granted planning permission in the last decade – in just seven of London’s 32 boroughs. The space under… Continue Reading

NOAA Data Tools: Daily Weather Records

“The daily records summarized here are compiled from a subset of stations in the Global Historical Climatological Network. A station is defined as the complete daily weather records at a particular location, having a unique identifier in the GHCN-Daily dataset. For a station to be considered for any parameter, it must have a minimum of… Continue Reading

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change

The New York Times Magazine” is dedicated to a single article – Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change – We knew everything we needed to know, and nothing stood in our way. Nothing, that is, except ourselves. A tragedy in two acts…This narrative by Nathaniel Rich is a work of history, addressing… Continue Reading

Meet the brave men and women standing up for their land and our environment in the face of violence and threats

Global Witness: “The food on our plates, the rings on our fingers and the wooden furniture in our homes: all too often there is a violent reality behind household items we use everyday. As agribusiness booms, tropical forests are logged and mining continues to deliver huge revenue to major global corporations, there are increasingly brutal attacks on land… Continue Reading

Trump Moves to Ease Obama Auto-Mileage Rules, California’s Clout

Bloomberg: “The Trump administration, taking aim at one of former President Barack Obama’s signature environmental achievements, is proposing to suspend required increases in vehicle fuel economy after 2020 and unwind California’s authority to limit tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions in the state. The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration jointly proposed on Thursday… Continue Reading

Wealthy countries dominate industrial fishing

Wealthy countries dominate industrial fishing. Science Advances 01 Aug 2018: Vol. 4, no. 8, eaau2161. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau2161 “The patterns by which different nations share global fisheries influence outcomes for food security, trajectories of economic development, and competition between industrial and small-scale fishing. We report patterns of industrial fishing effort for vessels flagged to higher- and… Continue Reading

Which Water Is Best For Health? Hint: Don’t Discount The Tap

NPR: “You can buy water with electrolytes, minerals or completely “purified.” You can buy it with the pH changed to make it alkaline. You can purify your own tap water or even add nutrients back into it. But after seeing a video of a pricey, high-tech filter (about $400 U.S. on sale) that you can… Continue Reading

Here’s How America Uses Its Land

Bloomberg: “There are many statistical measures that show how productive the U.S. is. Its economy is the largest in the world and grew at a rate of 4.1 percent last quarter, its fastest pace since 2014. The unemployment rate is near the lowest mark in a half century. What can be harder to decipher is… Continue Reading

Innovative grocery stores in Canada and Europe provide package free shopping

The New York Times – The Freshest Ideas Are in Small Grocery Stores – “As big supermarkets struggle, a new crop of local groceries are innovating to serve niche audiences and advance social causes…But some of the most radical reinvention is happening at the local level, in both cities and small towns, where a new… Continue Reading