Saturday, July 23, 2005

Senate Energy Hearings on Global Warming

What to do?  Dominici's take home message -- we don't have to do something tomorrow.
Link: Senators Struggle to Act on Global Warming.

July 23, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Time for that African Safari -- Now

The Good New is that something other than environment causes large mammal species to be prone to extinction.  The Bad News is that future loss of large mammal biodiversity may be more rapid than we had expected.   Link: Multiple Causes of High Extinction Risk in Large Mammal Species -- Cardillo et al., 10.1126/science.1116030 -- Science.

July 21, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Weekly Question: Roberts

Under the category of the obvious: what difference will J. Roberts make on environmental issues likely to reach the Supreme Court?

Comments will be posted if they are e-mailed to me.

My initial take: the biggest difference he will make is in the granting of cert. 

July 20, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

European Environmental Organizations Contribute Sustainable Development Strategy

The 10 largest European environmental organizations have presented their suggestions for a revised EU sustainable development strategy.  Green 10 Sustainable Development Strategy

July 20, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

EU Commission Resists Further Delay on Environmental Strategies

The EU Commission meeting reports indicate that Environmental Commissioner Stavros Dimas will present a series of environmental strategies after the summer break.  Link: Reuters AlertNet - EU Commission to press ahead on environment.  The strategies, which are a key component of the current EU environmental program, were due by July 2005.  News that the thematic strategies might not be presented due to industry opposition was met by a stronge reaction from ten influential European environmental organizations.  Green 10 Letter

The seven thematic strategies involve: air quality, water and the marine environment, sustainable natural resources use, waste, soil, pesticides, and the urban environment.  EU information about pending legislation is fragmentary, but these links provide a starting place.

air quality  (CAFE)
    2001 CAFE proposal
     CAFE documents

marine environment
    ENDS description

sustainable natural resources use
     Assurre description

waste
    Assurre description

soil protection
    2002 proposal   
    2005 draft strategy
    Assurre on biowaste component

pesticides

<>

urban environment   
    2004 proposal
    expert working group reports
    EEB description (environmental)
   Assurre description (industry partnership) 

July 20, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Environmental Tax Conference

The Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, in conjunction with Vermont Law School and Maasticht University, is hosting the 6th Annual Global Conference on Environmental Taxation on September 22-24, 2005.  The conference is an international, interdisciplinary forum to discuss issues involved in the design and implementation of environmental taxes.  Environmental Tax Conference

July 20, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Chinese Riots About Pharmaceutical Plant

Another argument for good governance. Link: Anger in China Rises Over Threat to Environment - New York Times.

July 19, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

EU Commission Meets Tomorrow

The fate of EU environmental initiatives in light of the EU President's emphasis on economic growth may be signaled tomorrow during the EU Commission meeting on Wednesday.  Link: Reuters.com.

July 19, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Science of Medical Science

Here's a study published in JAMA that confirms what we all know: initial research on medical treatments sometimes oversells the efficacy of the treatment and is not confirmed by subsequent study.  But -- it is likely to be volleyed about as evidence that we can't trust scientists.  Link: Contradicted and Initially Stronger Effects in Highly Cited Clinical Research, July 13, 2005.

Of course, the NIH consulting scandal didn't help! 44 NIH researchers violated consulting ethics rules

July 18, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Abuse of Congressional Power -- Investigation of Climate Change Studies

For What its Worth

The investigation launched last month by the House Energy and Commerce Committee against individual scientists  [House Committee Global Warming Letters] who have published key climate change studies has run into some substantial opposition -- prominent climate change scientists, the President of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the House Science Committee chair.  House Science Committee climate science dispute letters ; Realclimate website report

The committee's spokesman has explained that such requests are commonly used by the committee to garner knowledge about matters within its jurisdiction.  From my experience serving in the government and observing the House Subcommittee on Oversight and investigations, it is true that the committee commonly makes those requests.  That's the problem.  Congressional investigations by their nature are intimidating.  That fact gave rise to a nickname for an entire era in Congress -- the McCarthy era. When that tool of intimidation is aimed at small, apolitical fish -- trial lawyers in the Justice Department or individual scientists working on government research -- it is fundamentally unfair and, in my opinion, an abuse of power.

Link: Two G.O.P. Lawmakers Spar Over Climate Study - New York Times.
BBC Report on Climate Change Investigation

Update: reaction in Science Science commentary

July 18, 2005 in Climate Change, Governance/Management, Legislation, Physical Science, US | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Environmental Article Hit Parade -- roughly fortnightly

Link: SSRN Top Downloads.

RECENT HITS (for all papers announced in the last 60 days)
TOP 10 Papers for Environmental Law & Policy
May 15, 2005 to July 14, 2005

Note: there is an anomaly with 6 of the papers submitted by 2 authors. 

Rank     Downloads     Paper      Title
                                                   Author, Law School

1     213 hits    Chevron Step Zero 

                        Cass R. Sunstein, University of Chicago

2
    156 hits    A New Progressivism
                        Cass R. Sunstein, University of Chicago

3
    123 hits     Irreversible and Catastrophic
                        Cass R. Sunstein, University of Chicago

4
    94  hits     Gender, Race, and Risk Perception: The                                                  Influence of Cultural Status Anxiety
                        Dan M. Kahan, Donald Braman, John                                                    Gastil, Paul Slovic, C. K. Mertz,
                        Yale Law School

5
    73 hits     The Private Life of Public Law
                     Michael  Vandenbergh Vanderbilt University

6
    61 hits    Signaling Social Responsibility:
                    On the Law and Economics
of Market Incentives for                             Corporate Environmental Performance

                     Jason Scott Johnston, University of Pennsylvania

7
  55 hits      Regulation by Adaptive Management
                        Is it Possible?
 
                      J.B. Ruhl, Florida State University

8
    34 hits   Order without Social Norms: How Personal                                         Norm Activation Can Protect the Environment
                     Michael P. Vandenbergh,Vanderbilt University

9     33 hits    Interlocking Regulatory and Industrial Relations:
                    The Governance of Workplace Safety

                     Orly Lobel, Harvard Law School

10
    26 hits   From Smokestack to SUV:
                    The Individual as Regulated Entity
                    in the New Era of Environmental Law

                     Michael P.Vandenbergh, Vanderbilt University

July 18, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)