Friday, November 17, 2006
Religion and Climate Change
Boylston Hall Room 110, Fong Auditorium, Harvard Campus
Sponsored by the Environmental Action Committee and the Interfaith Council
Microbial Sciences Initiative (MSI) Friday
Harvard University Center for the Environment Seminar Room, 3rd Floor Geological Museum, 24 Oxford Street
2:00p Tulane University CGIS Knafel Building 1737 Cambridge St. ,
Public Bads and Civic Deficits: Siting Controversial Facilities in Advanced Industrial Democracies
Daniel Aldrich. Assistant Professor of Political Science,
Bowie-Vernon Room (N262),
1737 Cambridge St.
9:00p Barker Center 12 Quincy St
Sacred Sites: Environmental Justice & Religious Freedom
12 Quincy St
Towards Efficient Air Pollution Policy in the United States
Landmark Center, West Atrium, 414A, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA Robert Mendelsohn, Ph.D. and Nicholas Muller, Ph.D. candidate, Yale University
10:30a Harvard Energy Technology Innovation Project Seminar Series Belfer Center
The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Program: Past, Present, and Future
Gustavo Collantes, ETIP Fellow
Earth History and Paleobiology Seminar Series
Antonis Rokas The Broad Institute
Haller Hall 102 Geological Museum, 24
2:00p University Colorado Boulder 20 Oxford St
Seismology, ice sheets, soil moisture, and transients: New results from GPS
Kristine M. Larson, Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences,
Solid Earth Physics Seminars
EPS Faculty Lounge, 4th Floor of Hoffman Laboratory,
20 Oxford St
5:30p Harvard University University
of Toulouse 79 John F.
Kennedy Street John F. Kennedy School
Statistical vs. Identified Lives in Benefit-Cost Analysis
Seminar in Environmental Economics and Policy
79 John F. Kennedy Street
12:00p JFK School
Automotive Product Strategies and Carbon Burdens
John DeCicco, Senior Fellow, Environmental Defense
Innovation in Transportation Seminar Series
Shorenstein Center Conference Room/Kalb Room (Taubman 275 at
5:00p Chinese Research Academy Hong Kong Polytechnic University Scholar , China 29
Oxford St. , Cambridge
Acid Rain in China: Current Situation and a New National Initiative
WANG Tao, Professor,
Harvard China Project seminars
Pierce Hall 100F,
29 Oxford St.
Take a break before Spring Break and check out
The Climate of Environmental Justice:
University of Colorado, Boulder, March 16-17, 2007
Friday, March 16
Keynote Speaker: Representative Mark Udall, Congressman (D-CO) (invited)
Saturday, March 17
Panel 1: Environmental Justice and the Current Social and Political Climate
Robert Bullard, Clark University
Ellenn Gauna, University of New Mexico Law
Rachel Godsil, Seton Hall Law
Rebecca Tsosie, Arizona State Law
Panel 2: Climate Justice: The Next Movement?
Luke Cole, Director, Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment
MIchael B. Gerrard, Partner, Arnold & Porter (N.Y.)
Ruth Gordon, Villanova law
Richard Lazarus, Georgetown UniversitTY LAW
Moderator: Lakshman Guruswamy, University of Colorado
2:00 – 3:30 Panel 3: Strategic Planning: Creating A Roadmap for Intergenerational
Sheila Foster, Fordham Law
Cliff Rechtschaffen, Golden Gate University LAW
Dean Suagee, Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker LLP (D.C).
Nicholas Targ, Counsel, Office of Environmental Justice, EPA,
Moderator: Mark Squillace, Director of Natural Resources Law Center
The New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2006 is (drum roll please) Carbon Neutral.
Being carbon neutral involves calculating your total climate-damaging carbon emissions, reducing them where possible, and then balancing your remaining emissions, often by purchasing a carbon offset: paying to plant new trees or investing in “green” technologies such as solar and wind power.
The rise of carbon neutral reflects the growing importance of the green movement in the United States. In a CBS News/New York Times Poll in May 2006, 66% of respondents agreed that global warming is a problem that’s causing a serious impact now. 2006 also saw the launch of a new (and naturally, carbon neutral) magazine about eco-living, Plenty; the actor Leonardo DiCaprio is planning a environmentally-themed reality TV series about an eco-village; and colleges from Maine to Wisconsin are pledging to be carbon neutral within five years. It’s more than a trend, it’s a movement.
Erin McKean, editor in chief of the New Oxford American Dictionary 2e, said “The increasing use of the word carbon neutral reflects not just the greening of our culture, but the greening of our language. When you see first graders trying to make their classrooms carbon neutral, you know the word has become mainstream.”
“All the Oxford lexicographers look forward to choosing the Word of the Year. We know that people love fun, flashy words like truthiness or the latest Bushism, but we are always looking for a word that is both reflective of the events and concerns of the past year and also forward-looking: a word that we think will only become more used and more useful as time goes on.”
If making the world a better place isn't enough of a reason for you to become carbon neutral, consider doing it because the cool kids are. Al Gore, Rupert Murdoch, and the Rolling Stones are all advocates of being carbon neutral.
Monday, November 13, 2006
ABA SEER Environmental Litigation Teleconference Series: A Practitioner’s Guide to Citizen Suit Litigation
January 16, 2007 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)
This teleconference will provide an overview of and a practitioner’s guide to the nuts and bolts issues of citizen suit litigation under the various federal environmental statutes: CERCLA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, RCRA and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Get perspectives from practitioners representing both plaintiff and defendant interests in cases involving both regulatory enforcement and imminent endangerment causes of action. Hear practitioners provide insights and practice tips on topics such as standing and abstention, jurisdictional notice requirements, expert qualifications needed to bring or defend “imminent and substantial endangerment” cases for health and for environmental risks, future risk as a cause of action, remedies, and fee petitions for recovery of litigation costs.
* Provide basics of environmental civil enforcement program
* Provide enforcement perspective of EPA and DOJ
* Provide defense perspective of in-house Counsel and defense bar
Christopher Marraro, Partner, Howrey LLP, Washington, DC
David M. Friedland, Partner, Beveridge & Diamond, Washington, DC
Caroline Smith Pravlik, Partner, Terris Pravlik & Millian, Washington, DC
Seeking your input in a survey of new attorneys
LexisNexis has offered to help us (the Berkman Center's research initiative) learn more about how prepared new lawyers are for today’s legal work world by conducting a survey of recent graduates. I ask anyone with an interest in the topic to submit your suggestions for what this survey should entail. While not every question can be answered by this survey, I hope to get some good ideas as well as instigate some good discussion.
Because our project focuses on the influence of technology on practice and on education, I would especially appreciate questions that poke in that general direction.
So, to restate the question: As someone interested in legal education or training (whether you’re a law professor, law firm manager, CLE provider, director of professional development, legal technologist, associate, or law student), what did you wish you knew about today’s newest attorneys (say, those with 0-5 years of experience)? Also, given limited resources, should we attempt to survey one population (say, big firm associates) more thoroughly, or try to get participants from across practice settings?
Harvard Law School is seeking to hire a Clinical Director for its Environmental Law Program. Please find the job announcement below. Applications must be submitted online at wwwjobs.harvard.edu <http://www.jobsharvard.edu/> (Requisition # 28313). Please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. We look forward to hearing from candidates.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Environmental Law Program (ELP) addresses issues in environmental law and policy through coursework, research, legal practice, and conferences. Position involves creation of first-ever environmental law and policy clinic at Harvard Law School. Primary role will be generating, coordinating, and supervising clinical work, conducted in partnership with outside organizations. Projects will include traditional environmental litigation, but also wider range of environmentally-related work, including legislation drafting, transactional projects, compliance counseling, consultations on environmental management systems, and preparation of policy white papers. Will be expected to create partnerships with variety of institutions, including government agencies, private organizations, and non-profit environmental groups, and supervise student clinical work either through placements in partner organizations, or through collaboration with partner organizations on in-house projects. It is expected that the Clinical Director will have annual appointment as Lecturer on Law and will teach a seminar to complement students' clinical work. Reports to Faculty Director; will also have responsibilities in designing and administering other academic aspects of ELP. Term position thru 6/30/08, subject to renewal.
Required Education, Experience and Skills
JD and admission to practice law required. Must have solid intellectual grounding in domestic and international Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, and related regulation; 5-10 yrs experience in environmental legal practice; strong connections to non-profit organizations, government and industry to facilitate development of clinical projects. Experience teaching, researching, and writing for publication preferred; experience outside of the US in addition to domestic experience is a plus. Candidates must have strong organizational and interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to teach and mentor students, and should also have proven management and administrative skills<>
Additional Web Position Listing
Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to the following: The Clinical Director will direct the operation of all clinical activities of the ELP, creating and arranging placements in outside organizations and working with students during the course of their placements. The Director will also generate in-house projects through which students will collaborate with outside organizations under the director's supervision. The Director will mentor students interested in environmental law, supervise research and assist with post-graduation placements. The Director will also be expected to design and teach an academic seminar for clinical students on the topic of environmental practice. In addition, the Director will help to shape and administer non-clinical aspects of the ELP including substantive curricular development, and planning of conferences and workshops. To apply: The application process will remain open until a candidate has been selected. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume, including references and any publications, as soon as possible. Applications must be submitted online. Telephone inquiries and/or emailed applications will not be accepted. Harvard University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
Thursday, November 9, 2006
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
Beyond the probable leadership changes in the House, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, California, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Maryland, Committee on Appropriations Chair David Obey, Wisconsin, Committee on Ways and Means Chair Charles Rangel, New York, Committee on the Budget Chair John Spratt, South Carolina, Committee on Rules Chair Louise Slaughter, New York, and Committee on Government Reform Chair Henry Waxman, California, there will be key changes in committees affecting energy, environment and resources.
As analyzed by AP:
Committee on Energy and Commerce: John Dingell, Michigan.
Mr. Dingell, 80, the longest-serving member of the House, has had a hand in major legislation for half a century. A moderate who has sided with Republicans on issues such as gun control and so-called partial-birth abortion, Mr. Dingell has never been known to avoid a fight since being elected in 1955. When chairing the Energy and Commerce Committee from 1981 through 1994, he was a tough government watchdog, a reputation he's maintained throughout President Bush's tenure.
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: James Oberstar, Minnesota.
Mr. Oberstar, the 72-year-old dean of Minnesota's congressional delegation, has made his mark primarily through transportation policy. He supports increased transportation spending, even if it requires higher gasoline taxes. He has said that as committee chairman he would focus on getting more funding for Amtrak and on developing high-speed rail lines between Midwest cities. The seventh most senior Democrat in the House, Mr. Oberstar differs from his party on many social issues.
Committee on Resources: Nick Rahall, West Virginia Mr. Rahall, 57, represents southern West Virginia and pushed for greater mine safety after 14 workers were killed during the 2006 Sago mine disaster. He's pro-labor but culturally conservative, opposing abortion and gay marriage, and his support for mining means he doesn't always vote with Democrats on environmental issues. One of five lawmakers of Arab descent, Mr. Rahall has been consistently critical of the Bush administration's Middle East policy.
Committee on Science: Bart Gordon, Tennessee.
Mr. Gordon, 57, frequently agrees with President Bush. He's conservative on taxes, abortion, gay marriage and guns. But he sometimes opposes Mr. Bush's scientific proposals, and he's asked for more openness from NASA after accusations that a public affairs officer filtered information about global warming and the Big Bang.
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Here's a rough policy goal that I derive from the attached Real Climate answer:
Reduce emissions to 50% of their current level, starting in 2012. Then, we can emit that amount for the next 50 years, without exceeding the 2 degree threshold. This gives us 50 years to move to a carbon-neutral economy.
This week, representatives from around the world will gather in Nairobi, Kenya for the latest Conference of Parties (COP) meeting of the Framework Convention of Climate Change (FCCC) which brought us the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, and the task facing the current delegates is to negotiate a further 5-year extension. This is a gradual, negotiated, no doubt frustrating process. By way of getting our bearings, a reader asks the question, what should the ultimate goal be? How much CO2 emissions cutting would it take to truly avoid "dangerous human interference in the climate system"?
On the short term of the next few decades, the line between success and excess can be diagnosed from carbon fluxes on Earth today. Humankind is releasing CO2 at a rate of about 7 Gton C per year from fossil fuel combustion, with a further 2 Gton C per year from deforestation. Because the atmospheric CO2 concentration is higher than normal, the natural world is absorbing CO2 at a rate of about 2 or 2.5 Gton C per year into the land biosphere and into the oceans, for a total of about 5 Gton C per year. The CO2 concentration of the atmosphere is rising because of the 4 Gton C imbalance. If we were to cut emissions by about half, from a total of 9 down to about 4 Gton C per year, the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere would stop rising for awhile. That would be a stunning success, but the emission cuts contemplated by Kyoto were only a small step in this direction.
Eventually, the chemistry of the ocean would equilibrate with this new atmospheric pCO2 concentration of about 380 ppm (the current concentration), and its absorption of new CO2 would tail off. Presumably the land biosphere would also inhale its fill and stop absorbing more. How long can we expect to be able to continue our lessened emissions of 4 Gton C per year? The answer can be diagnosed from carbon cycle models. A range of carbon cycle models have been run for longer than the single-century timescale that is the focus of the IPCC and the FCCC negotiation process. The models include an ocean and often a terrestrial biosphere to absorb CO2, and sometimes chemical weathering (dissolution of rocks) on land and deposition of sediments in the ocean. The models tend to predict a maximum atmospheric CO2 inventory of about 50-70% of the total fossil fuel emission slug. Let's call this quantity the peak airborne fraction, and assume it to be 60%.
The next piece of the equation is to define "dangerous climate change". This is a bit of a guessing game, but 2�C has been proposed as a reasonable danger limit. This would be decidedly warmer than the Earth has been in millions of years, and warm enough to eventually raise sea level by tens of meters. A warming of 2� C could be accomplished by raising CO2 to 450 ppm and waiting a century or so, assuming a climate sensitivity of 3 �C for doubling CO2, a typical value from models and diagnosed from paleo-data. Of the 450 ppm, 170 ppm would be from fossil fuels (given an original natural pCO2 of 280 ppm). 170 ppm equals 340 Gton C, which divided by the peak airborne fraction of 60% yields a total emission slug of about 570 Gton C.
How much is 570 Gton C? We have already released about 300 Gton C, and the business-as-usual scenario projects 1600 Gton C total release by the year 2100. Avoiding dangerous climate change requires very deep cuts in CO2 emissions in the long term, something like 85% of business-as-usual averaged over the coming century. Put it this way and it sounds impossible. Another way to look at it, which doesn't seem quite as intractable, is to say that the 200 Gton C that can still be "safely" emitted is roughly equivalent to the remaining traditional reserves of oil and natural gas. We could burn those until they're gone, but declare an immediate moratorium on coal, and that would be OK, according to our defined danger limit of 2�C. A third perspective is that if we could limit emissions to 5 Gton C per year starting now, we could continue doing that for 250/5 = 50 years.
One final note: most of the climate change community, steered by Kyoto and IPCC, limit the scope of their consideration to the year 2100. By setting up the problem in this way, the calculation of a safe CO2 emission goes up by about 40%, because it takes about a century for the climate to fully respond to rising CO2. If CO2 emission continues up to the year 2100, then the warming in the year 2100 would only be about 60% of the "committed warming" from the CO2 concentration in 2100. This calculation seems rather callous, almost sneaky, given the inevitability of warming once the CO2 is released. I suspect that many in the community are not aware of this sneaky implication of restricting our attention to a relatively short time horizon.
Note: responding to suggestions in the comments, some of the numbers in the text above have been revised. November 7, 2:31 pm. David