Melting tundra creates giant bubbles and craters
Paris Climate Agreement – Official Text
Paris Climate Agreement – background information
We are going to read and analyze the Paris Climate agreement. This may take more than one class, but use the weekend to get the reading done. This the key global climate change agreement. Think about whether it is sufficient, what happens if the US pulls out, and where do we go from here?
White House: Climate funding is ‘a waste of your money’
Cheng, L. et al., 2017. Improved estimates of ocean heat content from 1960 to 2015. Science Advances, 3(3), p.e1601545.
A little fun following the discussion last class: Martin Weitzman’s Dismal Theorem: Do “Fat Tails” Destroy Cost-Benefit Analysis?
(These are all pretty short.)
Carbon Pricing 101
Climate Change 101 – Cap and Trade
TAXING CARBON: WHAT, WHY, AND HOW
California Appellate Court Hears Arguments in Cap-and-Trade Program Challenge
What are REDD offsets and why are they controversial?
Climate Change: Caps vs. Taxes – The Conservative Case for Carbon Taxes
Cap and trade in Europe
Carl, Jeremy, and David Fedor. “Tracking global carbon revenues: A survey of carbon taxes versus cap-and-trade in the real world.” Energy Policy 96 (2016): 50-77.
This study looks at where carbon tax / cap and trade revenues are spent.
Carbon Dioxide Emissions Coefficients by Fuel
H.R. 2454, The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, 111th Congress (Waxman-Markey)
This was the climate bill that passed the house but did not pass the Senate before the Republicans captured the House.
New science standards face key vote Tuesday, but evolution may slow the debate
“In one case, Mills said, climate change and global warming are unfairly treated as foregone conclusions”
Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act, 74 FR 66496 Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Work through this. Find the legal authority and what needs to be show to trigger it, then look at how the technical document we discussed last class is used in the document, and finally parse the actual reg.
Annotated: Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act, 74 FR 66496 Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I added bookmarks and highlights to facilitate our discussion.
How a few words could change the world of environmental law
For $500 Billion, Scientists Think They Can “Refreeze” the Arctic
The crazy economics of renewable energy
This is an important analysis of the paradoxical effect cheaping renewables have on the energy market. We will discuss this in class. Let me know if you have trouble with access to the article.
Look at the concurrence in Kivalina.
Juliana v. United States, No. 6:15-CV-01517-TC, 2016 WL 6661146 (D. Or. Nov. 10, 2016)
Juliana v. United States, No. 6:15-CV-01517-TC, 2016 WL 6661146 (D. Or. Nov. 10, 2016) – Children have standing under public trust doctrine to bring climate action. – RECODED WITH HARD NUMBERS – HTML version with paragraph numbers for class discussion.
Juliana v. United States, No. 6:15-CV-01517-TC, 2016 WL 6661146 (D. Or. Nov. 10, 2016) – Word Format
This is our major case for the day. This is the children’s crusade on climate change. Read it carefully. We are going to look hard at standing and the public trust doctrine, and we will also work through the political question defense that the feds brought. This is a good review of public trust. I have prepared a study guide to help navigate the case: Juliana – Oregon Children – Dist Court Order – Study Guide
Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Mississippi 484 U.S. 469 (1988)
‘The wild west of wind’: Republicans push Texas as unlikely green energy leader
Why the Master Plan will not protect Louisiana and what we should do instead
American Eletric Power Company, Inc. v. Connecticut, 131 S.Ct. 2527, 180 L.Ed.2d 435 (2011) – Study Guide
This case will take on special significance if the EPA loses the ability to regulate GHGs.
Native Vill. of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp., 696 F.3d 849 (9th Cir. 2012)
Read through  – the majority opinion. We will discuss how this case applies AEPC. We will read the concurrence next class.
Background on Alaskan Villages
Video: Alaskan Village Copes With Real-life Impacts of Global Climate Change 9-minute segment of NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (PBS) about Shishmaref, Newtok, and Kivalina, AK. July 10, 2008.
Alaskan Village, Citing Climate Change, Seeks Disaster Relief In Order To Relocate
The Village That Will Be Swept Away
The US Climate Litigation Database
Take a look at this before class. I will use it to talk about private climate litigation before we talk about AEPC and Kivalina. I am linking to the original site because this is continually updated.
A Conservative Case for Climate Action
Interesting column on cost-benefit analysis in rulemaking, with a focus on climate change.
Now that you have the jargon on rulemaking to appreciate the news, we are going to back the sea level rise in Louisiana to set the stage for our discussion of mitigation (reducing GHGs) and adaptation (figuring out how to live with climate change). The Louisiana exercise is important because we are in LA and because it is a good way to get a sense of the changes that are in store for coastal areas around the world.
Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast – 2017 Draft
Read the Executive Summary and Chapter 4. I want you to get enough background on the that you can compare to reality when I go through the geology and hydrology of the Mississippi Delta.
As you read this, look carefully at the maps and try to sort out the land building projects – the public face of the plan – from the levee projects. One of our questions will be whether the land building is just a pork barrel spending project and the only protection in the plan is through levees.
Mississippi Delta Cycle Slides – Part 1
Joshua D. Kent, Louisiana’s Height Modernization Efforts. National Height Modernization Partner’s Meeting, Mobile, Alabama (2014)
Why Nobody Cares the President is Lying
Cultural cognition from the point of view of a conservative radio talk show host with second thoughts.
Changes to EPA’s Page on Federal Collaborations on Climate Change
Data quality act and the EPA WWW site
G.O.P. Hurries to Slash Oil and Gas Rules, Ending Industries’ 8-Year Wait
The methane flaring and leak rule is a big climate issue.
Climate Science Denial Shifts to a New Tactic Among Trump Appointees
California’s approach to sea level rise
Variability in climate over the past 2000 years
Initiative Aims to Help Cut Losses from Extreme Weather Events
Read this short piece and look at the risk graphic from the World Economic Forum. The full report: The Global Risks Report 2017 12th Edition. This is not assigned but it is a good resource on global risks, including political risks.
The Little Ice Age
We are looking at this because it is important to the climate change skeptic narrative. It is real, and it shows the importance of other factors than CO2 in climate.
The Little Ice Age – Literature Review – skim
The Little Ice Age – Overview and Video – read and watch video
2000 Years of Drought Variability in the Central United States – skim
The Effect of Sea Level Rise on Coasts
We are now starting our deep look at sea level rise and coasts, the most predictable effect of global warming.
Jennifer Howard et al., Clarifying the role of coastal and marine systems in climate mitigation, 15 Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 42–50 (2017)
While this is a technical publication, it is mostly aimed at policy makers, not scientists. Read it to get a sense of the carbon sequestration role of wetlands and marine systems and the implications of their failure. Skip the technical parts you do not understand.
Natural Cycles and the Mississippi Delta
Proposed Budget Cuts
“At the Department of Energy, it would roll back funding for nuclear physics and advanced scientific computing research to 2008 levels, eliminate the Office of Electricity, eliminate the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and scrap the Office of Fossil Energy, which focuses on technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”
Same reading as last class. We are going to discuss the risks from climate change as outlined in the IPCC report.
IPCC Graphics Topics 2&3 Edited
Climate Change Law in the News (check back for breaking news)
The New White House Page on Climate Change
An America First Energy Plan
We will discuss this in class.
Kahan, Dan M., Climate-Science Communication and the Measurement Problem (June 25, 2014). Advances in Pol. Psych., 36, 1-43 (2015). (SSRN-id2459057: Edited for presentation)
We are going to start our discussion of climate change by looking at the cultural cognition problem – what shapes people’s beliefs about scientific issues? Do the people you disagree with just not know the facts?
Read this article through page 37. This research explores the critical distinction between what a person knows and what a person believes, or put another way, what a person knows as opposed to who the person is. This has important implications for communicating information about controversial subjects such as climate change. It is also fundamental to trial practice: you have to persuade jurors to believe your story, not just know your story.
The article is well written, but can be heavy going. Pay attention to the graphs. Look carefully at the section that discusses why telling people that 97% of scientists believe something is not a good way to get them to change their mind.
There is a section on climate change beliefs in south Florida starting on page 33. I disagree with the author here on using this as an example of a community that has accepted climate change despite their political divisions. My question: are you really accepting climate change/sea level rise if the actions that you take in your plan cannot work if sea level rises? This has direct application to Louisiana.
All the assignments will be posted to this blog. Check before class for breaking news updates. I reserve the right to use class participation points.
Seating – this is a small class in a big room. Please sit toward the center on the first few rows.
Climate in the News
Earth on the edge: Record breaking 2016 was close to 1.5°C warming
President Obama’s Last Piece on Climate Change
The Extremes of the Climate Debate
We are all going to die – soon
From Season 3, Episode 3 of Newsroom:
Is this so crazy? See: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/11/climate-desk-fact-checks-aaron-sorkins-climate-science-newsroom
It is just a liberal plot:
It might be getting warmer, but who knows why?
A thoughtful skeptic:
Evaluating science in the media
The Canadian House Hippo
The Impact of Global Warming on Louisiana
Sea level rise is the major global warming threat to coastal Louisiana and New Orleans. We are going to have a representative from NOAA in class to talk about the effects of relative sea level rise on coastal Louisiana.
Tim Osborne: The Realities of the Coast and It’s Populations
Please review these articles before class:
Scientists say Louisiana’s latest projections for coastal flooding are grim, but realistic
With gloomier estimates, should coastal plan look further than 50 years?
As we will discuss later in the course, even these articles overstate the possibility of coastal restoration. For example, the best evidence is that river diversions will not build land at all:
Pictorial Account and Landscape Evolution of the Crevasses near Fort St. Philip, Louisiana