UNDERWATER Podcast – 2016 Louisiana Flood – created by students at the University of Louisiana

https://sites.google.com/view/underwaterpodcast/

Between August 11 and August 15, 2016 more than 3 times the amount of rainfall from Hurricane Katrina fell in a massive rainstorm, mostly over Southern Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.

Student and Faculty researchers have collaborated to present accounts from those affected by these historic and unnamed floods, beginning with the Lafayette area, in a podcast series entitled UNDERWATER: Memories of the 2016 Floods.

OHIO RIVER BASIN– Formulating Climate Change Mitigation/Adaptation Strategies through Regional Collaboration with the ORB Alliance

Generally, modeling results indicate a gradual increase in annual mean temperatures between 2011 and 2040 amounting to one-half degree per decade, with greater increases between 2041 and 2099 of one full degree per decade. Hydrologic flow changes show substantial variability across the ORB through the three time periods, with Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC)-4 sub-basins located northeast, east, and south of the Ohio River expected to experience greater precipitation and thus higher stream flows—up to 50% greater—during most of the three 30-year periods. Conversely, those HUC-4s located north and west of the Ohio River are expected to experience ever-decreasing precipitation (especially during the autumn season) resulting in decreased in-stream flows—up to 50% less—during the same periods.

South Asia’s Hotspots : Impacts of Temperature and Precipitation Changes on Living Standards

South Asia's Hotspots : Impacts of Temperature and Precipitation Changes on Living Standards

The Report – Mani, Muthukumara, Sushenjit Bandyopadhyay, Shun Chonabayashi, Anil Markandya, and Thomas Mosier. “South Asia’s Hotspots.” (2018).

From the World Bank site:

South Asia is highly vulnerable to climate change. Average temperatures have been rising throughout the region, and rainfall has become more erratic. These changes are projected to continue accruing over the coming decades.South Asia’s Hotspots: The Impact of Temperature and Precipitation Changes on Living Standards is the first book of its kind to provide granular spatial analysis of the long-term impacts of changes in average temperature and precipitation on one of the world’s poorest regions. South Asia’s Hotspots finds that higher temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns will reduce living standards in communities across South Asia—locations that the book terms “hotspots.” More than 800 million people in South Asia currently live in communities that are projected to become hotspots under a carbon-intensive climate scenario. Global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will reduce the severity of hotspots. Diverse and robust development is the best overall prescription to help people in hotspots. The book also suggests actions tailored to each country in the region—such as increasing employment in nonagricultural sectors, improving educational attainment, and expanding access to electricity— that would offset the declines in living standards associated with hotspots. South Asia’s Hotspots complements previous studies detailing the impacts of sea-level rise and extreme events on the people of South Asia. Together, these bodies of work create a sound analytical basis for investing in targeted policies and actions to build climate resilience throughout the region.

Takings Cases Relevant to Climate Change

Miller v. Campbell Cty., 722 F. Supp. 687 (D.Wyo. 1989) – Temporary forced evacuation from home is not a taking for 42 USC 1983

Harris Cty. Flood Control Dist. v. Kerr, 499 S.W.3d 793, 795 (Tex. 2016), reh’g denied (Oct. 21, 2016) – no takings by failing to enforce flood control plan.

Litz v. Maryland Dep’t of Env’t, 446 Md. 254, 131 A.3d 923 (2016), reconsideration denied (Mar. 24, 2016) – It is possible for a plaintiff to state a claim for inverse condemnation by pleading governmental inaction in the face of an affirmative duty to act.

Judge dismisses City of Oakland climate case based on nuisance – 2018

From the Opinion:

It may seem peculiar that an earlier order refused to remand this action to state court on the ground that plaintiffs’ claims were necessarily governed by federal law, while the current order concludes that federal common law should not be extended to provide relief. There is, however, no inconsistency. It remains proper for the scope of plaintiffs’ claims to be decided under federal law, given the international reach of the alleged wrong and given that the instrumentality of the alleged harm is the navigable waters of the United States. Although the scope of plaintiffs’ claims is determined by federal law, there are sound reasons why regulation of the worldwide problem of global warming should be determined by our political branches, not by our judiciary.

Federal Circuit Rejects Court of Claims finding that MRGO Caused a Taking by Flooding

(Post under revision)

Draft article discussing the St. Bernard case: A Radical Proposal: Does St. Bernard Par. Gov’t v. United States allow the Federal Government to Step Away from Flood Protection and Create Wild Seashores and Wild Rivers?

This case arose from claims brought by property owners in St. Bernard and New Orleans claiming that the MRGO (Mississippi River Gulf Outlet) canal increased the flooding from Hurricane Katrina and after. This is the same junk science that was used in the Katrina Levee Breech Cases, which were ultimately dismissed for FTCA immunity. These claims were an end run around the FTCA, claiming a constitutional taking, which does not have a discretionary authority defense. The Court of Claims ruled in favor of the property owners in: St. Bernard Par. Gov’t v. United States, 121 Fed. Cl. 687, 690-91 (2015). This was reversed and the claims dismissed by the Federal Circuit, which hears appeals from the Court of Claims:

St. Bernard Par. Gov’t v. United States, 887 F.3d 1354 (Fed. Cir. 2018)

The Public Trust Doctrine and Sea Level Rise

Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, The Public Trust Doctrine: A Guiding Principle for Governing California’s Coast Under Climate Change (2017)

This report looks at the legal implications as the mean high tide line – the demarcation between public and private land in California – moves inland with sea level rise.

Law Professor’s Brief on Louisiana Public Trust Doctrine

Disaster Tourism: Honest Altruism or Vulgar Voyerism?

(Student post from my coastal law class, 2010)

Dark tourism is tourism involving travel to sites associated with death and suffering. Thanatourism, derived from the Ancient Greek word thanatos for the personification of death, is associated with dark tourism but refers more specifically to violent death. Dark tourism and the dark tourists are motivated by death and disaster and apocalypse rather than by sun and sea and sand and pastoral living, with even ecotourism and adventure travel no longer stimulating enough.