Monthly Archives: February 2020

Trees Don’t Have Standing and Lake Erie Does Not Have a Bill of Rights

Almost 50 years ago, Christopher Stone published “Should Trees Have Standing,” suggesting that the natural world should be given legal rights to ensure its protection for future generations.  It is not, I say with my usual gift for understatement, an idea that has taken widespread hold in legal systems in the United States.  It has had broad philosophical influence, however, and attempts are made periodically to implement Stone’s idea. … More

Can Market-based Approaches Help to Clean Up the Great Lakes? Why the Heck Not?

Earlier this week, EPA announced grants for the development of market-based programs to address water quality problems in the Great Lakes, as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  I’ve spent more than a little time criticizing EPA’s actions under this Administration.  Having spent the better part of 30 years pushing for market-based approaches to environmental regulation, it has been more than a little distressing to have this president give regulatory reform such a bad name.… More

Evidence That Low Exposures to Particulate Matter Pose Health Risks Continues to Accumulate — Will Administrator Wheeler Listen?

EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards has issued its final “Policy Assessment for the Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter.”  The Policy Assessment comes with the standard disclaimer that its “findings and conclusions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of EPA.”  Sadly, truer words were never spoken.

Those following this issue know that,… More

Being Endangered Is Not the Same as Being Threatened

Late last month, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, remanded to the Fish and Wildlife Service its decision to list the northern long-eared bat as threatened. The decision is lengthy and complicated, but its crux is not.

As Judge Sullivan noted, under the ESA, a species is “endangered” if it “is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.”  A species is “threatened” if it “is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. … More

Get Off of My Cloud – Online Storage is Not as Environmentally Sustainable as I Thought

This post was previously published on ACOEL.org.

I read an article last week in Fortune magazine (free registration required) about the large amount of energy actually consumed by cloud storage and thought that must only apply if you are actively uploading, changing, or downloading documents and pictures.  But I was wrong.  With a little digging, I was able to determine that all of those family photos and videos of your cats (not to mention huge folders of environmental analyses) automatically uploaded to iCloud,… More