Environmental Law

Earth's changing climate promises to be the defining issue of the 21st century, and how humanity responds may well determine the fate of many nations. In this colloquium, we examine the scientific basis for climate projections and explore the basis for mitigation measures such as carbon taxes and cap-and-trade schemes.

Recognizing that some amount of climate change will occur regardless of what humanity does now, we also study the emerging science and policy of climate change adaptation--how to enact policy measures to adapt to the sea level changes, drought/flood cycles, species migrations, and other climate-related effects that threaten a significant percentage of the world's population. Finally, we examine public perceptions of climate change and the relationship between mitigation and adaptation in shaping those perceptions.

Spring 2013

Organized by Professors Michael Barsa and David Dana

Except when otherwise noted, all sessions take place on Thursdays from 4:00pm - 5:50pm in Rubloff 339.

January 17
Kimberly Gray, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University

January 24
Craig Loehle, Principal Scientist, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, The Heartland Institute
"Climate Change will be Modest, Calmer, and Largely Beneficial: Some Views You Might Not have Heard"

February 7
William Boyd, Associate Professor of Law, University of Colorado at Boulder Law School
"Genealogies of Risk: Searching for Safety, 1930s-1970s"

February 14
Jill M. Fraley, Assistant Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University
"The Tragedy of the Wastes: Property and the Making of Nation-States in Eighteenth Century America"

February 21
David A. Weisbach, Walter J. Blum Professor of Law and Senior Fellow, the Computation Institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory
"Debating Climate Change"

February 28
Jonathan C. Carlson, Professor of Law & International Studies and Victor and Carol Alvarez Fellow in Law, University of Iowa
Adam Abelkop, Doctoral Student in Public Policy, Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Department of Political Science
"Reining in Phaëthon's Chariot: Principles for the Governance of Geoengineering"

March 7
Shi-Ling Hsu, Professor, Florida State University
"Capital Rigidities, Latent Externalities"

March 14
Bradley Karkkainen, Henry J. Fletcher Professor in Law, University of Minnesota
"The Great Lakes Water Resources Compact and Agreement: Transboundary Normality Without International Law"

April 11
Susan Hedman, Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 Administrator
Topic: Climate Change and the Clean Air Act


Spring 2012

Organized by Professors Michael Barsa and David Dana

January 12
Olivia Cohn, City of Chicago
"The Chicago Climate Action Plan's Climate Change Adaptation Approach"

January 19
Yarrow Axelrod, Visiting Professor, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences Northwestern University

February 2
James Sallee, Assistant Professor, the Harris School of Public Policy University of Chicago
"Car Notches: Strategic Automaker Responses to Fuel Economy Policy"

February 9
Dan Tarlock, Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Program in Environmental and Energy Law, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
"How Well Can Water Law Adapt to the Potential Stresses of Global Climate Change?"

February 16
Mike Vandenbergh, Professor of Law, Tarkington Chair in Teaching Excellence, Director Environmental Law Program, and Director Climate Change Research Network, Vanderbilt University Law School
"The Potential Role of Carbon Labeling in a Green Economy"

March 8
Alex Camacho, joint appointment in Law and Political Science, University of California-Irvine
"A Multi-dimensional Framework for Reallocating Government Authority in Response to Regulatory Stress: The Climate Adaptation Example"

March 29
Barton Thompson, Robert E. Paradise Professor in Natural Resources Law and Perry L. McCarty Director, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford Law School
"Rethinking Private Land Conservationin the Face of Climate Change: A California Case Study & Future Options"

April 5
Barbara Bamberger, Air Pollution Specialist, California Air Resources Board