EcoPerspectives Blog

Ready for COP: Feet on the Ground: Low-Carbon Travel to Paris

The following article is part of an Eco-Perspective special in which the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law is collaborating with the VLS COP21 Observer Delegation. __________________________________________ By Annie Warner “A challenge that remains is to motivate the many participants of conferences and meetings to reduce their own carbon footprint, especially from travel.” So reads the… Read more »

Ready for COP: The Significance of Defined Consensus

   The following article is part of an Eco-Perspective special in which the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law is collaborating with the VLS COP21 Observer Delegation. __________________________________________ By Madhavi Venkatesan, PhD Given the defined divide in country specific stakeholders concerns, along with the lens of personal circumstances and beliefs, that promotes a heterogeneity of perspective… Read more »

Scotland and Germany Use Updated European Union Policy to Ban Cultivation of Genetically Engineered Crops

Summary: Following the European Union’s update of its policy on genetically engineered crops in March, Scotland and Germany became the first member states to use the policy to ban further cultivation of genetically engineered crops within their borders. With more member states likely to join Scotland and Germany in the wake of their bans, these… Read more »

Sounding the All (Nu)Clear: Restarting Japan’s Nuclear Plants Post-Fukushima Disaster

Summary: The Fukushima Daiichi Disaster was a public health, environmental, and economic catastrophe, and Japan will feel its effects in those sectors for years to come. While Japan once had one of the world’s most diverse energy portfolios, the loss of its nuclear program has caused a sudden shift towards a fossil-fuel heavy generation industry…. Read more »

Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical: The Environmental Reader’s Digest Version

Summary: In his May encyclical, Pope Francis called for swift global action on climate change. He linked science, morality and church doctrine to do so.  Now, citizens around the globe are taking action. __________________________________________ By Ashton Roberts On May 24, 2015 Pope Francis used his encyclical as a vehicle to call for a sweeping transformation… Read more »

The Dirty Truth of Michigan v. EPA

Summary: The recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Michigan v. EPA is a shift for this historically Clean Air Act-friendly Court. It is the first “anti-environmental” decision in the CAA realm since their 2007Massachusetts v. EPA ruling. Here, the Court concluded that EPA must consider compliance costs when determining whether to regulate toxic emissions from power plants, rather than… Read more »

Crushing Ivory for Elephant Conservation

 Summary: The United States Fish and Wildlife Service held its second Ivory Crush in Times Square in June. The event helped raise awareness about the illegal ivory trade, and the threat it still poses to African elephants. While interning in NYC, I was able to attend the event, and this post describes my experience, as… Read more »

Nuclear Energy and Drought: A Recipe for Disaster

Summary: Nuclear energy is one of the most debated subjects in the environmental policy and legal world.  Questions that often arise are: Is it safe?  Is it sustainable?  Can it serve as a bridge to moving away from fossil fuels?  However, what is often overlooked is the impact of nuclear power on our water systems,… Read more »

Can Cities Decide What “Healthy” Means?

Summary: Sacramento has called on Californians to reduce water usage as the state enters its fourth year of drought. While many parties bicker about how we should allocate water, municipalities have brought vanity into the arena. Many cities are willing to adopt new cutbacks, but others are reluctant to change appearance requirements in their zoning… Read more »

The Dam(age) Stops Here: The Public Trust and Dam Removal


 Summary: Unfortunately for many fish, dams are the end of the river. It doesn’t have to be that way: Dam removal is becoming more common across the country. However, the mechanisms for initiating dam removal are not always efficient. Current dam removal mechanisms are expensive, involve many parties, and can take several years to get the… Read more »