A discussion of global and local energy and environmental law issues. Produced by Myanna Dellinger, in conjunction with the University of South Dakota School of Law and the International Environmental Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association
The Amazon is burning – is Paris too?
Professor Myanna Dellinger interviews law professor and Brazilian attorney Dr. Carolina Arlota of the University of Oklahoma College of Law, who compares climate change action in Brazil to that in the United States. Among other things, she promotes the view that litigation may help advance the agenda even if positive outcomes are not achieved at the judicial scale because of, among other things, the “poltical question doctrine.” Professor Arlota also discusses the Brazilian Constitution, which promotes environmental protection.
This interview is based on Dr. Arlota’s article "The Amazon Is Burning—Is Paris, Too? A Comparative Analysis Between The United States And Brazil Based On The Paris Agreement On Climate Change" published in the Georgetown Journal of International Law, Vol. 52, 2020.
The findings demonstrate that, given the silence of the U.S. Constitution on environmental matters and the decades-long congressional inertia on climate issues, an effective way to update the U.S. constitutional text will be through judicial review. As the comparative analysis unveiled in this article shows, standing is a major barrier to judicial review on climate change claims. Accordingly, this article includes a recommendation for the flexibilization of the traditional standing requirements for the United States to achieve effective environmental protection and related mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Lisa Bloom on Veganism
Lisa Bloom, Esq. is widely known for her tireless work for ordinary people seeking justice, especially victims of sexual harassment, domestic violence, LGBTQ discrimination, racial bias, sexual assault, and excessive police force. She and her team have won many verdicts and settlements against high profile people accused of misconduct, including sex offender Bill Cosby, serial sexual harasser Bill O’Reilly, Guess CEO Paul Marciano and billionaire Alki David. In this episode, she is talking about another passion of hers: veganism. Hear her passion shine through for animals, the health and wellbeing of people around the world, and recommendations for how you too can relatively effortlessly become a vegan or at least start your route towards this goal.
The Keystone Pipeline System: An Exercise in Futility
Hear law professors Sean Kammer (PhD) and Myanna Dellinger (PhD candidate) discuss why the corporate and conservative attempts at keeping the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline will inevitably fail and why, then, it would be more expedient from an environmental and business point of view to face reality sooner rather than later. This holds true despite the fact that any president does have the power to issue an Executive Order regarding the project.
Under the Paris Agreement, we must, among other things, reach net zero emissions by 2050 to help the world – and ourselves – limit catastrophic climate change. UN and other experts have made it clear that we must take sufficient action within the next decade. For that reason, it also makes not sense to create and continue vast oil distribution networks.
Fossil Fuel Industry Gaslighting People of Color
The fossil fuel industry is not accepting its inevitable fate: that it has to go. While that is understandable from a purely capitalist business perspective, industry attempts to hang on for dear life by, for example, trying to persuade people of color and low-income people that natural gas is beneficial and “clean” would be laughable if they weren’t as scheming and focused on profits over the health of the planet as they are. Beware of industry tactics! Learn more here.
The Green Amendment - Securing our right to a healthy environment
Attorney and activist Maya van Rossum, author of The Green Amendment: Securing Our Right to a Healthy Environment discusses a pioneering new legal strategy to fight growing pollution problems, including drinking water contamination, air pollution, deforestation and climate change, by adopting constitutional green amendments that guarantee a safe and healthy environment.
Van Rossum is also the leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, an organization that has successfully stalled fracking and pipeline development in the Northeast. The DRN initiated For the Generations, a project that provides a guide to creating an environmental rights amendment in every US state.
This veteran environmentalist used the constitution in Pennsylvania to take on and beat big fossil fuel industries, and how these amendments could change the legal landscape to crises such as Flint, Keystone, ad beyond.
Van Rossum believes that environmental rights are a fundamental human right, just like free speech and the right to private property.
Sustainability and Governance - Taking Steps for the Future
Professor Myanna Dellinger interviews Christine Harada, the former Federal Chief Sustainability Officer under the Obama Administration. Ms. Harada is currently working with the XPRIZE Foundation as a Bold Innovator, developing the next XPRIZE for Clean Air. Christine is also a Senior Fellow with the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator, where she helps build out the cleantech economy in Los Angeles, CA.
Christine explains what her duties were under the Obama Administration, and how those duties are (hopefully) being carried out under the Trump Administration.
This episode was recorded at Occidental College in Los Angeles.