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Structural racism in Flint, Michigan

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | January 18, 2016

On Jan. 16, 2016, President Barack Obama signed an order declaring a state of emergency in Flint, Michigan.[i]  It was not because of a tornado or hurricane, flooding or landslides, as was the case in South Carolina or Mississippi a few weeks before, or any other natural disaster.[ii]  Rather, it was a response to a … Continue reading »

Key environmental developments ahead in 2016

Dan Farber, professor of law | January 2, 2016

The year 2015 was a big one for agency regulations and international negotiations. In 2016, the main focal points will be the political process and the courts. Here are seven major things to watch for. The presidential election. The election will have huge consequences for the environment. A Republican President is almost sure to try to roll … Continue reading »

For energy (and water) conservation, moral suasion is no substitute for getting the prices right

Meredith Fowlie, Associate Professor and Class of 1935 Distinguished Chair in Energy | April 7, 2015

My office light switch recently acquired a little sticker that politely reminds me to turn it off when I leave. And over the past year, an edgy Lawn dude  and an amicable  Bear  have been urging Californians to cut back on water use in order to meet our drought-stricken state’s water restrictions (which have to … Continue reading »

Detroit’s water crisis: The flood of inequity

Rasheed Shabazz, former communications fellow, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | July 29, 2014

Declaring “Water is a Human Right,” hundreds marched in the streets of Detroit on July 18 to protest the city shutting off water services for thousands of residents too poor to pay their utility bills. Since March of this year, the Detroit Sewage and Water Department (DSWD) has cut off running water to over 15,000 … Continue reading »

Rand Paul versus clean water

Dan Farber, professor of law | March 17, 2014

Rand Paul recently won a big victory in the straw poll held by CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.  In the environmental area, his signature measure is the Defense of Environment and Property Act. On its surface, the goal of the law is to cut back on federal jurisdiction over wetlands. The bill would drastically cut back on … Continue reading »

Why the cool kids are flocking to energy and not water economics

Maximilian Auffhammer, professor, international sustainable development | March 11, 2014

Why do kids like to go to birthday parties? Because there is lots of sugar and other kids. Academic economists are not that different. Energy economics has attracted a lot of new bright minds, both young and not so young. The reason is simple: It’s an important topic; the people working in this space are … Continue reading »

Where the water flows

Santiago Miret, Ph.D. student, materials science & engineering | February 18, 2014

California is currently experiencing a historic drought, one of the worst the state has had in over 100 years. The large amount of news coverage about the drought has instilled the notions water usage and water efficiency in the minds of regular consumers. Yet, when taking a closer look at where water is really flowing, it becomes … Continue reading »

The softer side of hydro

Christopher Hyun, PhD student, Energy and Resources Group | November 13, 2013

What I understand so far is that we are about to visit a company that develops renewable-energy technology. On the way to an old Navy air station in Alameda, I ask my fellow passengers, “So, what do these guys do, again?” Someone mentions wind; I have assumed solar, but I am a bit taken aback … Continue reading »

Reducing water use to save energy

Ethan Elkind, associate director, Climate Change and Business Program | May 21, 2011

In California, we’re always talking about conserving water, usually because of a drought, and increasingly because of our growing population and likely future of water shortages due to climate change. But research shows another compelling reason: conserving water means conserving energy. Pumping and treating water is energy-intensive — the state water project, with its big pumps to … Continue reading »