Ecology Law Quarterly Volume 49 (2022)
Despite an uptick in legal scholarship addressing resiliency and climate adaptation in general, very little of it analyzes the historic disparity between greater ex post public expenditures to recover from disasters and relatively smaller ex ante investments in disaster preparedness and prevention. This Article addresses the gap in the literature and identifies the circumstances under which investments in disaster preparedness and prevention occur. It concludes that, although these investments are more likely to occur than the public choice scholarship suggests, they face challenges that the public choice claim masks.
In this Article, we explore the problem of beneficial insect population decline and evaluate the utility of existing federal law to reverse the trend. We offer solutions that can be implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under existing federal laws without the need for additional congressional action.
This Article’s central claim is that the governance challenges posed by radical adaptation in Antarctica are surmountable. Geopolitical and security interests may make states more willing than is now evident to explore ice-sheet stabilization and amend the Antarctic Treaty System accordingly. Moreover, the legitimacy of the system relies on the perception that Antarctica is competently governed with adequate regard for global interests—a perception that would be greatly strengthened by vigorous and effective efforts to understand and, if appropriate, execute interventions to slow the continent’s contribution to sea level rise.
This Article is organized as follows. Part I details the increasingly broad domain of environmental justice concerns, from beginnings focused on the negative impacts of waste sites on disadvantaged communities to more attention over the last two years on the relationship between COVID-19 death rates and high particulate matter concentrations. Part II shows that disadvantaged communities are subject to higher particulate matter exposure, and finds that, as a result of both this higher exposure and higher susceptibility, they experience significantly worse health outcomes. Turning to the policy front, Part III details how environmental justice claims were cast aside by EPA in the revisions of the NAAQS for particulate matter. Finally, Part IV explains how, because of a lack of political will and some technical challenges, EPA has institutionalized a state of permanent nonattainment with the NAAQS despite the deleterious environmental justice consequences of this action. The Article concludes with a brief, more optimistic blueprint for future action.