The Other Environmental Law: Climate Law’s Police Phase

The Other Environmental Law: Climate Law’s Police Phase

The adoption of fossil fuels to power the world economy has depended upon a fossil law that arranges a particular type of market and enforces a particular balance of power. One understudied, but central, aspect of this process is the use of state and corporate violence to compel the extraction and consumption of oil, gas, and coal.

A Just Transition for Finance

A Just Transition for Finance

The quest for “non-extractive finance” is filled with legal hurdles. This post examines how lawyers can support organizers working to imagine and build a better financial system.

REDD+ as the Stranger-King

REDD+ as the Stranger-King

In theory, REDD+ is designed to be a win-win: it brings capital to economically struggling communities while ensuring that forests worldwide are protected for the good of the global community. Yet as theory of the Stranger King makes apparent, some colonialist approaches are softer and gentler than others — colonizing as invitees, rather than by force.

The Contested Boundaries of Just Transitions Law

The Contested Boundaries of Just Transitions Law

During the past decade the concept of a “just transition” has expanded far beyond its roots in the labor movement’s concern for protecting displaced fossil fuel workers. Should we welcome this expansion of the concept? Or will this generic use of ‘just transition’ undermine ​its usefulness as a framing device to guide policy and discourse?

Woke Capital?

Woke Capital?

Anti-monopolists are right to worry about the concentrated power of institutional investors, but they are wrong to treat them as all bad. Common ownership presents an opportunity for the left to divide the interests of capitalists.

Reconstructing the Algebra of Race and Rights

Reconstructing the Algebra of Race and Rights

I follow Patricia Williams, Angela Harris & Aysha Pamukcu, in arguing universal rights, to basic income and other resources, are insufficient but necessary ingredients for justice. Indeed, I argue for permanent, non-discretionary funding of these rights. No one truly knows how much money the U.S. government spends encoding and encasing private property rights, much less private capital’s rights to coordinate or contract. In many ways, these costs are “baked into” society. So, ultimately, should it be for rights to income, healthcare, housing, education, employment for all.

Climate Change and Racial Capitalism

Climate Change and Racial Capitalism

Despite the disproportionate impact of climate change on vulnerable populations who have been largely ignored due to their racialization, legal scholarship on climate displacement has often adopted a doctrinal approach that fails to analyze the underlying systemic causes of the climate crisis and its relationship to race and racism.

Human Waste Management

Human Waste Management

In a previous post, I gave two cheers for “reproduction” as a useful verb to think with when trying to understand the relationship between “political economy” and the social-ecological world within LPE. I held back that third cheer out of a rhetorical concern. As I put it then, “‘Social reproduction’” might imply that there is…

The Failure of Market Solutions and the Green New Deal – Pt 1

The Failure of Market Solutions and the Green New Deal – Pt 1

For the three decades that climate change has been a political issue, it has been understood primarily as an instance of severe “market failure”: as the 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change explains, “greenhouse gas emissions are externalities and represent the biggest market failure the world has seen.” In other words, carbon…

The Green New Deal: What’s Green? What’s New? What’s the Deal?

The Green New Deal: What’s Green? What’s New? What’s the Deal?

During their first weeks in the new U.S. Congress, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues already have done something no other American political figure has managed for decades. They have got the whole country, and indeed much of the world, talking about massively transformative public investment as a real prospect. The ‘Green New Deal’ exceeds…