September 2011

This a fascinating graph showing the relationship between educational attainment and support for Obama in the last presidential election. That said, I’m skeptical that "white-collar" America is the key to overcoming the President’s disfavor of "blue-collar" American as the NY Times article suggests. Maybe this is true in NC and VA, but I think demographics (e.g., Latino and Hispanic voters) may prove more important in the West and South (e.g., CO, FL, NV). In any event, you can see that in terms of baseline electoral votes, the Democrats have a position of strength compared to the Republicans. Given the economy and the enthusiasm gap among Dems, this has the makings to be a 2000/2004 style close election.


China Environmental Governance Blog reports, "A recent report on global CO2 trends done by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency for the European Commission, found that as of 2010, China’s per capita CO2 emissions are larger than France’s and Spain’s and could overtake the US by 2017 if growth doesn’t slow." But the question for me is how much of these emissions totals are from manufacturing goods destined for export to the West.

Last week we hosted the Second Annual Colloquium for Environmental Scholarship at Vermont Law School, a gathering of 44 scholars from around the world who presented their works-in-progress to their colleagues (and that number does not include the Vermont Law School environmental faculty that served as moderators and paper discussants). The event went well and highlights included the Energy Panel as Hope Babcock (Georgetown) and the Vermont energy faculty (Michael Dworkin and Don Kreis) debated the merits of the closure of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power facility, the jam-packed panel featuring presenters and audience members from China, Hong Kong, Sweden, Australia, and the U.S., and the awesome food provided by Kismet and Vermont Law School’s very own Chef Jeff. One comment from a participant was "There was a special spirit about this event and goodwill that is rare in those other settings that everyone felt." Another senior scholar emailed me to say, "Please keep doing this one — two years in and you’re already on my ‘don’t miss’ list." This would not have been possible without the great work of everyone who coordinated and attended the event–Thank you all! For an account of the event, see this post from Dave Owen at Environmental Law Prof Blog.

AT&T wants to build 60-foot tall cell tower in Veterans Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront. See For you Wisconsin public interest lawyers out there, get our your notes on the Public Trust Doctrine (PTD). As far as I know, the old Pieces of Eight restaurant was the only private fixture of the lakefront, and even they had to let you eat your bag lunch on their patio (which they hated), due to the PTD. (For non-lawyers the PTD, see My first question is whether Veterans Park is filled in lakebed. See Illinois Central RR v. IL. If so, how is a private cell tower in the public interest a la a museum or park? If I was back in Milwaukee, I would be all over this; but given the changes in Wisconsin state government, I’m not sure the WDNR would block this.

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