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Showing 23 results

Karen Sokol | July 22, 2021

What Fossil Fuel Industry Deception Tells Us About How to Survive the Climate Emergency

On the last day of June, an entire village in Canada was engulfed in a wildfire after the country recorded its highest temperature ever. That same day, Greenpeace UK's investigative team published a striking tape of two Exxon senior employees' candid accounts of the fossil fuel industry's surreptitious lobbying efforts to undermine climate action.

Karen Sokol | July 13, 2021

The Strategic and Moral Failures of the Biden Administration’s International Climate Initiatives

"When you are at the verge of the abyss, you must be very careful about your next step, because if the next step is in the wrong direction, you will fall." So warned United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in a recent interview on NBC Nightly News. He was calling on the world's wealthiest nations to meet their obligations under the Paris climate accords to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels and to help developing countries to transition and to adapt to threats that can no longer be averted. Wealthy nations simply must meet these obligations to achieve the Paris goal of holding global temperature rise to a sustainable level.

Karen Sokol | May 27, 2021

Drilled News Op-Ed: The Supreme Court’s Obscure Procedural Ruling In Baltimore’s Climate Case, Explained

Member Scholar Karen Sokol submitted an op-ed to the online outlet, Drilled News, on the Supreme Court's minor procedural ruling in the Baltimore climate case and its potentially major implications.

Karen Sokol | May 4, 2021

The Hill Op-Ed: Climate Action Supporters: The Fossil Fuel Industry Is Not Your Friend

A week after taking office, President Joe Biden issued an executive order “on tackling the climate crisis” that aims to face the challenge comprehensively and equitably. Biden has quickly appointed and seen confirmed a team of leaders who are committed to all aspects of this mission. Our country is finally on the cusp of meaningful climate action. The climate action train is so popular that even fossil fuel companies, which have historically sought to derail it, are now saying they’re on board. We should, of course, welcome all sincere collaborators; the fossil fuel industry is not among them.

Karen Sokol | March 15, 2021

Baton Rouge Advocate Op-ed: Biden Must Defend His Climate Policies from Industry Attack

A week after taking office, President Joe Biden issued an executive order “on tackling the climate crisis” that includes important measures to address the crisis comprehensively and equitably. Specifically, the order directs the federal government to take a “whole of government” approach to the climate crisis that pursues economic security, ensures environmental justice, and empowers workers. The beginning of such a plan is promising, particularly after four years under an administration that wiped the word “climate” from government websites, rolled back the Obama administration’s steps to address the crisis, and made fossil fuel production a centerpiece of its agenda. But it’s just that — a promising beginning. And it’s already under assault.

Karen Sokol, Robert Verchick | March 9, 2021

U.N. Human Rights Experts Call Out Environmental Racism in Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’

In the United States, many people think the world's worst human rights abuses take place elsewhere. Unless you are among those in the United States who are subjected to such mistreatment. On March 2, human rights experts called the world's attention to some of the most egregious and systematic human rights violations perpetuated here in the United States — and in particular in our neck of the woods in southeast Louisiana. International human rights experts condemned long-standing environmental racism in "Cancer Alley" — a heavily industrialized and polluted corridor along the Lower Mississippi River — and said it must end.

Karen Sokol | March 16, 2020

Trump’s Bungling of Coronavirus Response Mirrors His Approach to Climate Crisis

"This report is a catalogue of weather in 2019 made more extreme by climate change, and the human misery that went with it." That is the statement of Brian Hoskins, chair of Imperial College in London's Grantham Institute for Climate Change, about the recently released State of the Climate in 2019 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the WMO compiles information from scientists all over the world that has been a key driver of international climate law and policymaking. One of the IPCC's reports was similarly dire to that of the WMO's, but not without hope.

Karen Sokol | March 2, 2020

The Problem with the Climate Leadership Council’s Carbon Tax Plan

Earlier this year, on the heels of the Earth's hottest decade on record, a coalition of former government officials, fossil fuel companies, car manufacturers, financial companies, and nonprofit organizations renewed their endorsement of a national carbon tax as "the most effective climate solution" (emphasis added). And by "the," it appears that they mean "the only." The catch is that the coalition's legislative plan also calls for preventing the federal government from regulating carbon emissions and from taking any other protective measures "that are no longer necessary upon the enactment of a rising carbon fee." Given the scale and complexity of the planetary emergency that we face, it would certainly be nice if the solution were that simple. But that, of course, is too good to be true.

Karen Sokol | January 28, 2020

Despite Recent Setbacks, Juliana and Other Climate Suits Deserve their Day in Court

On January 17, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a much-awaited decision dismissing Juliana v. United States, a climate case that gained more traction in the courts than anyone had expected, given, as U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken stated in her opinion denying the motions to dismiss in the case, it was "no ordinary lawsuit."