Showing posts from January, 2016

When money isn't enough

This past week, I attended the NCSE conference in Washington DC.  This year's theme focused on the "Energy-Water-Food Nexus."  The Nexus is a focused effort on a specific aspect of resilience, sustainability, systems analysis or whatever the buzz word was before that.  

At the heart of society is food, energy, and water and if one system crumbles then the larger system collapses.  One man in the audience, pointed out that food, energy, water leaves out air which of course is integral to society.  But air, doesn't have a whole lot of infrastructure and the focus seemed to be on necessary systems that also have infrastructure.  

In any case, one of the keynote speakers, argued that the Chinese government has been more encouraging to environmental litigation.  I have no idea what is really meant by more encouraging or if it is necessarily interesting that China is doing this.  However, his point was that China encourages environmental protection through civil and criminal…

The Coastal Barrier Resource Act

It is the new year- an event often marked by resolutions.

Similar is the development of coastal areas.  Many think we shouldn't for one reason or another.  Many others think it feels good and there is money to be made.  Thus, we regularly build and regularly resolve to limit or refrain from building again.

A 2005 academic journal article sought to better understand the failures of the Coastal Barrier Resource Act (CBRA).  The author, David Salvesen, argued while the CBRA intended to limit development in specified areas, development continued because state and local government enabled it to through activities such as, infrastructure development and land management variations.

Too often, I think, the role of land management policy and those charged with upholding it are overlooked in meeting national development goals.

Because the act restricts the availability of federal aid to developments in CBRA zones,  Salvensen suggests the CBRA success is in limiting public exposure to d…