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One Giant Heap for Mankind: The Need for National Legislation or Agency Action to Regulate Private Sector Contributions to Orbital Debris

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:34

This article will explain the dynamics of the space environment, examine current space law and its shortcomings both internationally and nationally, and present reasoned resolutions to the issue at hand including the use of petitions for action by United States government agencies and the encouragement of legislative action. This article will also address certain positive and negative aspects of adopting debris-regulating law. Above all, the United States government and the American people should be made aware of the serious issues concerning the continued use of space by the private sector, and this article seeks to facilitate that conversation. Through this awareness, the United States can address the current legal deficiencies and provide an example of the focus that should be given to space debris law.

Categories: Books

Incorporating Third Party Green Building Rating Systems into Municipal Building and Zoning Codes

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:34

The role of green buildings in mitigating climate change has thus become a hot topic. This literature has begun to elicit change within corporations pursuing third party certification of their corporate buildings and campuses. Perhaps the success of discrete green building projects in mitigating climate change compared to the failure of international regulatory bodies to reach consensus for meaningful change is due to the publicity and, in turn, profits associated with certification by a third party green building rating system. In addition to reduced GHG emissions, reduced runoff, reduced maintenance costs, and positive publicity of green buildings for the project developer, green building rating systems also stimulate local commerce and tax revenue streams for municipalities. Additionally, green building rating systems combat greenwashing and ignorance in the marketplace amongst consumers who try to make informed and responsible decisions but do not have the resources to research the validity of claims that a product or building is sustainable. In brief, while municipalities can take actions to realize these benefits, there are right and wrong ways to go about the adoption of third party green building systems, and cities that do not navigate their course wisely will see their legislation stricken down and their intentions frustrated by the courts.

Categories: Books

Executive Power and Regional Climate Change Agreements

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:34

This Article explores the potential for such agreements to address climate change on a regional level by analyzing the parallels between the agreements, the nature and limits of the executive power used to create them, and the scope of enforcement available under them. Section II briefly examines the present state of climate warming and its attendant impacts, while Section III highlights the relative failure of current national and international approaches to mitigating climate change. Section IV focuses on the recent rise of environmental regional agreements in the United States, specifically those agreements to which the State of New York has been integral. Section V then explores how the use of executive authority by the Governor of New York has engendered limited success—primarily through the greenhouse gas reductions committed to and realized—in these agreements. The Article concludes by considering the way these achievements can serve as examples for the creation of a federal or, ideally, international agreement to combat climate change.

Categories: Books

Beef Products, Inc. v. ABC News: (Pink) Slimy Enough to Determine the Constitutionality of Agricultural Disparagement Laws?

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:34

This Comment analyzes the likelihood of whether BPI’s case against ABC News will be decided on the merits, whether South Dakota’s agricultural disparagement statute will be upheld as constitutional, and thus the likelihood that other states’ statutes will be struck down, thereby preserving the public’s freedom to question and criticize the safety of our food system. First, Part I offers a brief introduction to agricultural disparagement laws, their historical application, and BPI’s pending lawsuit. Next, Part II reviews the context of the enactment of agricultural disparagement laws, summarizes the common elements of these laws, and discusses Texas Beef Group v. Winfrey. Parts III (A) and (B) discuss BPI v. ABC News and analyze whether the facts of the case are sufficient to permit a decision on the merits. Part III (C) analyzes the constitutionality of South Dakota’s agricultural disparagement statute under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Finally, Part IV concludes that BPI’s case will probably fail on the merits, and that South Dakota’s agricultural disparagement statute is likely unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

Categories: Books

The Executive and the Environment: A Look at the Last Five Governors in New York

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:34

Gubernatorial leadership is the single most important indicator of how sustainable New York will be when it comes to issues of environmental protection and conservation. In preparing for the Kerlin Lecture, one of the things that struck me is that New York governors for at least the last thirty years have consistently identified the critical economic, social, and environmental challenges facing this state. Is it simply political rhetoric to decry that the state is in terrible fiscal shape, that programs need to be funded to help those is need, and that we must pay attention to stewarding the environment today to secure tomorrow? The fact remains that these are the three major legs of the sustainability stool and the measure of gubernatorial leadership is not in the lofty goals that were set forth, but rather in what was actually accomplished. This Kerlin Lecture focuses on the broader theme of gubernatorial leadership and sustainability rather than perhaps the narrower reference to the environment, to reflect what in my opinion has enabled the global community to address core environmental challenges by forming alliances with other interest groups that might not have necessarily believed there was a logical affinity to strengthening environmental protections.

Categories: Books

Innovations in Energy and Climate Policy: Lessons from Vermont

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:34

We ask in this article: how can planners and policymakers replicate Vermont’s energy and climate policies? We begin by explaining the research methods utilized for this article—mainly research interviews with a pool of experts, coupled with a targeted literature review. We then analyze the success of Vermont energy policy across four areas: energy efficiency, renewable energy, the smart grid, and energy governance. The following sections first explain how Vermont accomplished these successes, next identify a number of remaining barriers and elements of Vermont’s approach that may not be replicable, and finally present the article’s conclusions.

Categories: Books

The Missing Link: U.S. Regulation of Consumer Cosmetic Products to Protect Human Health and the Environment

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:34

This article explores these lax regulatory efforts and their connection to risk assessment, and proposes changes to our current toxics regulatory paradigm. Part I of this article explores our current regulatory approach for consumer cosmetics. Part II discusses the specific and dire concerns regarding chemicals that are suspected carcinogens and those suspected of disrupting the human endocrine system. The article argues in Part III that because the framework for our current regulation of consumer cosmetic products is not designed to be protective of human health, our regulatory paradigm must shift dramatically in the future if this is to become our true goal. Part IV of the article compares our federal efforts to regulate toxic substances in cosmetics with those in other developed countries and at the state level in the United States. This section concludes that we lag far behind in our health protective regulatory efforts relative to other jurisdictions. If we are to make the protection of human health a fundamental goal of our toxics regulatory system and specifically, our cosmetic product regulation, we must change our normative goals and operate from a more precautionary stance. In Part V, the article reviews past and current federal legislative proposals regarding cosmetic regulation, and makes suggestions on how the current proposal could be strengthened to make U.S. cosmetics safer, and have a greater potential to protect human health.

Categories: Books

Fraud and First Amendment Protections of False Speech: How United States v. Alvarez Impacts Constitutional Challenges to Ag-Gag Laws

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:21

This article first explains the background and functions of undercover investigations of agricultural production facilities, and explains the bases upon which states pass laws intended to prevent these investigations. It then gives a background of research already conducted on the constitutionality of Ag-Gag laws, and examines the relevance of the Supreme Court case Alvarez. Based on the analysis provided in Alvarez, the article demonstrates that Ag-Gag laws would not be exempt from heightened First Amendment scrutiny as fraud statutes. Moreover, it demonstrates that, in particular, the Iowa and Utah Ag-Gag laws would not survive the heightened scrutiny outlined in Alvarez.

Categories: Books

Animal Agriculture Laws on the Chopping Block: Comparing United States and Brazil

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:21

Brazil and the United States are among the largest producers and exporters of livestock in the world. This raises important animal rights and environmental concerns. While many of the impacts of industrial animal agriculture are similar in Brazil and the United States, there are key differences in the effects on animals and the environment. The variations between Brazil and the United States are due to ecological, production method, and regulatory differences between the countries. Despite their dissimilarities, however, Brazil and the United States both largely fail to adequately protect farm animals and the environment from the impacts of large-scale animal agriculture. As the animal agriculture industry is profit-driven, economic considerations take precedent over environmental or ethical concerns. Because these two countries produce and export so much of the world’s meat, effective regulation and enforcement in this area is essential.

Section II of this article discusses the animal welfare abuses and environmental degradation animal agriculture causes in the United States and Brazil. Section III explains the regulatory schemes of both countries as they pertain to animal rights and environmental issues resulting from animal agriculture. Section IV compares the animal agriculture track records of Brazil and the United States relating to the animal welfare implications, resulting environmental degradation, and regulatory schemes of the countries. This section goes on to provide suggestions for the future of animal agriculture in each country. Lastly, Section V concludes with a brief summary and recommendations for the future.

Categories: Books

Origins and Development of Teaching Animal Law in Brazil

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:21

This paper examines the strategies utilized on each continent and shows the path made for these scholars to build a framework to discuss animal law within law schools. The conclusion is that this movement produced by such scholars has changed the way law schools are teaching law and is affording new opportunities to solve animal concerns, and likewise, social problems in Brazil and around the world.

Therefore, this article first discusses the philosophical Brazilian background to teach animal law, and how the animal rights movement creates a framework for professors and students working in this field. It then summarily explores the Brazilian and United States dialogue and how this partnership has expanded the animal law debate in South America, followed by an examination of the civil law countries that have historically influenced the Brazilian system. That section focuses on Portugal, Spain, and France to define new pedagogy to legal education in Brazil while looking at the Brazilian experience in teaching animal law. Some universities have begun to open discussion and create centers to debate this area. The challenge is to change the way of teaching law by showing students that human and non-human interests need to be considered by the law. Finally, this article proposes a direction and some perspectives for the immediate future and explains that it is time to overcome the obstacles and enjoy the atmosphere already shaped to teach animal law as an autonomous subject, that is, as part of the minimum curriculum in Brazilian law schools.

Categories: Books

Using Emerging Pollution Tracking Methods to Address the Downstream Impacts of Factory Farm Animal Welfare Abuse

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:21

CAFOs present numerous interconnected ethical, environmental, and public health threats, and this article will discuss opportunities to address the multiple adverse impacts of factory farming through advances in pollution tracking methodologies. The first section will introduce the factory farm issue, and the relationship between its environmental and welfare consequences. We then review approaches to establishing liability for surface and groundwater contamination under existing pollution control laws and describe the unique challenges of using these approaches in the context of CAFO pollution. We then discuss techniques that have been used to more precisely identify sources of pollution, including measurements of a range of chemicals and bacteria, pharmaceuticals used in livestock operations, antibiotic resistance, microbial source tracking, and fecal source tracking. We continue with a discussion of the state of the science and law with regard to these novel pollution tracking methods. To better understand the remaining barriers to effective use of emerging science in this arena, we conclude with a review of judicial acceptance of novel analytical techniques in CAFO-related and other contexts.

Categories: Books

Cultural Solipsism, Cultural Lenses, Universal Principles, and Animal Advocacy

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:21

Given the potpourri of human cultures and the need to take a global view of animal rights advocacy, how can animal rights advocates most efficiently and successfully advocate for animals? This article will address this issue.

First, I will describe and analyze views of the human/animal relationship from five example cultural traditions: Western culture, represented generally by Europe and North America, Indian culture, Chinese culture, South African culture, and Islamic culture, exemplified primarily here by Turkey. It is not asserted here that any of these cultures or countries are homogenous; they are not. Although Western culture is primarily constructed on Judeo-Christian traditions, there are many facets, tangents, and strands of these and other traditions in the West. India is, of course, an admixture of peoples and religious traditions, as is China. South Africa is a country with a mixture of different cultures and traditions, which have collided in recent history. And Islamic culture includes two major religious traditions as well as numerous offshoots from these major traditions and includes many ethnic groups. Moreover, it is also the case that there will always be individuals and groups within a culture whose views diverge from the cultural norm. The project here is not to attempt to represent each of these cultures as clearly defined and structured monoliths, but rather to attempt to ascertain a few fundamental principles and ideas that make significant contributions to thought about the human/animal relationship in these cultures and countries.

I will demarcate the contours and boundaries of these fundamental cultural ideas about animals through analysis of historical as well as current events and issues in these cultures, but for the most part will focus on the dominant religious thought of these cultures. This emphasis on religious thought is prompted by the fact that religious thought or conceptual constructs derived from religious thought are often the foundational ingredient in a culture’s view of the human/animal relationship, although it will be discovered that this may not always be the case.

Second, laws relating to animals from the chosen countries and cultures will be described and the cultural influences on these laws will be evaluated. Third, the implications of cultural differences and similarities for global animal rights advocacy will be scrutinized. In performing this analysis, this article will construct a model for global animal rights advocacy that incorporates consideration of cultural idiosyncrasies and, at the same time, has a foundation built on certain universally accepted principles. This model posits a “Compound Cultural Lens” of cultural influences that must be assayed in animal advocacy in a globalized world composed of a “Culturally Solipsistic Lens” representing the peculiarities of the particular culture and a “Universal Cultural Lens” that represents certain principles argued to be omnipresent in all cultures. It is posited that animal advocacy can benefit from crafting its messages utilizing these two aspects of the Compound Cultural Lens.

Categories: Books

Foreword

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:20

The overlap between animal law and environmental law arises because the two disciplines are fundamentally linked. One cannot talk about the environment without also discussing the nonhuman sentient beings that populate it. Indeed, as I shall discuss shortly, one of the most vexing issues for me— as a scholar working in both fields—involves my ongoing attempt to address the historical tension between the two disciplines. This volume of the Pace Environmental Law Review (PELR) marks an important step on the path toward resolving those tensions and moving environmental law forward. That path will not always be smooth, nor will it be obstacle-free.

Categories: Books