Monday, March 12, 2007

Literary Warrant

Old BooksIt is my pleasure to join the contributors of Jurisdynamics in my capacity as a law librarian. I work in the library (naturally) at Boalt Hall, the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. For some time, I have been directing occasional pertinent notifications of new books, reports, web sites, blogs, and so forth to Dan Farber and other Boalt professors interested in topics discussed in this forum. My goal has been at the very least not to fill their e-mail in-boxes with old news, and perhaps even to identify immediately useful material for them. Thanks to Profs. Farber and Chen, I now have leave to cast these announcements more widely via this blog.

Below then, in no particular order—well, the librarian's default when all else fails: alphabetical—I present this initial post of miscellaneous publications that have come my way during the past few weeks. I have deliberately linked in most cases not directly to the resource itself, but to the source by which I was notified. For example, many of these came to my attention via DocuTicker, a daily compilation of new reports and other research tools covering a wide range of topics. It strikes me that readers of Jurisdynamics might profit from learning about these sources as well as the specific content they collect. What's more, these sources often include links to press releases and other relevant materials.

Why "literary warrant"? It denotes the basis for deciding when to include a new term in a subject classification of literary works, such as books. A classification relying on a principle of literary warrant uses words or phrases appearing in a class of literature to describe "discrete, identifiable concept[s]" addressed by the class, rather than, say, some other more idiomatic or precise word or phrase (such as Natural disasters rather than Natural calamities). The trend toward socially generated online taxonomies, or "folksonomies," is a retreat from the principle of literary warrant. I use the term more loosely, simply to indicate that this and future posts will include notice of new publications that, I hope, will warrant your attention.
  • Climate Change and Environment Issues Poll (Hamilton College National Youth Polls, January 2007)

    "American high-school students do not understand climate change issues well. The average high-school student fails a quiz on the causes and consequences of climate change. Students who learn the most about climate change from TV news and shows know as much as students who have learned the most about climate change in school. However, students who learn the most using the Internet do better than the average. Teaching students about climate change outside typical science courses, for example, in a special class dedicated to the natural environment, increases students' knowledge."—Executive Summary.

  • European Environment Agency, Transport and Environment: On the Way to a New Common Transport Policy (TERM 2006: Indicators Tracking Transport and Environment in the European Union) (EEA Report no. 1/2007)

    "The objective of the report is to indicate some of the main challenges to reducing the environmental impacts of transport and to making suggestions to improve the environmental performance of the transport system as a whole. The report examines seven key issues which need to be addressed in the coming years. These issues are derived partly from the policy questions that form the backbone of TERM [Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism] and partly from other on-going projects at the EEA. As with previous TERM reports, this report evaluates the indicator trends with respect to progress towards existing objectives and targets from EU policy documents as well as various transport and environmental directives."

  • Global Warming: Confronting the Crisis (31st Annual UNIS-UN Student Conference Working Paper, March 1-2, 2007)

    "The articles compiled in this working paper, written entirely by members of the UNISUN Student Organizing Committee, examine the causes and consequences of the warming crisis as well as alternative solutions in resolving the concern. Further investigated are International Organizations which are struggling to combat global warming. It is our hope that this working paper will encourage attendees of this year's conference to actively participate in spreading a general awareness of the significance of global warming to our world and its inhabitants."

  • Impact of Climate Change on Golf Playable Days in the United States (WeatherBill, Inc., February 22, 2007)

    Golf Ball"The recent report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that global warming is 'unequivocal' and one of the serious challenges of our time. Climate change and uncertain weather are not only environmental and political issues, but are likely to have severe economic ramifications as well. The IPCC expects more frequent heat extremes, more frequent heavy precipitation events and areas of increased drought frequency. WeatherBill's analysis of U.S. weather data from the last 30 years points to more rain in the key April-September period in many cities in the East and Southeast, more drought in the West, and higher temperatures across the United States. Weather data recorded at most United States weather stations supports the IPCC climate change predictions and these changes will undoubtedly impact Golf Playable Days and the ability to accurately forecast financial earnings at golf courses around the country."

  • James M. McElfish, Jr., Ten Things Wrong With Sprawl (Environmental Law Institute, January 2007)

    "Portions of the building industry sometimes say that our current development patterns perfectly reflect the satisfaction of American social demands. Whatever we have, whatever we are creating, it must be what we want, or the market would provide something else. However, this position requires us to deny the influence of laws, institutions, zoning codes, financing rules, government subsidies and market failures. Much of the sprawl we see is the unintended result of laws and policies that were imperfectly aimed at something else, such as easing transportation delays, encouraging school modernization, providing healthy settings for housing, or stimulating home ownership."

  • Pew Center on Global Climate Change, What’s Being Done in the States

    "Across the country, states and regions are adopting policies to address climate change. These actions include increasing renewable energy generation, selling agricultural carbon sequestration credits, and encouraging energy efficiency. Such policies reduce vulnerability to energy price spikes, promote state economic development, and improve local air quality. Addressing climate change will require comprehensive national policy and international agreements. However, in the absence of federal policy, states and regions are taking the lead on developing policies that may provide models for future national efforts."

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Inspector General, Evaluation Report: EPA Relying on Existing Clean Air Act Regulations to Reduce Atmospheric Deposition to the Chesapeake Bay and its Watershed (Report No. 2007-P-00009, February 28, 2007)

    Chesapeake Bay"The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States, covering 64,000 square miles. Six States and the District of Columbia, various Federal agencies, and others are involved in Bay restoration. EPA estimates that nitrogen depositing back to the earth from the atmosphere accounts for approximately 32 percent of the man-made nitrogen load to the Bay and is a significant contributor to continuing water quality problems in the Bay."—Background.



Anonymous Patrick S. O'Donnell said...


I'm delighted they've brought you aboard and I'm certain we will benefit from your access to a broader venue. In the past I've enjoyed your comments at Opinio Juris and elsewhere in the legal blogosphere.

All good wishes,

3/15/2007 10:16 AM  
Blogger Dean C. Rowan said...


Thank you for your encouraging remarks. I'm really looking forward to being on board.


3/15/2007 11:03 AM  

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