Planet Money Indicator: NPR

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Laws like the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act were written in the 1970s to protect the natural world from people and development. Today, climate change poses another threat to the natural and built worlds. Princeton University researchers estimate that unless Americans drastically reduce their energy use, the amount of solar and wind power needed to meet the nation’s climate goals is the size of Wyoming and Colorado. reunited. But JB Ruhl, a law professor at Vanderbilt University, says environmental laws ironically stand in the way.

Today we compare and contrast the threats to two different bats on opposite ends of the planet to show the tension between local and global environmentalism, and how building a green economy requires people to have difficult conversations about trade-offs.

Further reading:

JB Ruhl and James Salzman – What happens when the Green New Deal meets old green laws?

Hillary Aidun, Jacob Elkin, Radhika Goyal, Kate Marsh and Neely McKee – Opposition to Renewable Energy Installations in the United States

The Nature Conservancy Site Renewable Energy Right Plan

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