Secretary Ryan Zinke is at the forefront of the Trump administration’s mission to extract resources from public lands. In the first episode of a new Bulletin series on the devaluation of expertise in government policy, UCLA environmental law professor Sean Hecht reacts to the unscientific statements and decisions coming out of the Department of the Interior.
The Bulletin is immensely grateful for the scientists, policymakers, artists, community leaders, board members, donors, and concerned citizens who made our 2018 Annual Dinner & Meeting a resounding success! The Annual Dinner featured an all-star lineup, with inspiring words that brought the audience to their feet from Governor Jerry Brown, Rieser Award recipient Yangyang … Continued
“The Woolsey Fire likely released and spread radiological and chemical contamination that was in [the Santa Susana Field Laboratory’s] soil and vegetation via smoke and ash,” said Bob Dodge, president of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles. “All wildfire smoke can be hazardous to health, but if [the lab] had been cleaned up long ago as DTSC promised, we’d at least not have to worry about exposure to dangerous radionuclides and chemicals as well.”
French President Emmanuel Macron, himself the target of a pre-election hack, went on the offensive this week against the thieves, hackers, and foreign agents who use the internet to attack infrastructure, steal trade secrets, and tip elections. He got representatives of dozens of countries, companies, and nongovernmental organizations to sign onto efforts designed to make … Continued
The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty following years of Russian noncompliance is the most recent upset in a series of escalating tensions between the two superpowers. The political status of Ukraine and Crimea, Russian disinformation campaigns in the 2016 election cycle, and continued uncertainty surrounding the extension of New START have … Continued
Modern export-control systems are streaked with a brush of irony: The very civilian agencies that determine governmental approaches to exporting emerging technologies do not leverage these same technologies to perform key tasks. Rightfully, experts raise alarm at states and non-state actors that weaponize artificial intelligence (AI), yet they pay relatively little attention to how the … Continued
Recently, analysts have argued that emerging technologies with military applications may undermine nuclear stability (see here, here, and here), but the logic of these arguments is debatable and overlooks a more straightforward reason why new technology might cause nuclear conflict: by upending the existing balance of power among nuclear-armed states. This latter concern is more … Continued
A video posted by the White House press secretary might not have been a deepfake, but it was at least a shallow one.
For climate change activists, the midterm elections brought some good news and some bad.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published by Undark. It appears here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. “We do not care about planet Earth,” four French scientists declared in February in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution. If humans are exhausting the planet’s resources, they wrote, it’s Earth that needs to adapt—not us. The authors issued a warning: “Should … Continued
Sanctioning one of the world’s largest financial messaging systems because of its relationship with Iran sounds appealing to the Trump Administration. But could they really do it?
An intergovernmental body that promotes international anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing standards just kicked the can down the road when it comes to Iran. Which may not be such a bad thing, depending on your perspective.
When someone deliberately deprives of civilians of hospitals and medicine—as Bashar Al-Assad is doing in Syria—he is conducting a sort of biological warfare.
The federal government has tried repeatedly to have the kids’ climate case dismissed, but it is once again headed for trial.
The November/December issue is available! The extraordinarily fast-paced advance across the world’s scientific and technological enterprise constitutes a defining characteristic of the 21st century. In this issue of the Bulletin, leading experts explore how these quickly-changing technologies increasingly intersect with one another and, as they do, pose new types of global threats. SPECIAL ISSUE: Existential nexus: … Continued
The United States may have pulled out of the nuclear deal, but US leaders can still help ensure that Iran doesn’t restart building nuclear weapons.
If India were to dip into its stockpile of reactor-grade plutonium, then instead of dozens of nuclear weapons, it might be able to make hundreds or even thousands. How can we estimate its maximum capacity? By knowing how big India’s stockpile is—and we do that by using this algorithm to plug in some unclassified data publicly available online.
We have been down this Cold War road before. Eventually, we came to our senses and decided to build off-ramps in the form of treaties like INF. Why on Earth would we want to repeat the journey?
Trump’s move to withdraw from the INF is an unnecessary and self-defeating own-goal (to use the soccer term) that together with the uncertain future of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) has brought the US-Russia arms control framework to the brink of collapse.
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