Carved out by glaciers, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) houses 1,500 miles of canoe routes, 2,200 designated campsites, and more than 1,000 lakes and streams.The glaciers left behind cliffs, canyons, rolling hills, souring rock formations, sandy beaches, and rocky shores.In the Superior National Forest, more than 1 million acres of Minnesota is protected under the Wilderness Act of 1964,and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act of 1978.Signing the Wilderness Act, Lyndon B. Johnson preserved the BWCAW as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.The BWCAW is one of the most visited public land areas in the United States.More than 200,000 people visit this pristine wild area annually.
The United States’ population consumes over 305 billion gallons of water daily. This amount of water would fill 461,944 Olympic swimming pools. At this rate of consumption, 40 out of 50 states will face water shortages within the next decade.With the growth of the United States population, particularly growth focused in coastal cities, comes increased pressure on aquifers. In addition, climate change is degrading aquifers. Increased pressure on aquifers coupled with the effects of climate change causes a number of issues for groundwater aquifers, one of them being saltwater intrusion.
The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that inundated coastlines, severe food shortages, increased poverty, intensified wildfires and droughts, and mass die-offs of coral reefs loom in the near future.In early October, the IPCC issued a special report examining the “impacts of global warming of 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels.”The report found that the planet will begin experiencing the detrimental effects of climate change decades sooner than previously expected.It asserts that governments around the world must make drastic changes to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to avoid such severe impacts.In the United States—the world’s second largest emitter of GHG emissions—transportation now constitutes the single largest source of GHG emissions.These findings show that the transportation sector constitutes an ideal candidate for more stringent emission standards.
In 2006, the “Beepocalypse” hit Hanyuan county of China’s Sichuan province, threatening the production of the area’s primary economic resource, pears. The use of pesticides had decimated the area’s native bee population. To keep their trees producing pears, the farmers turned to a new pollinator—humans.This event is the worst case scenario for an area dependent on pollinators. Yet, the spotlight seemed to shift directly to the managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, and their demise.The honey bee arrived in the United States in the 1600s. However, many other pollinators lived—and still live—in the United States. Wild bees,butterflies,birds,bats,moths,flies,beetles,wasps, and antsrepresent pollinators native to the United States—versus non-native, and potentially invasive, pollinators.
Ownership is a tricky thing, especially when ownership causes displacement. The law is full of legal fictions imperfectly strung together to try and balance competing ownership interests.Gentrification weaves together legal ownership,personal ownership,and historical ownership—making the problems associated with gentrification tangled, tightly wound, and tricky. Often home ownership, specifically whoowns the homes in a neighborhood, is where the gentrification debate takes place.However, the gentrification knot cannot be untangled by only looking at one thread. Gentrification law and policy must consider the economic factors beyond home ownership to achieve fair, just, and equitable community revitalization.
Renee Valerie G. Fajardo
On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at the Hague issued its Final Decision on the dispute between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines. The Final Decision—a complicated answer written in 500 pages—can be distilled into four major points: (1) China has no historic rights over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea; (2) None of Spratly Islands generates its own exclusive economic zone (EEZ); (3) China violated the Philippines’ rights within the Philippine EEZ by interfering with the Philippines’ activities in the area; and (4) China severely damaged the coral reef environment and violated its obligation to preserve the environment under the UNCLOS.
David Balderramas is a blue-collar steel worker in Texas by day and a handyman by night. Like many Americans, he works two jobs to provide for his family. David and his wife came to the United States in 1956 for a better life and to start a family. They became legal permanent residents and regular taxpayers. Unfortunately, David used to be an alcoholic and was convicted for driving while intoxicated. After serving time for his crime, in 1998, Immigration and Naturalization Services arrested David at his home and soon after began the deportation process. If the United States deports David, he will leave his two children, both U.S. citizens, and his diabetic wife to fend for themselves.
Erin C. Bennett
“Asteroids are lumps of metals, rock and dust, sometimes laced with ice and tar, which are the cosmic leftovers from the Solar System’s formation about 4.5 billion years ago.” Most of the asteroids in the Solar System are located between Mars and Jupiter in a grouping known as the Main Asteroid Belt. However, numerous asteroids—ranging in size and shape—exist near Earth’s atmosphere. In fact, smaller asteroids tend to be “house-sized,” and those fragments, while considered small, are predicted to contain metals worth millions of dollars. Needless to say, the larger the asteroid, the larger the accumulation of precious metals. Due to commercial mining, such metals exist in scarce quantities on Earth. Therefore, the era of near-Earth asteroid mining is upon us.
Julia Muench Rumburg
As citizens of the United States of America, our Constitution guarantees us certain rights. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments provide that no government, Federal or State, shall deprive any person of life without due process of law. The requirements of life are straightforward: humans require water, air, food, sleep, and shelter. If we are denied access to these requirements for a period of time, we die; if we are denied access to reliable, clean sources of these requirements for an extended period of time, we become sick and ultimately die.
In 2015, approximately 1.3 million refugees crossed into Europe in hopes of seeking asylum. They arrived by sea and also crossed devastated lands. The majority of the refugees in 2015 hailed from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq—war-torn countries whose violence has spurred an exodus to the proverbial Promised Land. But is Europe indeed a continent that will equitably cater to each of these refugees? It has certainly tried. But it has certainly failed, as well.