Policy

Understanding environmental rollback

In a Q&A, environmental law Professor Deborah Sivas discusses a recent executive order that empowers federal agencies to override legal requirements for environmental reviews and community feedback related to major infrastructure projects.

Living near oil and gas wells may increase preterm birth risk

New research shows living near oil and gas development in California is a risk factor for preterm birth, the leading cause of infant death in the United States. About 2.1 million Californians live within one mile of an active oil or gas well.

A ‘veil of darkness’ reduces racial bias in traffic stops

After analyzing 95 million traffic stop records, filed by officers with 21 state patrol agencies and 35 municipal police forces from 2011 to 2018, researchers concluded that “police stops and search decisions suffer from persistent racial bias.”

Rethinking tsunami defense

Careful engineering of low, plant-covered hills along shorelines can mitigate tsunami risks with less disruption of coastal life and lower costs compared to seawalls.

More rain, less snow increases flooding

By analyzing more than two decades of data in the western U.S., scientists have shown that flood sizes increase exponentially as a higher fraction of precipitation falls as rain, offering insight into how flood risks may change in a warming world with less snow.

In a war perceived as just, many Americans excuse war criminals

Political scientist Scott Sagan finds that almost half of Americans are willing to allow a war crime – a massacre of innocent women and children – to go unpunished when they believe the act was committed by soldiers fighting for a just cause.