Lawyers blog global warming

For this lowly blogger, the WIREC trade show was somewhat like being a kid in the candy store. There were so many truly Energy COOL items on the floor, so many chances to meet and speak with people pursuing intriguing (exciting) paths forward.  A lot of passionate and capable people. 

And, then there were all the lawyers.  A lot of lawyers and legal related booths.  I truly did not expect this.  On reflection, this suggests a limited thinking on my part. Why wouldn’t the sharks be gathering?  Energy laws are complex and confusing. There are a lot of regulatory issues and navigating those can matter as much as developing a technology. And, not in the least, there is a lot (LOT) of money at stake in the game. And, the existing and coming issues related to moving toward a carbon-constrained economy put even more money on the table, potentially to enrich those who know how to manipulate and navigate the system.  Law offices see $ signs (lots and lots of $ signs) here and are pursuing those dollars with a passion.

Notably, at many of the law booths, the document preparation was especially non-green in approach:  glossy, non-recyclable, one-sided printing, in binders.  Yup, green me wants to hire that pin-stripe suit. 

And, having that experience last week had me prepped to read with interest SolveClimate’s post “How Lawyers Blog“.

It seems that one of the nation’s largest law firms has established a “blog”: ClimateIntel.  From SolveClimate:

It is yet another indication of the primacy of carbon as a paramount business issue. But before getting too excited about reading the blog, please be forewarned by a big red flag:

The blog appears to be essentially a marketing vehicle for the firm’s global climate change practice, launched last November, and the interests of the clients it represents.

Now, one of the more amusing elements is Akin Gump’s (that big law firm’s) somewhat ham-handed approach to trying to get corss-linking.  

Now, David Sassoon at SolveCLimate decided to find out what’s what.  And, of course, their website provided some interesting material to think about:

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has formed a climate change practice to help clients control the risks and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the shift [to] a carbon-constrained economy, the firm announced today.

The multidisciplinary practice is led in Washington by Ken Mehlman, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and a partner in the firm’s policy practice, and Paul Gutermann, head of Akin Gump’s environment practice.

As David put it, “Ken Mehlman? Leading the climate change practice?” 

Yes, Ken Mehlman, with that long history of advocating environmentally friendly and climate sensible policies from the vantage point atop the RNC.  …

Hmmm … with what flavor does this taint their work? As David concluded,

 This is one instance where I’ll let you call me a “skeptic.”

PS:  Want serious environmental law blogging analysis?  Please try checking out, for example, Warming Law.  And, if you find anyone else out there doing serious blogging in this arena, let me know, because I can’t find her/him/them.

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