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More than Winners and Losers: The Importance of Moving Climate and Environmental Policy Debate Toward a More Transparent Process

Professor J.B. Ruhl’s article, The Political Economy of Climate Change Winners, seeks to break down this wall of silence. In his article, Professor Ruhl sets out a case for the existence of “climate change winners,” the importance of recognizing this phenomenon for purposes of crafting climate change policy, and policy proposals that he believes will be more effective in ad-dressing climate change given this “winners” phenomenon.

This Article responds to Professor Ruhl’s article. It agrees with the need to recognize the “climate change winners” perception phenomenon, but maintains that Professor Ruhl’s argument both makes too much of it and too little. In particular, this Article shows that the phenomenon is less ignored than he thinks, but argues that it is also the tip of a bigger and more important iceberg concerning what environmental scholars and policy makers have debated in terms of climate change and environmental policy generally. This Article then more fully explores the bigger problem of the policy discourse concerning climate change and environmental law, and suggests that the “environmental community” needs to shift its approach to the discussion of these problems and their solutions.