Monroe appointed visiting assistant professor at the School of Law

Albert Monroe

Nov. 8, 2013 - Albert Monroe, who was recently appointed visiting assistant professor of law at the School of Law, is working feverishly to save the world.

Monroe, who specializes in climate change law and policy; law and economics; and property, is particularly passionate about researching ways to reduce pollution in America's current energy system.

"Smog kills 20,000 Americans every year, according to a recent study" he said. "Climate change has immense effects that are wide-ranging."
Hurricanes will continue to grow physically larger, Monroe predicts.

"When you see these humongous storms like Katrina and Sandy, you are seeing a predicted effect of climate change that is already happening," he said. 

The effects of climate change can be seen around the world, Monroe said. "The civil war in Syria can be tied to climate change," he said. "Rain fall has dropped over the past five years. Farmers can no longer grow crops on their land, which has created a destabilized economy - and eventually a civil war."

America will see more widespread destruction if something isn't done, Monroe fears. "One paper predicts that Miami is doomed - with water inundating the city from the Atlantic and from the Everglades," he said.

Much of Monroe's research is intended at finding ways to prevent such disasters. "My papers are really trying to figure out how to use current law to deal with these problems," he said. 

Among the areas he is focusing on is how regulations could be used to reduce smog and how regulations could ensure safer power plants. "My papers are really trying to figure out how courts are interpreting the laws that are already on the books," he said. 

Monroe, who was previously a faculty fellow at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, said he is thrilled to be teaching environmental law at Quinnipiac. "I'm excited," he said. "There is going to be a lot of need for folks with interdisciplinary skills."

Monroe himself is an interdisciplinary amalgamation of sorts.

Earning a law degree at Yale University, a doctorate in economics at Harvard University and bachelor's degrees in economics and chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Monroe is in a unique position to grasp the forces in play.

"I know a lot about science, but the issues have gotten increasingly more difficult," he said. "The regulations are almost incomprehensibly complicated."

With the U.S. Congress seemingly unwilling to update laws on climate change and the Washington D.C. circuit court overwhelmed by the complexity of related regulations, Monroe is working diligently to determine how best the United States should move forward.

"As we transition into a new system, we have to figure out how to make it all work with a set of laws designed for our current system," Monroe said. "We are really going to have to get our arms around it all before we can make any sort of progress."