The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience


Robert Verchick

Date of Event



From fire to flood, from pounding heat waves to sea life stranded in a parking garage, Americans are seeing the face of climate breakdown. Cutting carbon pollution helps us avoid the very worst. But for risks we can’t avoid, we have to manage them. That’s especially true for poorer and underserved communities. Best-selling author and climate law expert, Rob Verchick will make the case for “climate resilience”—in our households, in our towns and cities, and in our legal system. Whether paddling through Louisiana’s bayous, hiking among Joshua trees in the Mojave Desert or diving off Key Largo with citizen scientists working to restore coral reefs, Verchick explores the range of problems we face and the many creative solutions that we can embrace and deploy.

Speaker Bio

Robert Verchick is a legal scholar in climate change and disaster policy who designed climate-resilience programs in the Obama administration. He is the Gauthier-St. Martin Eminent Scholar and Chair in Environmental Law at Loyola University New Orleans and the 2023-24 Francis B. Cashin Fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. Verchick has written more than 60 articles and four books. His best-selling book, The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience, was a winner of a 2023 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title. Verchick has taught as a visiting professor at Aarhus University, Peking University and Yale University. In 2009 and 2010, he served in the Obama administration as deputy associate administrator for policy at the US Environmental Protection Agency. He serves as president of the board of the Center for Progressive Reform. His podcast, "Connect the Dots," is in its eighth season. He is now working on his next book, which is about how we can harness the power of government, science and local wisdom to rescue the oceans from climate breakdown.

Lecture Series

Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law

Subject Headings

climate resilience; climate law


Law School Moot Courtroom (A59) and Virtual

Document Type