King Henry VIII and the Super Bowl

Malcolm Potts

Henry VIII, famous for abandoning the Catholic Church and marrying six times, liked jousting. Jousting is martial sport where two horsemen in armor gallop towards one another at breakneck speed holding wooden lances. The aim is to strike your opponent and if possible unseat him. Henry was concussed several times, the … More >

A reader weighs in on:

The future of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant

Anthony St. John '63 said:

Steven, how can we trust California utilities and regulators after the 2010 PG&E gas explosion deaths, the long-term SCE San Onofre nuclear radiation threats to people in Orange and San Diego counties, the SoCalGas gas leaks that are seriously injuring people in Porter Ranch today, and no one is being held ... More >

Gas is too cheap

Maximilian Auffhammer

Readers of this blog are likely aware that oil is really cheap right now. While in July 2008, the U.S. benchmark price peaked at just above $140 a barrel, its price dipped to below $27 in mid-January.

The Internet is on fire telling us that a barrel of oil is now … More >

The future of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant

Steven Weissman

The role that nuclear power could or should play in helping to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions is worthy of serious debate, but the latest nuclear-related front-page story in the San Francisco Chronicle is a head-scratcher. Above the fold, the headline reads “Nuclear plant’s surprise backers,” followed by the following subheading: … More >

Veterans and suicides?

Claude Fischer

The “wave of veteran suicides,” in the words of The New York Times editors last year, seems to cap the traumas that the vets have borne in service to the nation. It turns out, however, that actually establishing that there is a connection between military service and suicide is difficult. … More >

Clean technology: Big win in Supreme Court

Ethan Elkind

The future of a clean electricity grid will require more decentralization based on clean technology, like solar and energy storage. Large industrial customers are investing in these technologies and also signing up to moderate their electricity demand in response to larger grid needs (i.e. reducing usage when electricity becomes expensive … More >

The volcanic core fueling the 2016 election

Robert Reich

Not a day passes that I don’t get a call from the media asking me to compare Bernie Sanders’s and Hillary Clinton’s tax plans, or bank plans, or health-care plans.

I don’t mind. I’ve been teaching public policy for much of the last 35 years. I’m a policy wonk.

But detailed policy … More >

Feeling smug about your solar rooftop? Not so fast

Severin Borenstein

If you installed solar panels on your roof and feel aglow with environmental virtue, you may be in for a rude awakening. There’s a good chance someone else has purchased your halo and is wearing it right now.

In most states (including California) power generated by rooftop solar panels earns Renewable Energy … More >

Structural racism in Flint, Michigan

Stephen Menendian

On Jan. 16, 2016, President Barack Obama signed an order declaring a state of emergency in Flint, Michigan.[i]  It was not because of a tornado or hurricane, flooding or landslides, as was the case in South Carolina or Mississippi a few weeks before, or any other natural disaster.[ii]  Rather, it … More >

Cal Athletics: Playing without a playbook

Sam Davis

I am a CAL athletics fan and supporter, and a season ticket holder for basketball and football for over 40 years. I have recruited athletes for several sports, and have served as faculty chair of the Athletic Study Center, on a search committee for an athletic director, and on the … More >