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Self-interest, the denial of climate change, and resistance to agricultural biotechnology

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | September 25, 2017

I first encountered the debate on climate change in the 1980s when I helped to organize a workshop at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. Our aim was to discuss the findings and implications of emerging research on climate change. As I recall there was not yet a consensus among meteorologists and other scientists about interpreting … Continue reading »

Houston, we all have a problem

Kristina Hill, associate professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning | August 29, 2017

The problem Houston represents for all of us this week is that we don’t know enough about the impacts that localized, intense rainfall will have on cities.

No evolution in thinking in ‘Food Evolution’

Alastair Iles, associate professor, Environmental Science, Policy & Management | July 17, 2017

But we’re learning new things about privacy and emails in the age of FOIA. For many years, I’ve studied environmental and science policy, looking into how governments, industry and NGOs jointly help find ways toward greater sustainability. Most of my work has been on chemical policies and greening chemistry, but in recent years I’ve developed … Continue reading »

The Pope and sanitation

Christopher Hyun, PhD student, Energy and Resources Group | May 26, 2017

The pope’s encyclical on climate change once again makes headlines as, probably for the first time, it has been presented to President Trump to read. Peter Gleick, president emeritus of the Pacific Institute, Tweeted what I felt when I heard the news: Short as it is, the president will probably not read it. So, Gleick shared a … Continue reading »

Jumpstarting the market for accessory dwelling units

Karen Chapple, Professor, City and Regional Planning | May 23, 2017

How did Portland, Oregon, go from permitting two accessory dwelling units (ADUs) per month in 2009 to almost two per day in 2016?  Now, more than one of every 10 housing units built in Portland is an ADU.   Compared to other housing types, ADUs, or separate small dwellings embedded within single family properties, are … Continue reading »

What is the “politics of shit”?

Christopher Hyun, PhD student, Energy and Resources Group | May 22, 2017

My search for the first Tweet on the “politics of shit” came up with this one: The Tweet above from 2009 could have been written for America in 2017. In fact, Anderson Cooper just mentioned shit and politics last week on CNN as seen in this Tweet: The first Tweet also sums up my work as a researcher — in that I do wake … Continue reading »

Why we should march for science

Ronald Amundson, professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management | April 17, 2017

The summer rains on our farm in South Dakota carved rills and gullies in the soil as the water cascaded down small streams to the bottom of the hills. Even as a teenager, I knew that the soil removed by these streams, and the farming practice that allowed it, was unsustainable. Watching the devastation year … Continue reading »

Why it is a bad idea to burn more coal and reduce car fuel-efficiency standards: Carbon Math 101

Dennis Baldocchi, professor of biometeorology | March 15, 2017

The new administration wants society to burn more, not less, fossil fuels in the future. If we are to cap warming at 2° C (or 3.6° F) globally, we need to establish policies that enable us to continue the development and expansion of technologies that will cap atmospheric CO2 levels below 450 parts per million … Continue reading »

California may have to fund climate modeling and renewable energy research

Dan Farber, professor of law | January 25, 2017

(Co-authored with Ann Carlson, a professor of environmental law and the faculty co-director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA) President Donald Trump’s plans for climate and renewable energy research are no secret. His leaked budget memo advocates eliminating most of the Department of Energy programs for climate and energy research. … Continue reading »

Policy uncertainty discourages innovation and hurts the environment

Lucas Davis, Professor, Haas School of Business | December 19, 2016

Large-scale changes are anticipated for U.S. environmental policies heading into 2017. The new administration has promised a “comprehensive review of all federal regulations,” which include policies aimed at carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, fuel economy standards, oil and gas production, and tax credits for solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars. Exactly what form … Continue reading »

Climate change and the post-election blues

Meredith Fowlie, Associate Professor and Class of 1935 Distinguished Chair in Energy | November 28, 2016

I am living in a very blue state. The graph below charts Google searches for “stages of grief.” The spike in grief-stricken web/soul searching corresponds with — you guessed it — the 2016 election. The map shows where, in the days following the election, these searches were happening. Not surprisingly, post-election blues show up disproportionately … Continue reading »

A letter to Mr. Trump: the economic case for energy, equity and climate leadership

Daniel Kammen, Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy | November 15, 2016

Summary: The economic case for clean energy is as compelling as is the climate science. Pursuing both brings together economic advancement and political leadership. The election of Donald Trump in the United States and the installation of a team at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy who are climate change skeptics … Continue reading »

Trump should see that the smart money is on clean energy

Daniel Kammen, Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy | November 14, 2016

If Trump’s business bona fides are all he claims, he should see that the smart money is on clean energy. Clean-energy projects generate more jobs than do the coal and natural-gas sectors. With solar and wind projects creating energy prices between 2.5 and 4 ¢ per kilowatt-hour, the economic case is compelling — as is the … Continue reading »