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What are you getting if you buy clean electricity?

Catherine Wolfram, faculty co-director, Energy Institute at Haas | August 31, 2018

Many Community Choice Aggregators are marketing clean energy by simply rearranging where existing low-carbon electricity goes. Change is potentially afoot for me this November, and I’m not talking about the midterm elections. In November, if I do nothing, I will become an electricity customer of East Bay Community Energy. What does that mean? As their … Continue reading »

Green energy is gold for California and the USA

Daniel Kammen, Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy | August 21, 2018

I am a physicist, and an energy and sustainability science researcher, and live in California because of its penchant for not just setting — but actually achieving big goals and bold visions that others consider too ambitious. What California proposes — we then research, discuss, and accomplish. In fact, we continually exceed the goals that … Continue reading »

Rural emancipation in the face of authoritarianism? Reflections on the 2018 Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) Conference

Alastair Iles, associate professor, Environmental Science, Policy & Management | April 15, 2018

This week, I am very pleased to host two guest voices from the Agroecology Research-Action Collective (ARC). ARC is a new initiative that aims to bring together scholars with frontline farmer and rural groups to advance agroecology and food sovereignty in North America. Recently, two ARC members travelled to the Netherlands to present their research-in-progress … Continue reading »

The cost of irrigation water and urban farming

Dennis Baldocchi, professor of biometeorology | January 26, 2018

It’s great to see all these urban farms blossoming across the open lots and schools in the Bay Area. They are producing healthy and tasty lettuce, tomatoes and assorted vegetables for high-end restaurants and local farmer markets. Being close to markets they have a small carbon footprint in transportation costs. And, they are credited for … Continue reading »

What does the stock market tell us about the California wildfires?

Lucas Davis, Professor, Haas School of Business | January 16, 2018

California utilities have lost $20 billion in market value since the wildfires began. The horrific wildfires in Northern California’s Wine Country in October and then in Southern California in December killed more than 40 people, burned 1.2 million acres, destroyed thousands of buildings, forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate their homes, and led to deadly … Continue reading »

Are Mexican renewables really this cheap?

Lucas Davis, Professor, Haas School of Business | December 4, 2017

(Co-authored with Veronica Irastorza, a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and former undersecretary of energy in Mexico. Veronica is associate director at NERA Economic Consulting.) The latest good news on renewable electricity generation comes from Mexico, where results were just announced for the country’s third renewables auction for large-scale projects. After average winning … Continue reading »

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 »