Energy & Environment

Severin Borenstein What’s a university to do about climate change?

About a year ago, I blogged about the fossil-fuel divestment movement at universities, arguing that it is unlikely to have any effect, and that even if it did it would be to raise fuel prices, which we could do more directly with a carbon tax.  I said that those of … More >

Catherine Wolfram Why the phrase ‘energy leapfrogging’ is misleading

I have seen a number of blog posts, panel discussions and news articles that extol the idea of energy leapfrogging. A recent Business Week column on India described, “leapfrogging the nation’s ailing power-distribution infrastructure with solar-powered local networks — the same way mobile-phones have enabled people in poor, remote places … More >

Eric Biber This challenge to the Endangered Species Act is a case to watch

The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) is widely known for being the primary law in the United States that focuses on protecting biodiversity, and also for being a “pit bull” of environmental laws that has few exceptions and broad sweep. (For instance, the ESA was a major component of the … More >

Dan Farber Reaching across the aisle?

The safest prediction is that our Democratic President and Republican Congress will not in fact be able to work together.  Their present gestures toward cooperation may mean nothing more than a willingness to accept the other side’s surrender.

But hope springs eternal.  Are there areas where common ground exists?  That seems … More >

David Roland-Holst The US and China – New Best Climate Buddies?

This week’s climate announcement by Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping is certainly momentous. The United States and China account for nearly half of global greenhouse gas emissions, making their joint participation a necessary condition for any successful global response to climate risk. By stepping up together, they are also … More >

Santiago Miret Atacama – The Sun of Chilean Energy

Chile’s Atacama desert provides some of the best natural conditions in the world for solar power. Long periods of horizontal solar irradiation create great natural conditions for solar power in Atacama, which ultimately translates into lower cost of generating solar energy.

Chile has supplemented the favorable natural conditions … More >

Dan Farber A ray of hope on climate change (breaking news from China)

President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a major deal on climate change this morning. As summarized by the Washington Post:

China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, pledged in the far-reaching agreement to cap its rapidly growing carbon emissions by 2030, or earlier if possible. It also set … More >

Eric Biber The future of conservation

Earlier this year I wrote critically about a New York Times op-ed that proposed making the restrictions on development in wilderness areas more flexible in order to allow for adaptation to climate change.

This week the Times published what I think is a much more helpful op-ed on the topic of … More >

Santiago Miret Africa leaping off-grid

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the least developed areas in the world. According to the World Bank, of the approximately 940 million people living in the region, roughly 600 million lack access to electricity. Moreover, the number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa without electricity has actually been increasing as the population … More >

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