I have read a number of news stories about air pollution in the major Chinese cities recently. A soupy smog of particulates, ozone, sulfur and nitrogen oxides hangs over Beijing, Tianjin and other northern cities. The concentration of particulate matter (PM2.5) in Beijing recently registered at 501 μg/m3, more than 15 … More >
In the last several weeks, I gave talks on sustainable development and technology in China as well as in several forums in the US. I stated my strong belief that the use of molecular and cell technologies in agriculture (one of their main applications is in genetically modified [GM] products) … More >
Many people who have studied the issue tell me that the Keystone XL issue is mostly symbolic, because the Alberta oil sands are going to be used one way or another. But I’m having some second thoughts because of arguments made (here) by Berkeley economist Max Aufhammer. He’s a pretty hard-headed … More >
You know this already, but let’s review:
Climate change is a global emissions problem.
California produces about 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Over the next few decades, the majority of emissions will come from developing countries.
If we don’t solve the problem in the developing world, we don’t solve the problem.
The … More >
Virtually all economists working on climate change agree that we should price greenhouse-gas emissions. Doing so creates an incentive to reduce emissions without the government directing specific technology adoptions or activity changes, that is, without “picking winners.”
Nearly as many economists agree that we should subsidize basic R&D. Doing so, accelerates … More >
While much of the U.S. has been dealing with severe winter weather, California is experiencing a record dry spell. The clear skies have also brought some cold nights and, with them, wood smoke.
What I’ve noticed in my neighborhood is that the desire for a cozy wood fire cuts across political … More >
The short answer is a resounding No. Some domestic initiatives obviously do require Congressional approval because they are clearly outside the authority conferred by existing law. But Congress has given the executive branch broad discretion to regulate in many areas, and the executive branch can use that authority for major policy … More >
President Francois Hollande of France announced a new renewable energy partnership between the French and German governments last week. The idea, modeled on the Airbus partnership, would expand cooperation between the governments on renewable energy projects.
Airbus, which began in the 1960s, was formed as a joint partnership between primarily between French and … More >
Cooking dinner, as it turns out, is one of the most serious public health and environmental problems in the world. There’s a common misperception that environmental concerns are just a First World luxury. But the cookstove example shows that the global poor, too, are in need of better, more efficient, … More >