On March 11, 2011, I was sitting in a coffee shop in Berlin, dressed appropriately in a black turtleneck and leather jacket, reading about the terrible Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear disaster. The next day I read that the German government was pushing for “Atomausstieg,” which is German for “let’s retire all … More >
With the historical release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new carbon emissions policy, I took an extra day to comb through and digest the news. I have organized my intermediate microeconomics class around something called the “Yoga Theorem.” This almost universal truth states that the less flexible you are, the more … More >
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 >
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 >
What causes certain political figures either to deny the potential for climate change, or deny that human activity is a major cause?
That question came to mind while reviewing a new report issued by Ceres entitled Benchmarking Air Emissions for the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States. The … More >
If you put aside their environmental impacts, fossil fuels are wonderful for generating electricity. They are cheap, reliable, and currently in abundant supply. But the environmental drawbacks are considerable, and the most serious one is their contribution to climate change. To deal with climate change, do we need to adopt … More >
Over the past decade, plans for 160 new coal fired power plants in the United States have been scrapped, largely due to rising costs and an inability to compete in today’s energy markets. That’s because the cost of once-“expensive” clean energy has fallen dramatically, while “cheap” fossil fuels are increasingly … More >
We keep hearing the phrase “job-killing regulations” from the Republican side of the aisle, with environmental regulations generally at the top of their lists. Yet there has never been much evidence for the claim that government regulation is systematically bad for employment or the economy. To … More >
Much of the effort to rollback current EPA regulations focuses on coal-fired electrical power plants. An article in the August issues of the American Economic Review sheds light on the issues at stake. “Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy” is an effort to … More >