All posts in tag: energy

Malcolm Potts Special guest lecture: ‘Is a sustainable global economy possible?’

Like every university, UC Berkeley is home to an intellectual chasm that makes the Grand Canyon look like Strawberry Creek. Classical economists teach a world where economic growth is sacred, perpetual and always good. Those in the life sciences and some physical sciences, such as energy and astronomy, understand that our world … More >

Robert Chester From Carter to Obama: A new context for a message on energy, economy and environment

More than 35 years ago, President Jimmy Carter gave a courageous yet unpopular speech outlining the environmental and economic forces threatening American affluence. He acknowledged his conversation with the American people as “an unpleasant talk  . . . about an . . . unprecedented problem in our history.”

He went on … More >

Dan Farber What the market is telling us about coal

The market’s message is simple: coal’s day is ending. Three major coal companies (Alpha Natural Resources, Walter Energy, and Patriot Coal) have gone into bankruptcy. The two largest publicly traded  companies (Peabody and Arch) are now trading for a dollar a share, down from $16 and $33 within the past … More >

Dan Farber Injecting earthquakes

A recent study of injection wells and earthquakes got a lot of press, but the reports missed an important nuance.  The study, published in the June 19 edition of Science, found a definite connection between well injection and earthquakes. But there was an interesting wrinkle:

“The scientists found that disposal wells were 1.5 times … More >

Maximilian Auffhammer Energy options: Just say ‘Nein’ to nukes and coal?

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 >

Severin Borenstein Is residential solar really the future of electricity generation?

Renewable energy technologies have made outstanding progress in the last decade.  The cost of solar panels has plummeted.  Wind turbines have become massively more efficient.  In many places some forms of renewable energy are cost competitive.  And yet…just as these exciting changes are taking place, the renewables movement seems to … More >

Meredith Fowlie For energy (and water) conservation, moral suasion is no substitute for getting the prices right

My office light switch recently acquired a little sticker that politely reminds me to turn it off when I leave.

And over the past year, an edgy Lawn dude  and an amicable  Bear  have been urging Californians to cut back on water use in order to meet our drought-stricken state’s water … More >

Ethan Elkind The futility of an international climate treaty

Call it Kyoto Syndrome, but each year for the past few decades we hear hopeful things about the upcoming negotiations for the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.” These discussions usually take place in some far-flung world capital, but they seem to always result in a nothing sandwich. In … More >

Steven Weissman Electric-utility reinvention: ‘The grid is always greener …’

It seems to be an undeniable part of human nature. When we consider making changes – whether it has to do with the place where we live, the business we are in, or the partner we choose – we tend to compare the flaws of the thing we know to … More >

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