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Climate fatigue

Dan Farber, professor of law | April 28, 2015

I gather that people are tired of hearing about climate change. I’m tired of hearing about climate change, too. Sadly, Nature just doesn’t care that much about entertaining us. It’s going to be climate change this year, climate change next year, climate change the year after that . . . But don’t worry, it won’t … Continue reading »

Carbon vouchers: A small-government approach to climate action

Dan Farber, professor of law | April 22, 2015

What I’m going to sketch here isn’t a zero government approach. But the government’s role is very limited: federal agencies don’t do any enforcement and the government doesn’t touch any revenue from the scheme. So this approach deals with the concern that a carbon tax or something similar would either expand EPA’s ability to abuse … Continue reading »

The US and China – New Best Climate Buddies?

David Roland-Holst, adjunct professor, agricultural and resource economics | November 17, 2014

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 removing one of the main … Continue reading »

Clean Tech 0 vs. Carbon 1

Santiago Miret, Ph.D. student, materials science & engineering | September 17, 2014

Even though clean energy technologies have experienced substantial rapid growth in recent years, their combined efforts were not enough to prevent the largest single-year increase of atmospheric CO2 release since 1984. In 2013 alone, the atmospheric CO2 concentration jumped by 2.9 parts per million (ppm) to a total of 396 ppm. A consortium of scientists of … Continue reading »

The ‘Yoga Theorem’ and the EPA’s new carbon-emissions policy

Maximilian Auffhammer, professor, international sustainable development | June 5, 2014

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 you will suffer.  It holds … Continue reading »

Can Los Angeles reinvent itself around rail?

Jayni Foley Hein, former director, Center for Law, Energy & the Environment | January 30, 2014

A city famous for its car culture now has three new rail transit projects under construction. Can Los Angeles reinvent itself around rail-oriented development? Passenger vehicle transportation plays a major role in contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. But building more rail, alone, is not enough to get folks off the road and onto public transit. Unfortunately, … Continue reading »

Lightbulb wars: the saga continues

Dan Farber, professor of law | January 21, 2014

Republicans have won a largely symbolic victory for an obsolete technology. Among the sleeper provisions of the new budget deal is a ban on enforcing federal lightbulb standards.  This is a great example of symbolic politics — it makes Tea Party Republicans happy, has limited practical effect, and makes little policy sense. Or to put it … Continue reading »

Putting a collar on carbon prices

Severin Borenstein, professor of business | June 4, 2013

When it was launched in 2005, the European Union cap and trade program for greenhouse gases (known as the Emissions Trading System or EU-ETS) was a bold and important step in addressing climate change.  But from the beginning, the EU-ETS has often been a painful learning experience, much of the learning by politicians: –  A … Continue reading »