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 >
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 >
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. … 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 >
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 >
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 … More >
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 … More >
It’s difficult to see something as a problem if we can’t see it at all. That’s one problem with coming to grips with greenhouse gas pollution. It doesn’t show up in the air the way smog does, and its impacts aren’t directly linked to emissions in perceptible ways.
A single … More >
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 … More >