Why do kids like to go to birthday parties? Because there is lots of sugar and other kids. Academic economists are not that different. Energy economics has attracted a lot of new bright minds, both young and not so young. The reason is simple: It’s an important topic; the people … 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 >
Flying into Barcelona, it becomes immediately obvious that this is a city with its eye on a sustainable future. Right along the waterfront is a large photovoltaic array, perched on four giant supports. It is emblematic of a broader set of initiatives that, for a short time, placed Spain at … More >
Recently I was asked to serve as a judge for the Shell Student Energy Challenge, an infographic competition that was part of the student fuel-efficiency contest, Shell Eco-Marathon. Shell sponsors National Geographic‘s Great Energy Challenge initiative.
This provided a fascinating opportunity to evaluate what many of us feel: that we must begin … More >
Our new program, the Master of Development Practice, emphasizes ‘sustainability’ — but what exactly is it?
Last week, we hosted a panel of 5 faculty experts to address this question. It was agreed that sustainability means that all humans are able to maintain a decent standard of living, akin to say, … More >
This past week I attended and had the pleasure to speak and debate at the 2013 World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This was the sixth such summit, and the third I have attended.
The stated goal of the meeting is to: bring together global leaders in … More >
Many view the ‘bioeconomy’, as a key element of the future. While in the past, many vital activities were dependent on non-renewable inputs such petroleum based chemicals, the bioeconomy which utilizes advanced tools of modern biology, will yield products that are renewable and produced from plants and other organic matter … More >
I was amazed by the response to my previous post – and I will try address some of the main points.
I found three main themes repeating through the comments. First, it is clear that there are many people who are concerned about the side effects of GMOs and don’t trust … More >
There’s a common vision of environmentalism that mostly involves giving things up, the basic image being one of ascetic sacrifice for the benefit of the environment and future generations. Some people actually are ascetics, and most people are willing to make big sacrifices in emergencies. But by and … More >