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How about we erect a ‘National Climate Denier Memorial’

Jonathan Jarvis, Executive Director of the Berkeley Institute for Parks, People and Biodiversity | December 11, 2019

In 1976, I worked as a ranger on the National Mall in Washington, DC, interpreting monuments to past Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson, as well as memorials to the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the nation.  I spent that winter with Thomas Jefferson, who stands tall in a marble rotunda, surrounded … Continue reading »

Why we need data science in the fight for climate justice

Catherine Cronquist Browning, Assistant Dean of Academic Programs and of Equity and Inclusion at the School of Information | October 21, 2019

Climate change may not seem like an obvious information science issue. Isn’t this the realm of environmental scientists and social activists? Yes—and we continue to need their expertise and leadership as desperately as ever. But we must also recognize that understanding, communicating about, and addressing climate change is a large-scale and multifaceted information challenge that … Continue reading »

California’s wildfires are hurting our health. Here’s how to protect ourselves

Bruce Riordan, program director, Climate Readiness Institute | October 8, 2019

In California’s hotter climate, the severity of large wildfires is growing. Extreme events like the 2018 Camp Fire that leveled Paradise are having profound effects on human health. These impacts are felt by residents in the immediate fire zones, first responders and other fire workers, and people impacted by smoke who live many miles away. Our … Continue reading »

Houston, we all have a problem

Kristina Hill, associate professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning | August 29, 2017

The problem Houston represents for all of us this week is that we don’t know enough about the impacts that localized, intense rainfall will have on cities.

Why we should march for science

Ronald Amundson, professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management | April 17, 2017

The summer rains on our farm in South Dakota carved rills and gullies in the soil as the water cascaded down small streams to the bottom of the hills. Even as a teenager, I knew that the soil removed by these streams, and the farming practice that allowed it, was unsustainable. Watching the devastation year … Continue reading »

Insights from Standing Rock: as school begins

Tasha Hauff, doctoral student and teacher at Sitting Bull College | September 5, 2016

In January this year I moved to Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to take a position at Sitting Bull College teaching Native American Studies, including the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ language. Standing Rock is where I wanted to be because of its incredible work with indigenous language revitalization, particularly its growing PK-2nd grade immersion school. The Sacred Stone … Continue reading »

Deep in the heart of Texas: green patches in a red state

Dan Farber, professor of law | March 29, 2016

The Texas Attorney General’s office seems to do little else besides battle against EPA, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in the vanguard of anti-environmentalism.  Yet even in Texas there are some rays of hope. While Texas is attacking the Clean Power Plan, the city of Houston is leading a coalition of cities defending it. Other … Continue reading »

Canada’s got a good thing going: a tax on carbon

Meredith Fowlie, Associate Professor and Class of 1935 Distinguished Chair in Energy | March 28, 2016

It’s tax season and this makes many Americans pretty grumpy. According to a recent poll/parody, 27 percent of those surveyed indicate they would rather get an IRS tattoo than pay their taxes. Given the deep-seated ire that taxation can inspire in U.S. taxpayers, it’s not altogether surprising that calls for an economy-wide carbon tax do not find … Continue reading »

Creating an exit strategy for our use of natural gas

Steven Weissman, associate director, Center for Law, Energy and the Environment | March 21, 2016

Coal is the climate’s Public Enemy No. 1. The use of natural gas has helped to ensure that the coal problem has not become even worse. Without natural gas, we would use more coal for space heating and for many more industrial processes than is currently the practice. Without natural gas, our reliance on coal for … Continue reading »

Fukushima + 5: Where things stand today

Dan Farber, professor of law | March 11, 2016

Five years ago today, Japan was hit by a huge earthquake and tsunami, resulting in the Fukushima reactor meltdowns. Where do things stand today? Here’s a quick wrap-up: Compensation.  The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the utility operating the reactors, now estimates that it will pay $56 billion in compensation to victims. Clean-up. The plant … Continue reading »

No more Berning of fossil fuels

Maximilian Auffhammer, professor, international sustainable development | March 10, 2016

For the energy sector a lot is at stake with this next election. Of the GOP front runners, only Marco Rubio has an energy or climate plan on his website. A few choice nuggets are doing away with “Obama’s carbon mandates” (whatever that means), approving Keystone XL immediately, rewriting the offshore drilling plan and creating … Continue reading »

A second BART transbay tube? Discuss.

Ethan Elkind, director, Climate Program at Berkeley Law |

BART under the San Francisco Bay is crowded and a major choke point for regional transportation. Monday night I guest hosted a discussion on City Visions on KALW radio on the prospects of building a second rail tube. The audio is now available here. Some big picture points that emerged: The exact route is undefined and … Continue reading »

California’s tax code impedes its progress on climate change

Karen Chapple, Professor, City and Regional Planning | March 1, 2016

The California Legislature is renowned for its courage in adopting bold climate and clean-energy initiatives that influence environmental policy around the globe. But it has hesitated to reform the state’s tax code, costing the state an opportunity to better support its climate goals. Current tax policies encourage sprawl, increasing vehicle miles driven and threatening the … Continue reading »

A multi-dimensional approach to affordable housing policy: Learning from climate change policy

Karen Chapple, Professor, City and Regional Planning | February 11, 2016

A consensus is emerging that we have to do everything in our power to slow the course of global warming. The list of tools includes long-term measures such as greater energy efficiencies in buildings, industry, appliances; carbon cap-and-trade systems and taxes; new standards for fuel economy and the reduction of CO2 emissions from new passenger … Continue reading »

High-speed rail likely to abandon SoCal connection

Ethan Elkind, director, Climate Program at Berkeley Law | February 10, 2016

It looks like the financial walls are starting to close in on California’s high-speed rail plan. Facing the reality that there’s not enough money to get the system over the Tehachapis to a gerrymandered, ill-advised stop in Palmdale, the California High Speed Rail Authority is now openly considering trying to connect to Silicon Valley instead, per the Fresno … Continue reading »

Gas is too cheap

Maximilian Auffhammer, professor, international sustainable development | February 4, 2016

Readers of this blog are likely aware that oil is really cheap right now. While in July 2008, the U.S. benchmark price peaked at just above $140 a barrel, its price dipped to below $27 in mid-January. The Internet is on fire telling us that a barrel of oil is now cheaper than the equivalent … Continue reading »