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To solve the climate crisis, we must solve the housing crisis

Daniel Kammen, Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy | March 25, 2019

Co-authored with Scott Wiener, chair of California’s Senate Housing Committee. California has long been seen as a leader on climate change. The state’s history of aggressive action to reduce air pollution, accelerate the use of renewable energy and speed the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy has inspired governments around the world to set more … Continue reading »

Lessons about climate change and drought from Down Under

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | March 12, 2019

I went to Australia to represent AAEA in the Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Meeting in Melbourne, and while I was there, I visited Sydney and New Zealand. Melbourne is considered one of the most livable cities in the world – great weather, wonderful parks, and a Goldilocks pace of life: not too fast or … Continue reading »

Competition over California’s water, after the rains

Dennis Baldocchi, Professor of Biometeorology | March 6, 2019

California’s water balance, what is left after precipitation runs off, drains and evaporates, is complicated by its diverse geography, ecosystems and microclimates, its wet, cool winters and hot dry summers, and its swings between booms and busts in annual rainfall.  Consequently, water in California, is a highly variable and contentious resource that suffers from intense … Continue reading »

Our national parks deserve a dedicated workforce

Jonathan Jarvis, Executive Director of the Berkeley Institute for Parks, People and Biodiversity | February 20, 2019

In the recent government shutdown, the National Parks were left open to the public while the nearly 20,000 employees and many thousands of volunteers of the National Park Service were sent home. As a result, trash accumulated and toilets overflowed in Yosemite, roads snowed-in at Mt. Rainier, buildings were vandalized in the Great Smoky Mountains, … Continue reading »

We study the climate. We chose not to fly to D.C. for a conference on it.

David Romps, professor of earth and planetary science | December 12, 2018

UC Berkeley professor David M. Romps co-authored this with two other climate scientists, Peter Kalmus and Kim Cobb. It was first published Dec. 10 as an op-ed in the Washington Post.  Romps was one of the two scientists who chose not to attend. This week, more than 20,000 Earth and planetary scientists from all over the world … Continue reading »

An irreparable loss

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | December 3, 2018

I’ve been having nightmares about the sperm whale found on the beach in Indonesia with a stomach full of plastic waste. Sperm whales have the largest brains in existence

What are you getting if you buy clean electricity?

Catherine Wolfram, faculty co-director, Energy Institute at Haas | August 31, 2018

Many Community Choice Aggregators are marketing clean energy by simply rearranging where existing low-carbon electricity goes. Change is potentially afoot for me this November, and I’m not talking about the midterm elections. In November, if I do nothing, I will become an electricity customer of East Bay Community Energy. What does that mean? As their … Continue reading »

Green energy is gold for California and the USA

Daniel Kammen, Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy | August 21, 2018

I am a physicist, and an energy and sustainability science researcher, and live in California because of its penchant for not just setting — but actually achieving big goals and bold visions that others consider too ambitious. What California proposes — we then research, discuss, and accomplish. In fact, we continually exceed the goals that … Continue reading »

Rural emancipation in the face of authoritarianism? Reflections on the 2018 Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) Conference

Alastair Iles, associate professor, Environmental Science, Policy & Management | April 15, 2018

This week, I am very pleased to host two guest voices from the Agroecology Research-Action Collective (ARC). ARC is a new initiative that aims to bring together scholars with frontline farmer and rural groups to advance agroecology and food sovereignty in North America. Recently, two ARC members travelled to the Netherlands to present their research-in-progress … Continue reading »

The cost of irrigation water and urban farming

Dennis Baldocchi, Professor of Biometeorology | January 26, 2018

It’s great to see all these urban farms blossoming across the open lots and schools in the Bay Area. They are producing healthy and tasty lettuce, tomatoes and assorted vegetables for high-end restaurants and local farmer markets. Being close to markets they have a small carbon footprint in transportation costs. And, they are credited for … Continue reading »

What does the stock market tell us about the California wildfires?

Lucas Davis, Professor, Haas School of Business | January 16, 2018

California utilities have lost $20 billion in market value since the wildfires began. The horrific wildfires in Northern California’s Wine Country in October and then in Southern California in December killed more than 40 people, burned 1.2 million acres, destroyed thousands of buildings, forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate their homes, and led to deadly … Continue reading »

Are Mexican renewables really this cheap?

Lucas Davis, Professor, Haas School of Business | December 4, 2017

(Co-authored with Veronica Irastorza, a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and former undersecretary of energy in Mexico. Veronica is associate director at NERA Economic Consulting.) The latest good news on renewable electricity generation comes from Mexico, where results were just announced for the country’s third renewables auction for large-scale projects. After average winning … Continue reading »

Will global warming increase or decrease U.S. energy consumption?

Lucas Davis, Professor, Haas School of Business | October 23, 2017

I thought I knew the answer, but now it’s not so clear. U.S. households and businesses use a whopping 11.5 quadrillion BTUs of energy annually for heating and cooling, about one-third of all residential and commercial energy use. How will this be impacted by global warming? When it comes to electricity, the answer is fairly … Continue reading »

Self-interest, the denial of climate change, and resistance to agricultural biotechnology

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | September 25, 2017

I first encountered the debate on climate change in the 1980s when I helped to organize a workshop at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. Our aim was to discuss the findings and implications of emerging research on climate change. As I recall there was not yet a consensus among meteorologists and other scientists about interpreting … 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.

No evolution in thinking in ‘Food Evolution’

Alastair Iles, associate professor, Environmental Science, Policy & Management | July 17, 2017

But we’re learning new things about privacy and emails in the age of FOIA. For many years, I’ve studied environmental and science policy, looking into how governments, industry and NGOs jointly help find ways toward greater sustainability. Most of my work has been on chemical policies and greening chemistry, but in recent years I’ve developed … Continue reading »