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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 »

Climate crisis needs Berkeley’s leadership in social and environmental justice

Daniel Kammen, Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy | September 20, 2019

I came to UC Berkeley 20 years ago, largely because of its unrivaled reputation as a place that fosters both world-leading scholarship and social engagement. I have not been disappointed: my research has flourished here with hundreds of publications, and opportunities for work I value with state, federal and international agencies and non-governmental organizations on … Continue reading »

California isn’t full. We could provide housing for everyone

Karen Chapple, Professor, City and Regional Planning | April 24, 2019

California has long led the world in innovation, from Silicon Valley to Hollywood. For the last decade, it has also conducted a series of grand, and largely successful, policy experiments ranging from regulating greenhouse gas emissions to providing sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. When it comes to solving the housing affordability crisis, however, California seems at … Continue reading »

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 »