A (Sometimes) Beautiful Equilibrium

John Nash's contribution to game theory illuminates environmental issues.

John Nash and his wife died yesterday in a cab crash while returning from a trip to Norway to receive a major mathematical prize.  He is best known to the public because of the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, which described his struggle with mental illness.  His concept of the Nash Equilibrium is basic to a […]

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Immanuel Kant and the California Water Crisis

Immanuel Kant: How Categorical!

How Should Individuals Decide How Much Water to Use?

Last week’s rain in southern California will hardly make a dent in the state’s devastating drought, and it raises an important question for individual consumers: exactly how should we decide how much water to use? There are obvious things: don’t hose down your driveway, take shorter showers, do full loads in the washer. But there […]

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Germany-California Climate Cooperation?

Winfried Kretschmann of Baden-Württemberg

Lecture By Winfried Kretschmann, Baden-Württemberg Minister-President, tonight at UC Berkeley, could be a start

Germany and California represent two global leaders when it comes to addressing climate change. For example, Germany has been on a renewable energy spree, despite its relatively minimal solar insolation, while California has committed to reducing greenhouse gases and incubating emerging clean technology industries, like energy storage, electric vehicles, and renewables. But at the sub-national […]

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Distrust of Congress (And Why It Matters)

State Capitol, Sacramento, California

It's easy to joke about Congress's public ill-repute, but it's a serious problem.

A recent poll shows that public approval of Congress is still in the basement (though perhaps not flat on the floor, as it was before).  This graph shows the trends: But this poll on public “approval” doesn’t tell the whole story.  Here’s one that asks instead whether Americans have confidence in key institutions: The configurations […]

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The UnBushes and the Environment

Republican Party

Cruz, Graham, Paul, Rubio & West are all equally hostile to environmental protection.

My post last week discussed Jeb Bush’s environmental record. At this point, there’s something of a free-for-all among candidates hoping to emerge as the Bush alternative – the UnBushes. Five of the remaining candidates announced or likely candidates have served in Congress, so they have scores from the League of Conservation Voters. Some of them are considered more […]

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Abalones and Gulls and Judges, Oh My!

Logo of the Abalone Alliance (and a possible trademark violation)

Comparing the Mono Lake Committee with the Abalone Alliance

For several months now, I have been looking for a good comparison case to the Mono Lake Committee, whose work is one of the great success stories of the modern environmental movement. Why did the Mono Lake Committee succeed when other organizations failed? Lots of organizations had good causes and dedicated leaders: what made Mono […]

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Tracking Coastal Adaptation

CEN_EMM_PUB-Tracking-Coastal-Adaptation

Implementing CA’s Innovative Sea Level Rise Planning Database

Higher sea levels are already affecting California’s 3400 miles of coastline, millions of coastal residents, economy, buildings, and critical infrastructure. Yet, oddly enough for a state that is a worldwide leader in climate change mitigation, California has only recently begun to focus seriously on sea level rise adaptation. Recent reports have cited a lack of preparedness […]

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Jobs & Regs

Regs & Jobs

The empirical evidence suggests that job loss from regulation is small.

It seems to be easy to make arguments one way or another about the effect of regulation on jobs.  What does the evidence say?  Those seeking an answer would do well to look at a recent book on the subject by Coglianese, Finkel, and Carrigan.  Although the book is broader in scope, it provides a careful […]

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What Will Driverless Cars Do To The Climate?

Google self-driving cars

A Formidable Challenge for Policymakers and Modelers

It’s no longer a question of whether driverless cars will appear on the market; it’s when and how many. The answers so far seem to be: 1) soon; and 2) lots. German automakers are so confident of this that they are already negotiating with Nokia to compete to Google’s self-driving cars. For Legal Planet, that means we […]

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Requiem for a Bottom-Feeder

High Cost of Free Parking

UCLA's Don Shoup Has Transformed Urban Planning

Every scholar wants to do good, productive, important work, but I suppose all us secretly would like to redefine our fields — to go down in academic history, so to speak. Virtually none of us do. But UCLA’s Don Shoup, who is retiring this year from the Urban Planning department, is one who has. And […]

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