Steve Jobs died in 2011, but his life experience, as related by biographer Walter Isaacson, offers some important lessons for today’s transit and urban development practitioners. I just finished reading the biography and was struck — like many others — by what a notoriously awful person he was to those around him. Part of the […]
Is It Possible To Have A Holiday Without Going Shopping?
The first e-mail in my inbox this morning was from a regional pharmacy chain, advertising “Great Earth Day Savings!” That seemed to me to be a little ironic: celebrate by the planet by consuming as much as you can! It isn’t alone. Just Google “Earth Day Shopping” and you’ll get hundreds of hits. Now, obviously, […]
One Cannot Divorce His Environmentalism From His Racism
Last year, I read John Lewis Gaddis’ magisterial biography of George F. Kennan, one of the prime architects of American Cold War policy and a distinguished foreign policy intellectual. I was surprised — and not a little pleased — to learn from that book that Kennan was something of a pioneering environmentalist, thinking about these issues […]
"Mississippi River Tragedies" tells the story of the river's refusal to stay within the walls that we build.
As the song tells us, “Old Man River, he just keeps rolling along” – but he doesn’t necessarily roll where we want him to. Human efforts at controlling the river and its massive tributaries succeed at times but seem always doomed to eventual failure. We are playing defense against an opponent that is infinitely patient, […]
A new RFF report sheds light on the critical issues.
There are a lot of unanswered questions about natural gas and fracking. A recent report by Resources for the Future sheds light on some of the answers. RFF is unusual among Washington think tanks — an honest broker that uses expertise to try to answer hard questions. The report reaches three important conclusions. The first […]
Meanwhile, EPA Considers Methane Regulations for Oil and Gas Production
According to the newest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mitigation report, only a few decades remain to halt the worst effects of global climate change. To meet climate goals, globally we will need to reduce emissions to 40 to 70 percent below today’s levels, by mid-century. Delaying action will be enormously costly from an […]
The D.C. Circuit has upheld EPA's regulation of mercury from coal-fired plants. We can all breath easier as a result.
EPA won an important victory in the D.C. Circuit today. In White Stallion Energy Center v. EPA, the court upheld EPA’s new regulations limiting mercury from coal-fired power plants. The main issue in the case was about a threshold requirement for regulation. Before setting limits on mercury from coal plants, EPA had to consider studies of […]
It's Time to End the Wasteful Practice of Irrigating California's Residential Landscaping With Fresh Water
What a difference a drought makes. Once upon a time, a fundamental attribute of home ownership in California and the American West was an expansive, verdant lawn surrounding private homes, townhouses and apartment complexes. Indeed, some communities have historically imposed permit conditions or adopted local ordinances mandating the inclusion and maintenance of lush, healthy lawns […]
A recent analysis suggests that the pipeline could result in production of a billion extra barrels between now and 2030.
Many people who have studied the issue tell me that the Keystone XL issue is mostly symbolic, because the Alberta oil sands are going to be used one way or another. But I’m having some second thoughts because of arguments made (here) by Berkeley economist Max Aufhammer. He’s a pretty hard-headed analyst, not given to […]
We are very pleased to announce that UCLA’s Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment has now become the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment as a result of a generous new gift from Dan and Rae Emmett and a reorganization and consolidation of UCLA Law’s environmental resources. The Emmetts today announced […]
Guess which cable news network misleads on climate?
Well, what a shock: To gauge how accurately [cable news] networks inform their audiences about climate change, the Union of Concerned Scientists analyzed the networks’ climate science coverage in 2013 and found that each network treated climate science very differently. Fox News was the least accurate; 72 percent of its 2013 climate science-related segments contained […]