Climate Change

Getting Kavanaugh’s Vote to Uphold Climate Change Regulation

Environmentalists Have a New Secret Weapon

Not for nothing was Brett Kavanaugh referred to as “Voldemort” by Center for Biological Diversity counsel Bill Snape: he is quite hostile to environmental regulation and will freely rewrite statutes to constrict EPA authority. But now environmentalists have a new ace up their sleeves: The price of beer could rise sharply this century, and it […]

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Another Possible Means To Keep Global Warming Within 1.5 Degrees Celsius

Did the IPCC bury the lede regarding solar geoengineering?

In my previous posts on the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), I described how models assume the use of uncertain negative emissions technologies at very large — if not impossible — scales in order to keep global warming within 1.5 or two degrees Celsius (1, 2; see also my colleague Julia […]

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Battle for the Senate: The Lone Star State

Is Texas in play? The environmental stakes are high.

Texas is a late addition to my list of key Senate races. It’s still not clear how genuinely Texas is in play, but it’s surprising that we’re even asking the question. Here’s what we know about the candidates and the environment. Ted Cruz (R). Cruz managed to get a 0% score from the League of Conservation […]

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Negative Emissions Technologies in the New Report on Limiting Global Warming

Last week, I described how the scenarios expected to keep global warming within the 2°C target, which was internationally endorsed in the Paris Agreement, had to assume the use of negative emissions technologies at very large scales. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international assessment body, downplayed this essential fact in its most recent major report, […]

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“What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Using current climate policies to address future political barriers to more stringent policy

Countries around the world are struggling with the political and policy challenges of developing effective tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonize their economies.  (See coverage here for Canada, and here for Australia.)   Moreover, even these policy proposals are as of yet inadequate to accomplish the goals of limiting climate change to below two […]

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California Raises Its Ambition for a Low-Carbon Fuel Future

First in a Series About California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program

[Post co-authored by Sean Hecht and Ted Parson] California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) has just enacted new regulations that strengthen the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The LCFS is a major component of California’s greenhouse-gas control strategy, but receives surprisingly little attention, compared to other policies like the statewide cap-and-trade system and the renewable […]

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Burning in the Heat

Wildfires were bad enough already. Climate change is making them worse.

Fires have been unusually severe lately. According to one scientist, “’[I]n the late 20th and early 21st century, with these hot droughts, fires are ripping now with a severity and ferocity that’s unprecedented,’ says Tom Swetnam. . . . A fire in the Jemez Mountains Swetnam studies burned 40,000 acres in 12 hours, a ‘horizontal […]

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A Major Challenge for Avoiding Climate Change Hides In Plain Sight

Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage

Next week, the international body responsible for assessing climate change will release a special report on the 1.5°C target, an ambitious, international goal to limit global warming that became part of the Paris Agreement in 2015. The report might mark a significant turning point for how policy makers, the scientific community, and others think about […]

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Spreading Like Wildfire

They don’t get as much attention as floods or earthquakes, but wildfires are deadly serious.

This is the first of a three-part series about wildfires. Massive wildfires are a growing problem, posing risks to people and the environment. Considering that my house is located only a few miles from the 1991 Oakland Hills fire, which killed 25 people, destroyed 2800 homes, and caused $1.8 billion in damage, this is an […]

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Another Dam Climate Adaptation Problem

Report Suggests That Poor Management Intensified Kerala Flood Devastation

The Economic and Political Weekly is one of India’s most prestigious journals: for decades it has enjoyed a unique role in driving the Union’s policy conversation, partly because it is peer-reviewed. And this week, it contains a devastating report about how poor dam management exacerbated Kerala’s horrific floods. It’s an obvious issue: if dams have […]

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