General

The Complexities of Implementing Brexit

Brexit

Scores of regulatory arrangements will need to be negotiated. Lots of work for lawyers!

The larger implications of the Brexit vote are understandably getting a lot of attention.  It’s clear, for instance, that the UK will need to negotiate some kind of trade agreement with the EU, and that it will probably want to negotiate one with the U.S. But there are myriads of  issues that need to be worked out, […]

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The End-game for Diablo Canyon?

Diablo Canyon

A landmark agreement supports the closure of a controversial nuclear plant.

Today’s announcement that the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) has reached an agreement with several environmental and labor groups to plan for the eventual shutdown of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant is a stunning development, when viewed in an historical perspective. PG&E has agreed not to seek new licenses for its power plant that […]

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The Irony of a Developing Nation’s Climate Agenda

AerialViewPhotochemicalSmogMexicoCity_2

The challenge of developing and decarbonizing at the same time

Mexico has been busy. Or at least, its energy and environmental ministers have been. Over the last several years, Mexico has held its first auction for renewable energy contracts, opened its energy market to private competitors, and increased its renewable energy capacity by more than thirty times the level in 2008. At the same time, […]

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Trump, Sanders Voters and Climate Change

trumpwarming

If you need even one reason to vote for Clinton, climate change ought to suffice

I don’t pretend to understand the allure of Donald Trump.  I am an unabashed  supporter of Hillary Clinton.  I appreciate that many people I know and respect are Bernie Sanders supporters.  I am hoping that, once Clinton officially becomes the  Democratic candidate for President, Sanders supporters will work hard to elect Clinton as President, even […]

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Is Protecting Public Health Now a Partisan Issue?

zika

Congress's failure to deal with the Zika threat is a symptom of a bigger problem.

Congress seems to be unable to come up with funding for an effort to combat the zika virus.  Instead, congressional leaders told the government to use existing funding, so it has been forced to divert hundreds of millions of dollars from fighting ebola. (You remember that Congress was completely frenzied about the risk of ebola in […]

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Former Massey Energy CEO Sentenced to Prison for Actions Leading to 2010 Coal Mine Disaster

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What Broader Environmental and Worker Safety Enforcement Lessons Can Be Learned Here?

A federal district judge on Wednesday sentenced Don Blankenship, the former Chief Executive of Massey Energy, to serve one year in federal prison–the maximum term allowed by law–and to personally pay a criminal penalty of $250,000 for Blankenship’s acts of omission and commission that led to the notorious 2010 coal mining disaster at Massey’s Upper […]

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Understanding Climate Skepticism

Four hypotheses to explain the endurance of climate skeptics

2015 was the warmest year on record.  Sea level rise has been accelerating in recent decades. To myself and, I suspect, most readers of this blog, human-induced climate change is undeniable in the face of such developments, posing fundamental challenges to human well-being and biodiversity around the globe and into the future. Climate change is here and […]

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The Rise of “Cli-Fi”

climate swindle

What the Humanities Can Teach us About Climate Change Narratives

Over the past decade, an entire genre of climate skeptic literature has emerged. As many readers of this blog may well have experienced firsthand in personal conversations, climate skeptics are often very intelligent and may well hold advanced degrees. Dan Kahan’s work has made clear that climate skepticism derives as much from deeply-held values as […]

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Solving The Energy Efficiency Puzzle

Powering the Savings MARCH 2016 Cover

New report recommends ways that California can encourage more private financing of energy efficiency retrofits

Much of our efforts to reduce carbon emissions involves fairly complicated and advanced technologies.  Whether it’s solar panels, batteries, flywheels, or fuel cells, these technologies have typically required public support to bring them to scale at a reasonable price, along with significant regulatory or legal reforms to accommodate these new ways of doing old things, […]

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Mitigating the Climate Impacts of Aliso Canyon

Equipment and machinery is seen on a ridge above a natural gas well known as SS25 in Southern California Gas Company's vast Aliso Canyon facility. Pressure on the company has been mounting as residents of nearby Porter Ranch deal with the odor resulting from a leak at the well which was discovered on October 23. 12/14/2015

Staff from California Air Resources Board released the Draft Aliso Canyon Methane Leak Climate Impacts Mitigation Program last week. While the program has yet to gain approval by the Board, the final version will probably not change much. Overall, the Draft Program signals ARB’s desire to take full advantage of the political will and financial […]

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