Politics

Should the WTO Run International Climate Policy?

WTO Logo

William Nordhaus' New Paper Implies That It Should

Last Thursday, Ethan explained the difficulties with attempting to craft a new international climate treaty, and suggested biting off more snackable chunks to work on the problem piece-by-piece (a recommendation I have also made). Now, hot off the presses, the new American Economic Review features a lead article by William Nordhaus suggesting climate clubs as […]

Continue Reading

News from a Warming World

climate change

Coal versus wind power; China's air; poll results; Ted Cruz; arctic ice.

There’s been a lot of interesting environmental news recently, much of which seems to have gotten little notice. The topics range from U.S. wind power (growing) to U.S. coal power and Arctic sea ice (both shrinking), with a bit of Ted Cruz to spice things up. Here’s the round-up: Out with coal, in with wind. The […]

Continue Reading

Shut Up, Texas

i-messed-with-texas

Environmental Factors Smack Down Another Right-Wing Meme

If like me you are tired of Texans gloating about their supposed “miracle,” today’s post from Kevin Drum brings some good news: For years, business lobbyists complained about what they derided as “job killer” laws that drive employers out of California. Rival state governors, notably former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, made highly publicized visits to […]

Continue Reading

The Unreasonable Risk of TSCA Reform

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is no doubt generating significant conflict, including claims of undue industry influence, competing bills from prominent members of the same party, consternation among states, and divisions among health and environmental groups.  And it may also be the closest we have gotten to TSCA reform—ever.  […]

Continue Reading

Could California Supreme Court Review Of San Diego’s Transportation Plan Soon Be Moot?

Legislature may act this year to enshrine the 2050 greenhouse gas goals at issue in the case

As Rick blogged last week, the California Supreme Court on Wednesday granted review of San Diego’s weak transportation plan. I detail the history here, but basically San Diego’s regional transportation agency delivered a plan in 2011 that was supposed to comply with SB 375 (Steinberg, 2008), a landmark law linking transportation spending with long-term greenhouse […]

Continue Reading

The Anticommunist Origins of Climate Denial

Merchants of Doubt

How Cold Warriors Wind Up Heating the Planet

The other night, my wife and I saw Merchants of Doubt, Robert Kenner’s new film about the climate denial industry. I thought it was excellent. I was surprised by the high production values and the way in which it did not feel like a documentary, at least until the last 15-20 minutes or so. (Then […]

Continue Reading

Why Did Conservatives Support Saving Mono Lake?

Mono Lake

The Skillful -- and Lucky -- Alliance Between Locals and Environmentalists

A little more than a year ago, I asked how the Mono Lake Campaign succeeded.  I had previously suggested that a principal cause of the Mono Lake Committee’s success was the enemy: the arrogant, bullying, and reactionary Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Everyone in the state “knew” that Los Angeles had “stolen” its […]

Continue Reading

TSCA Reform: That’s A Good Thing, Right?

Reform of the federal chemicals statute, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), is in the news again.  It got me wondering, are we are better off with the devil we know? In a legislative era characterized by harsh partisanship and excruciating deadlocks, there are signs that TSCA reform could be a rare example of cooperation […]

Continue Reading

Econ101, Ideological Blinders, and the New Head of CBO

There are troubling indications that Keith Hall lets ideology blind him to basic economics.

Last week, in a post about the employment effect of regulations, I mentioned briefly that the new Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Keith Hall, had endorsed some questionable views on the subject.  A reader pointed me toward an additional writing that has done a lot to escalate my concerns.  There are disturbing signs about both Hall’s ideological bias […]

Continue Reading

Republicans Hate Your Grandchildren, Part 2

Have you ever seen them together?

Rick Scott Makes Sure Floridians Won't Know About Climate Danger

It’s a common refrain around the web that Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott looks a lot like Lex Luthor, the arch-villain of Superman comics. The term fits, both aesthetically and substantively: in his previous career as CEO of Columbia/HCA, he oversaw what was at the time the largest Medicare fraud in history. But as the […]

Continue Reading