The Washington Post versus George Will

The paper seems to be disavowing the views of its own columnist: The new evidence — including satellite data showing that the average multiyear wintertime sea ice cover in the Arctic in 2005 and 2006 was nine feet thick, a significant decline from the 1980s — contradicts data cited in widely circulated reports by Washington …

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Shifting the Regulatory Status Quo: The Case of Climate Change

A basic insight of positive political theory is that the existence of veto points makes it possible for an agenda setter to substantially influence political outcomes.  Essentially, an outcome is viable so long as it satisfies a basic condition: it must be closer than the status quoto to the optimum outcome  for at least one …

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Gorbachev Goes Green

Matt Peterson’s blog reports: President Gorbachev, the founder of Green Cross International (Global Green USA is the American affiliate) . . .  said, “It’s not just a matter of rescuing the world’s economy — there is more at stake. We must not expect the outcome of this crisis will be the replicating of the same …

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Waxman bill on state cap-and-trade efforts

I’ve been reading the Waxman-Markey energy and climate discussion draft released earlier in the week (and blogged about by Rick here).  One thing I’m puzzling over is the draft’s treatment of state cap and trade regulations.  As many have noted, the question of which state climate efforts are saved and which are preempted is an …

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Silos: Great for Fodder, Not So Hot for Energy Policy

The electricity grid is one big machine.  Transmisssion must be centrally coordinated.  Generating units must all be in sync.  Voltage levels have to be maintained.  There must constantly be an even match between demand and supply.  But you would hardly know it from the way we look at energy policy at the states and on …

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Omnibus Public Land Management Act Signed Into Law

The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which I discussed in this post a couple of weeks ago, passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Obama earlier this week.  A transcript of the President’s remarks on the new law is here, courtesy of the New York Times.  The prior version of this …

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The NY Times’ New Climate Skeptic

Last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine story about climate skeptic Freeman Dyson has me worried. For those readers who missed it, the profile is a largely favorable piece about Institute for Advanced Study scholar Dyson, best known for helping unite qunatum and electrodynamic theory and for his belief that nuclear weapons are the world’s greatest evil.   Dyson …

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Getting Serious About Toxicity Testing

Most of the products we use everyday contain chemicals that have never undergone meaningful health and safety testing.  That statement is hardly controversial; most folks on all sides of the continuing debate over chemical policy reform accept it as accurate.  Yet there is controversy over whether such testing should be required as a routine matter …

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When Will Congress Act? Our Poll Results

During Obama’s second year in office 43% During Obama’s third or fouth year  29% During Obama’s first year in office 20% Never 6% After the 2012 elections 1 3%

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Cass Sunstein Has Lost His Mind

I’m in the middle of reading Sunstein and Thaler’s Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness, and a lot of it is illuminating, if somewhat predictable for those who have followed behavioral economics over the last few years. But so far, by far the worst chapter has been the one on the environment, which …

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