Climate Politics

And the Survey Says…

How to interpret and utilize “environmentalist” poll results showing widespread support for environmental protection

As most of us know by now, environmentalism in the United States has increasingly become a politically polarizing topic. A Gallup poll from March 2018 revealed that only 42% of surveyed individuals consider themselves to be “environmentalists,” a figure which has decreased over time from the early 1990s: Interestingly, however, this shift in identity for …

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The GOP’s Climate Views Are Thawing

Significant parts of the GOP seem to be leaving Trump behind on the climate issue.

There were three interesting stories about climate politics in the papers today: one about Trump, one about other Republicans, and one about both. What these stories tell us is that part of the GOP is coming to terms with reality; Trump not surprisingly is not. First, as to Trump. As you may have noticed, Trump …

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The possibilities of a Green New Deal

Proposal for massive government investment in decarbonization of the economy could have long-term political benefits, if it’s done right

The new House Democratic majority takes over this week. In the period between the midterm elections and now, one major issue that has been discussed is the path forward for the Democrats on climate policy. Led by freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, activists have called for the new majority to set up a special House committee …

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Safeguarding Climate Policies

There are several strategies for insulating climate policy from leaders like Trump.

Trump’s election was a surprise. What should not be a surprise is the inevitability of political setbacks for climate policy. We saw that in the U.S. with the shift from Clinton to Bush and then from Obama to Trump. We also saw that in Australia where it meant the repeal of a promising emissions trading …

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: California’s Global Climate Action Summit, September 12-14, 2018

The Final Post in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the final post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] Under the Paris Agreement, countries must evaluate progress towards their nationally determined commitments to reduce emissions every five years, …

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Climate Solutions

Post #12 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the second-to-last post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] As discussed in the previous blog posts, through the ARB Scoping Plan, the 5 pillars of climate action set …

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: California and Sub-National Action

Post #11 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the eleventh post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] In 2015, about a year and a half before the international climate meetings in Paris, Jerry Brown met with …

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: The Issue of Scale in Climate Solutions

Post #10 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the tenth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] The issue of scale is intertwined with political will, discussed in my prior post,but also poses separate challenges.  If …

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Political Will to Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Post #9 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the ninth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] I said at the outset of these blog posts that political will and the issue of scale are bigger …

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The Downward Political Spiral of a Declining Industry

As the coal industry weakens economically, it also loses political clout.

Tighter regulation contributes to an environmentally dirty industry’s economic decline, which reduces its political clout, which allows more regulation, further weakening the industry.  Coal is prime example. The coal industry’s economic plight is well-known.  Coal production is the lowest since a major strike 35 years ago. In fact, my colleagues at the business school report that coal …

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