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david roberts


Should We Talk About Climate Change?

January 4, 2012 by David Lewis

David Roberts, a blogger at Grist, is challenging what he says is an evolving consensus among American "climate hawks" who say there's "nothing to be gained from talking about climate change".  These types, according to Roberts, argue that political effort aimed at climate mitigation needs to conceal itself inside debate focused on...[read more]

Energy Subsidies in a Free Market

November 17, 2011 by John Wilson

Bob Inglis’ call to “simultaneously eliminat[e] all subsidies” for energy is another way that he believes we can use the “power of free markets” to make better choices about energy use. Although “subsidies” are often discussed, it is a concept that is hard to pin down. The World Trade Organization definition of a subsidy amounts to, “...[read more]

The State of U.S. Power Utilities

July 12, 2011 by Silvio Marcacci

energyNOW! interviewed David Roberts of about the annual survey of U.S. power utility executives, managers, and engineers by the consulting firm Black & Veatch. In this interview, Roberts discusses his analysis of the survey and his conclusion that the industry as a whole remains conservative, often to its own detriment. Roberts says the power industry is driven by what he calls "small-c conservatism," a bias in favor of familiar ways of doing business, rather than an ideological conservatism. He says this stems from the culture of utilities as regulated monopolies whose main concern has been regulators, rather than market forces. He says this leads them to make business decisions based on what is familiar to them, rather than innovating.[read more]

A Sheep in Hawk's Clothing? Why "Climate Hawk" Doesn't Soar.

February 14, 2011 by Scott Edward Anderson

We need less hawking, more doing.My post last week about Climate Skeptics garnered some interesting responses, including this one from my friend David Connell of The Nature Conservancy on Planet Change.I agree with Dave that it's time for a big tent.  I also agree that environmentalists are guilty of, as he says, being "suspicious...[read more]

The climate bill version of “Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough”

May 23, 2010 by Joseph Romm

My colleague David Roberts at Grist has a provocative post, “Leaning forward: Why the American Power Act is worth fighting for.” It is sort of the climate change equivalent of Lori Gottlieb’s even more provocative best-seller.  The perfect climate bill that could get 60 votes in the Senate simply doesn’t exist. I think Roberts’...[read more]

Note to Environmentalists: Economists are on your side

April 12, 2010 by Tim Haab

There is a tendency among some environmental writers to dismiss “classical”, “traditional”, “neoliberal”, or “mainstream” economics as somehow inimical to environmental interests. The problem is that more often than not these writers get the facts wrong. It’s almost as if the knee-jerk aversion to economics that exists among many...[read more]

Newsweek Gets Coal Terribly Wrong

April 12, 2010 by Joseph Romm

Daniel Stone published a dreadful piece on coal and energy over at Newsweek’s The Gaggle called “West Virginia Mine Disaster Unlikely to Affect National Energy Debate.”  Guest blogger JW Randolph of Appalachian Voices, debunks it fully in this WR repost. David Roberts at Grist responded to Energy Committee Staffer Bill Wicker for a...[read more]

Methane from East Siberia

March 9, 2010 by Jonathan Smith

Jamais Cascio has made it official… “there’s a considerable amount of methane (CH4) coming from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, where it had been trapped under the permafrost. There’s as much coming out from one small section of the Arctic ocean as from all the rest of the oceans combined. This is officially Not Good.” Scientists who...[read more]

[PODCAST] When the Rubber Meets the Road: Taking Cleantech to Scale

March 2, 2010 by Jesse Jenkins

Financing your innovative cleantech company amidst an economic crisis, navigating a new and uncertain policy environment, and finding the early markets needed to take it all to scale. Not an easy task, but those are just some of the many challenges facing the nascent cleantech industry on display at this year's San Francisco Cleantech...[read more]

Innovation ≠ technology: Why Bill Gates is wrong

February 19, 2010 by Big Gav

David Roberts at Grist has a bone to pick with some of Bill Gates' recent pronouncements about clean energy (which are by and large still laudable in my opinion) - Innovation ≠ technology: Why Bill Gates is wrong. Gates has burst on to the energy scene with some rather ill-considered thinking. To get a flavor, see his blog post, “Why...[read more]

Do we need nuclear and coal plants for baseload power?

November 10, 2009 by Big Gav

Dave Roberts at Grist has some words on the baseload fallacy - Do we need nuclear and coal plants for baseload power? .On Friday, Matt Yglesias made the point that only socialist state control seems capable of creating a robust nuclear power industry. After all, the only countries building nuke plants these days are the ones where...[read more]

Against Waxman-Markey

November 7, 2009 by Michael Tobis

A few months ago when some scientists, notably Jim Hansen, and less notably myself, were expressing doubts about cap-and-trade, the more politically active of our acquaintance were urging us to STFU, since we are presumed totally unrealistic about how Washington works. Notably it was David Roberts (in combination with the impenetrability...[read more]

The Geoengineering Quandary (In Living Color)

October 18, 2009 by Michael Tobis

Following up from yesterday, we have a bunch of people being a little bit coy in response to a straightforward statement, Richard Branson's comment that "If we could come up with a geoengineering answer to this problem, then Copenhagen wouldn’t be necessary. We could carry on flying our planes and driving our cars."Note that he didn't...[read more]