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This Jacket Will Not Stop Global Warming

Patagonia, the outdoor clothing and apparel company, ran an eye-catching, full-page ad in The New York Times the day after Thanksgiving, the busiest shopping day of the year. The headline, “Don’t Buy this Jacket,” was above a photo of one of its...

Posted December 19, 2011    

Imagine What A Real Cap Could Do

RGGI (pronounced “Reggie”), the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, has capped carbon dioxide emissions in ten northeastern U.S. states. Well, it isn’t much of a cap, given how loose it really is. Still, the latest analysis that tries to follow the...

Posted December 15, 2011    

Naomi Klein is Half Right About Capitalism vs. the Climate

Naomi Klein is always worth reading. If you haven’t seen Capitalism vs. the Climate, go ahead. I’ll wait. Her 10,000-word exposé is well worth the effort. It makes the essential point that addressing climate change means reorganizing how the world...

Posted December 6, 2011    

What Nuclear Proliferation & Abolition Have In Common

Global warming has characteristics that make it unique among most public policy problems. Its effects are more global, more long-term, and more uncertain than most. That triple whammy makes sensible national and global policy exceedingly difficult....

Posted November 14, 2011    

Helicopter Parents Should Worry About The Air

My wife and I have no car, no TV, and a no-screens policy around our 8-month-old. We carry him around in an organic cotton wrap. His favorite toys are wood, his baby soap is plant-based, his only pacifier is his left thumb. He has yet to taste baby...

Posted November 12, 2011    

Cold, Hard Climate Economics

Global warming is happening faster and with more intensity than anyone expected, yet the fossil-fueled right has succeeded in removing the issue almost entirely from the agenda through a false pretense of defending "free markets." In response,...

Posted November 10, 2011    

oPower's Gaming Technology Gets Neighbors to Compete to Save Energy

Wasting time Playing games online is fun. Even staid old utilities are catching on by now. In truth, ConEd didn’t come up with much of a game. It’s more like a guided tour of energy savings around your house, even though the link may say “play now...

Posted November 3, 2011    

Nature Accomplishes What Politics Won’t

A freak October snowstorm blanketed New York yesterday, likely setting a new October snow record. In the meantime, Bangkok is trying to cope with one of the worst floods in history. Standard journalistic decorum demands that I mention right about...

Posted October 30, 2011    

NIMBYism NY Edition, or Risky Energy Near Major Cities

Forty miles north of New York City is the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. I don’t care what you think of nuclear power, having an aging plant within forty miles of 20 million people isn’t the outcome of any rational policy decision. Still, Indian...

Posted October 27, 2011    

Gas Tax or Bust

0.5% of U.S. commuters bike to work. 5% take public transport. 80% drive. Mayor Bloomberg is trying mightily hard to build bike lanes and change the commuting culture of New York City. He may well succeed, and other cities may yet follow. Here’s...

Posted October 20, 2011    

Dash for Clunkers

You can motivate people to drive less through various means. Gas taxes come to mind. Or a tax on vehicles miles traveled, or a congestion fee. Whether you call it a “tax” or a “fee,” charging money is always part of the equation. The alternative to...

Posted October 17, 2011    

Energy Efficiency Fail: $20 Bills Hanging Out The Window

If you think energy efficiency is overblown, look no further than this window. Apparently, businesses are almost as bad. EDF’s own Climate Corps program has found $650 million in energy savings. No matter whether you care about the planet, you...

Posted September 27, 2011