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Advanced Biofuels In Search Of Customers

The White House is starting an advanced biofuels initiative, putting money toward researching a new generation of biofuels for planes and boats. That’s all good. But BF < O has two sides. New technologies need customers who actually want the...

Posted August 18, 2011    

Pollution Has A Price, Just Not For The Polluter

We’ve known at least since Robert F. Kennedy’s first speech as a presidential candidate that gross domestic product “measures everything…except that which makes life worth living”. While it’s tough to quantify the beauty of our poetry or the...

Posted August 17, 2011    

Doing a 180 on 350?

Why, if activism won’t do, would I ever link to 350.org‘s tar sands campaign? Simple: Activism of the sort that gives us lists of “10 things you can do to save the planet” is impotent at best and counterproductive at worst. Recycling, refusing...

Posted August 15, 2011    

Are MIT Students Smarter Than 5th Graders?

Ask any climate scientist to explain global warming to a fifth grader, and they will pull out the bathtub analogy: The atmosphere is the tub. The level of carbon is the water standing in said tub. There’s a spigot and a sink—water in and water out....

Posted August 10, 2011    

Single-Action Bias

We all want to do something, anything. We don’t just want to sit idle and watch events unfold around us. Call it “action bias.” Then there’s “single-action bias.” We all want to do something, anything, but once we’ve done that one thing, we move on...

Posted August 9, 2011    

All of The Above

When most talk climate policy, they talk mitigation: decrease our ever increasing flow of carbon into the atmospheric sewer. Another piece of the puzzle is adaptation. We are way past the point where mitigation alone will do. We know we’ll feel the...

Posted August 8, 2011    

In Memoriam: Steve Schneider Takes On Skeptics

If you think things are bad, listen to a group of climate scientists talk about geoengineering—literally hacking the planet. I had the pleasure of attending the Asimolar geoengineering conference last March and, while there, had the distinct...

Posted July 21, 2011    

Don’t Buy Our Product

The business of electric utilities is to provide reliable, affordable, and (increasingly) clean electricity—except when it is not. Con Ed recently started a campaign extolling the virtues of saving electrons. Imagine a business that runs ads telling...

Posted July 20, 2011    

We Have Too Few Nuclear Accidents

I live in New York City, or in other words, I live within 40 miles of the Indian Point nuclear plant. Let’s just say that having a 50-year-old reactor that close to 20 million people may not be the most rational siting decision. You don’t need to...

Posted July 13, 2011    

Think Transportation, Not Cars

The Sunday New York Times comes with its own Automobiles section. Nothing unusual about that. Many papers have one as a convenient way to cash in on whatever is left of the classifieds. Certified pre-owned BMWs anyone? The section also comes...

Posted July 11, 2011    

Carbon Output "Socialism On A Planetary Scale"

One of the more powerful quotes about the importance of taking nature seriously goes back to Oystein Dahle: “Socialism collapsed because it did not allow the market to tell the economic truth. Capitalism may collapse because it does not allow the...

Posted July 7, 2011    

Carbon Trading Grows Up

When someone robs a bank, nobody challenges the legitimacy of banks. They suggest instead that the bank find better security. Why should carbon markets be any different? Wednesday last week the European Commission (EC) discovered cyber thefts of...

Posted January 28, 2011