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Charles Komanoff's Posts

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Climate 'realism' demands carbon tax

Game over? Hardly.

With the new IPCC report finally out in the world, climate activists can again focus on action. What do we do now? I say, first let's cut through the defeatism that's posing as realism, as in this article in yesterday's L.A. Times, "Game over on global warming?": Everybody in the United States could switch from cars to bicycles. The Chinese could close all their factories. Europe could give up electricity and return to the age of the lantern. But all those steps together would not come close to stopping global warming. Really? I ran the numbers and came up with …

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Albert, Martin, and … Ralph? Solving the real energy crisis

New crises demand new modes of thought. In the early 20th century, scientists were baffled by the paradox that the speed of light never changes, even if the observer is rushing toward the light source. Einstein resolved the crisis by redefining time from a constant to a variable. In the mid-20th Century, America was struggling to escape its centuries-old legacy of slavery and segregation. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement found us all a way forward, by redefining racism as an assault on the souls of whites as well as blacks. Today, America's and the world's prodigal use …

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Carbon offsets: what would Gandhi do?

Can we really buy the change we want to see in the world?

Dumb me. I went to the Zappa Plays Zappa concert last month. Great show, with Dweezil faithfully channeling his dad Frank. But I felt kind of dorky lugging my bicycle helmet around the theater. You see, I had made the 10-mile round trip between lower Manhattan, where I live, and the Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side, by bicycle. Burning a gallon of gas to go 20 miles makes 20 pounds of CO2, so I figure that by biking instead of taking a taxi I prevented 10 pounds of climate-altering greenhouse gases from going into the atmosphere. That may …

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