Frank Ackerman

Frank Ackerman is a senior economist at Synapse Energy Economics, a research and consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass. He is also a founding member of Economics for Equity and the Environment.

Bjorn yesterday

Bjorn Lomborg: same skeptic, different day

Bjorn Lomborg, the Danish climate skeptic, is back in the news. He now wants to have it both ways, calling climate change real, but not really urgent.

Bad rap

The atrazine emails: Science with an attitude is still science

UC Berkeley professor Tyrone Hayes sent obscene emails to pesticide maker Syngenta's staff. But that doesn't invalidate his research on atrazine.

Not to sound refund-ant ...

A climate policy for people and the environment

A well-designed climate policy could slash greenhouse emissions and put money in Americans' pockets -- but that's not what Congress is considering.

we're in deep

What would happen if we admitted to the high risk of deepwater drilling?

Was the Obama administration “arbitrary and capricious” in imposing a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling? U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman thought so. His June 22 order reversed the moratorium, citing the “immeasurable harm” to “the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country.” By immeasurable harm to the Gulf region, he meant the loss of oil industry jobs, not the loss of oil-free water and beaches. How could anyone be opposed to a time-out to figure out what went wrong in the Gulf of Mexico? Others close to …

What is the social cost of carbon?

The social cost of carbon may be the most important number you’ve never heard of. U.S. climate legislation is stalled in Congress, but in the meantime, the Obama administration is trying to fill the gap by considering climate impacts in the regulatory process: from the tailpipe emissions limits and gas mileage standards unveiled April 1, to energy-efficiency standards for many types of residential appliances and commercial equipment. This is important work; U.S. action to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is long overdue, and it’s crucial in the global picture, both because of our large share of total emissions, and because of our …

Can we still afford to save the planet? Yes

The economics of 350

There is good news on the climate policy front. The Europeans have ratcheted down their emission targets; the Chinese are getting serious about solar power and energy efficiency; and Washington, after opening a multi-billion dollar stimulus spicket for clean energy, is lumbering towards a carbon cap.  This is progress-inadequate, but still important progress — towards what many of us used to think we had to do: cut global warming pollution 80 percent by 2050. These cuts would stabilize the thickness of the heat-trapping carbon dioxide blanket surrounding the earth at 450 ppm (parts per million) and, we thought, provide insurance …

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