Glenn Hurowitz

Glenn Hurowitz is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy.

The Climate Premium: Russian Fires Cause Wheat Prices to Skyrocket

The world’s breakfast eaters are about to get a hot, steaming serving of climate change with their bagels and croissants. In response to the climate change-fueled fires sweeping the Russian bread basket, Russia on Thursday banned grain exports, driving global prices to $7.83 a bushel, almost double their June low. This is the real climate change tax — higher food prices, higher air conditioning bills, skyrocketing firefighting expenses, and it’s way more costly than the relatively modest investments it will take to reduce the climate pollution exacerbating these global natural disasters. This isn’t just a one-off effect. A team led …

Tough Love

Are environmentalists responsible for climate failure?

Environmentalists and their allies have expressed “disappointment” at the failure of the Senate to cap carbon pollution this year. A few bold voices have even suggested, gingerly, that President Obama might bear just a teensy bit of responsibility for this failure by not aggressively lobbying the Senate to take action or launching a consistent public campaign for action. Meanwhile, the White House isn’t shying from putting the blame squarely on environmentalists.

Amanda Little Needs to Rinse the Oil Out of Her Brain

I’ve always loved Amanda Little’s writing – and her news-breaking, hard-hitting interviews. But her latest incarnation as a “pro-drilling environmentalist,” while clearly well-meaning, is so divorced from the economic and political reality of oil that it deserves an open plea to escape what is clearly too much time spent in the barrel of Big Oil’s echo chamber. After all, to hear Amanda tell it, you’d think the folks at the Power Shift youth climate conference should be screaming “Drill Here, Drill Now” as their new green rallying cry – and that’s a sad future indeed for the environmental movement.   …

Climate & Energy Bill Will Do More For Health Than Health Care Legislation

This post was co-authored by Dr. Rahul Rajkumar, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. As oil and gas continue to spew out of a broken pipe at the BP spill site in the Gulf of Mexico, those of us who rode on the health care reform bandwagon have to wonder if we should have tackled energy and climate change first.  Lack of access to health care is a moral imperative – but inadequate health care is responsible for only a small fraction of the unnecessary loss of life that occurs every year in this country.  If the …

EPA Analysis: Rainforests Key to Climate Legislation Affordability, Integrity

This post was co-authored by Andrew Stevenson of Resources for the Future and Climate Advisers. The EPA analysis of the American Power Act shines a light on a key fact about climate policy: strong rainforest protections, especially in the short run, are essential to keeping costs low and emissions goals strong. The analysis finds that excluding rainforest offsets from APA would increase emissions allowance prices 23 percent. Excluding international offsets entirely would increase the cost to households a whopping 31 to 114 percent. That’s no surprise: stopping rainforests from going up in smoke is one of the most affordable ways …

Stealth Wealth

Underground green economy employing millions

UPDATE: Thousands more people are now being employed in the “restoration economy” to clean up the oil spill. Jobs are just one more reason why we need a national effort to restore the Gulf ecosystem. There’s a new economy springing up around the country — but it’s operating almost entirely in secret. It’s called “the restoration economy” and it’s remaking America’s landscape while putting millions of people to work. This economy is devoted to restoring what’s been lost: degraded forests, watersheds, oceans, cities, communities, buildings, transit — and it’s the product of a major turning point in our history that’s …

Bad to the Last Drop

Saudi oil cheaper than American oil

To offshore drilling advocates, the oil-soaked birds washing up on the Gulf shore are a regrettable sacrifice in our pursuit of a higher calling: energy independence. Oil is a nasty business, they admit, but to them, offshore drilling is better than continuing to buy our oil from hostile countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. They imply that we have a choice between dirty bombs and dirty oil. Nothing could be further from the truth: offshore drilling has never and will never make us less reliant on Saudis, Iranians, or Venezuelans. Whether we like it or not, oil from those …

Unicorn Economics

Raiding rainforest funds in climate legislation will turn cost projections into fantasy

An endangered unicorn protected by one of the imaginary offsets created if Kerry-Graham-Lieberman raids funds for tropical rainforests.In the ongoing negotiations over the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill, different polluters are clamoring for cash to compensate them for not fouling the atmosphere quite so much. One of their targets: the legislation’s set-aside funds for reducing tropical deforestation, which is responsible for at least 15 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions (more than all the cars, trucks, ships, and planes in the world). Outside of all the myriad benefits of protecting tropical rainforests for the planet, raiding this “Climate Forest Fund” seriously threatens the …

Osama Bin Loggin

Illegal logging funding Taliban attacks on U.S. troops

In case you didn’t have enough reasons to dislike the Taliban, The Wall Street Journal’s Yaroslav Trofimov looks at how they’re using revenue from illegal logging to finance attacks on U.S. troops (though, via some monumentally twisted logic, the article actually blames the logging ban, rather than the Taliban forces doing the logging and profiting from it): Giant piles of prime timber line the roadsides along the Kunar River valley. The cut wood, valued at tens of millions of dollars, has been slowly rotting away since 2006, when President Hamid Karzai banned logging and lumber sales in Afghanistan. The decree …

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