Ryan Avent

Ryan Avent is a freelance economics writer living in Washington, D.C. He blogs at ryanavent.com, and at The Economist's Free Exchange.

Cities

There are limits to the positive environmental change we can expect from high gas prices

You can scarcely pick up a paper or turn on the television these days without hearing the word recession. Leading economic indicators have wiggled in different directions over the past few months, but the general trend appears to be negative. …

Politics

Land-use policy is not a laughing matter

It was just a fleeting moment amid the hours of presidential debate that have taken place through this longest of election cycles, but it nonetheless warmed my heart. No-longer-a-candidate Bill Richardson, in response to a question on climate policy, said …

Climate & Energy

A response to Jim Manzi

I want to thank Jim Manzi for taking the time to respond to my criticisms of his recent writing on warming policies here at Gristmill. Though I disagree with much of what he says, his thoughtful work on the subject …

Climate & Energy

Conservatives still don’t seem to get global warming

Many political observers — those, at least, not wholly gutted by cynicism after eight years of criminally negligent Republican leadership — wonder when public concern over global warming will prompt a serious, thoughtful conservative response. Those hoping for real solutions …

Cities

Metro is succeeding, but like all public transit systems, it needs our support

It was a bad headline and a bad take on an important issue from a writer at a publication that ought to know better. Last week, M.J. Rosenberg, writing at TPM Cafe, penned a quick post entitled “Question for Paul …

Business & Technology

We don’t need to destroy our economy to save the planet

As I’ve studied green issues, I have frequently come across the “buy local” train of thought, but I’ve never seen it embraced as completely as it was in this Gristmill post by Jon Rynn — at least not since my …

Politics

In times of crisis, we get what we pay for

A week of intense wildfires in southern California displaced the news from front pages, but the drought in the southeastern states rages on, despite a few welcome but too-brief rain events. As sources of drinking water slowly exhaust themselves, under …

Cities

Even the greenest suburbs can’t touch low urban emission rates

Last Sunday, the Washington Post published a piece by Joel Kotkin and Ali Modarres which sought to debunk the ideas that dense urban areas are greener than their suburban counterparts and that encouraging dense growth might play a significant role …

Climate & Energy

The CAFE standards vs. carbon tax debate is more complicated than we imagine

One of the most frustrating aspects of the climate debate has to be the fact that just about every informed pundit, across the ideological spectrum, agrees that a carbon tax would be an outstanding way to reduce carbon emissions — …