Climate & Energy

Feeding climate change

Still more reasons to eat local and lay off the beef

Photo: Elizabeth Thomsen via Flickr. Increasingly, consumers are trying to reduce the environmental impacts of the foods they eat. But it's not so easy to know what to do, in part because of the bewildering array of food choices the market offers, but also because it's hard to know what food choices carry the biggest impact. This nifty study tries to clear away some of the murk by tackling a fairly straightforward question: If you care about the climate, which is more important, what kind of food you eat, or where that food is grown? To summarize the findings: All else being equal, locally grown food is friendlier to the climate than food grown half a continent away. But if you're looking for a single food choice that will help curb your climate impact, your best bet is to stay away from cows!

A final entry on the cap-and-trade debate

The ongoing economic discussion concerning the differences between cap-and-trade and carbon taxes has attracted a number of eminent participants. Not only Mark Thoma, but Brad …


Q&A with Van Jones about the Climate Security Act and green jobs

Van Jones. What does the green jobs and justice community think about the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act? To get one perspective, Grist caught up with …

Notable quotable

America’s 21st century can’t-do spirit

“It’s frankly not doable for us.” — chief U.S. climate negotiator Harlan Watson, on the G8’s proposal to reduce industrial countries’ emissions 25-40 percent from …

Cause and effect

Here’s a sentence from a new story in the WSJ: The second-poorest state in the nation based on household income, West Virginia counts on coal …

Calling all economists

Are the CGE models useful for predicting the effects of climate policy?

Photo: StuSeeger via Flickr. My pal Peter Dorman is looking for answers: Does the class of economic forecasting tools known as "computable general equilibrium models" (aka CGE models) have any documented track record of success? This may seem like an arcane point, but it's quite relevant to climate policy. Government agencies throughout North America are using CGE models to forecast the economic impacts of various cap-and-trade proposals. But many academic economists -- Dorman among them -- think that the CGE models are built on sand. Says Dorman:

Senate all before

GOP leaders resort to high jinks to stall climate bill

Republican leaders essentially shut down the Senate Wednesday during what was supposed to be a time of debate on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, forcing …

Your two cents

Opening ANWR cuts gas prices $0.02 in 2025

In the climate and energy debate, conservatives continue to argue that the only solution to high gasoline prices is drill, drill, drill, especially in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This argument is false, false, false. The Administration's own Energy Information Administration found differently in a 2004 Congressionally-requested "Analysis of Oil and Gas Production in ANWR" (see "Note to Bush, media: Opening ANWR cuts gas prices one cent in 2025"). I pointed out then that the 2004 analysis was based on low oil prices, and that higher oil prices would raise the savings. A May 2008 re-analysis [PDF] by EIA, "Analysis of Crude Oil Production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," in fact found this:

Who is being misleading?

A Post columnist’s defenders can’t salvage his poor cap-and-trade logic

Tyler Cowen weighs in on the cap-and-trade debate. He focuses on my criticism of Samuelson’s seeming failure to understand the relationship between cap-and-trade and a …