Climate Policy

World we live in-onomics

Mistakes economists make, climate/energy edition

Economist Tyler Cowen has a list of mistakes made by liberal and conservative economists. They are largely of the intellectual, “you’re doing economics wrong” sort. I’m more interested in Ezra Klein’s subsequent list of mistakes economists make in their interactions with journalists and the political class. These are the ones that really grind my gears and often motivate my endless Twitter disputes with economists. (More fun than it sounds!) It’s worth reading them all, but a couple jumped out as particularly germane to the world of climate/energy policy. If a policy makes sense only in the presence of a secondary …

Don't give them any ideas

During climate hearing, Markey asks if anti-science GOP will repeal gravity

Cross-posted from the Wonk Room. With sardonic humor, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) mocked today’s markup of legislation to overturn the scientific finding that fossil-fuel pollution is causing dangerous climate change. Markey, who championed climate legislation that passed the House of Representatives in 2009, protested the energy subcommittee’s consideration of the Upton-Inhofe bill to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules on climate pollution, including its endangerment finding: Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to a bill that overturns the scientific finding that pollution is harming our people and our planet. However, I won’t physically rise, because I’m worried that Republicans will …

a stern warning

Nicholas Stern: Climate inaction risks a new world war

Cross-posted from the Wonk Room. This is the first in a three-part interview with economist Lord Nicholas Stern on climate policy. Lord Nicholas Stern, one of the world’s most prominent climate economists, believes that failure to address global warming could eventually lead to World War III. In 2006, he produced the “Stern Review” on behalf of the British government, clearly laying out the potentially catastrophic economic consequences of failing to address climate pollution. Since then, the scientific understanding of the damages from global warming has grown, and Stern has warned that his report “underestimated the risks.” In an exclusive interview …

A WALK THROUGH THE WEEK'S CLIMATE NEWS

The Climate Post: While Congress debates climate science, China and Europe move ahead

This picture is out of date. The race begun long ago, but the guy on the right is still pacing around trying to decide whether he should start.Republicans are far more skeptical of “global warming” than of “climate change,” a study led by a University of Michigan psychologist found. Among Democrats, on the other hand, about 85 percent believe the planet is getting hotter and weather getting weirder, no matter which label you use. Meanwhile, in the U.S. Congress, hearings continued about a bill to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from protecting the environment — specifically, “from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking …

Trial and tribulation

Climate activist Tim DeChristopher talks about his guilty verdict

Photo: (C) 2011 Daphne HougardDearest readers, I had the good fortune of sitting down to chat by phone with climate activist Tim DeChristopher the other day. I wanted to hear how he’s doing and how he’s feeling about being sent to the clink. Ever joyous in his resolve to stand up for what he believes in, Tim said, “I’m feeling surprisingly good for being a newly convicted felon.” For those of you new to this story, Tim DeChristopher is one of my all-time heroes because of the creative, articulate actions he has taken to fight the political and economic forces …

We're all mad here

Fred Upton pursues EPA down the rabbit hole

In what will mark the first vote on Republican efforts to prevent EPA from reducing climate pollution, a House Energy subcommittee is expected today to take up legislation from Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.). [See update at the bottom of post.] Their bill would amend the Clean Air Act to forbid consideration of CO2 or other greenhouse gases. Alice meets the cosponsors.For Congress to intervene in the scientific determinations of a public health agency is, as far as I know, unprecedented. You might think there would be urgent and compelling reasons for politicians to support such …

plan on it

How does China’s 12th Five-Year Plan address energy and the environment?

China’s got ambition.Cross-posted from the World Resources Institute. The post was written by Deborah Seligsohn, WRI’s principal advisor on climate and energy in Beijing, and Angel Hsu, doctoral student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The draft of China’s much-anticipated 12th Five-Year Plan was released this Saturday, March 5 at the opening session of the National People’s Congress (NPC). The plan will actually be brought to a vote at the close of the session later this week. While there may be some changes to the plan, in past years these have not been large. The 118-page draft …

so long and thanks for all the asthma

Pacific Northwest sends coal a Dear John letter

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px Arial} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px Arial; color: #1f0199} span.s1 {text-decoration: underline ; color: #1f0199} span.s2 {text-decoration: underline} span.s3 {color: #000000} Dear Coal, We’ve been together a long, long time, but I’m sorry, I’m leaving you for another. Don’t try to argue: like it or not, I need you to move out by 2025. My friends at the Sierra Club have been pushing hard for this for a while, what with the lobbying and their Beyond Coal campaign, and I finally have to concede they’re right. You might as well know there’s …

Tim and vigor

We need big, brash, nonviolent climate protests. Are you in?

It’s time to get loud.Dear friends, Last week, a jury in Utah found Tim DeChristopher guilty for standing up to the oil and gas companies in an effort to protect our health and our climate. If the federal government thinks that it’s intimidating people into silence with this kind of prosecution, think again. This is precisely the sort of event that reminds us why we need creative, nonviolent protests and mass mobilizations. Over the last six months, we’ve witnessed big changes in the world that call out for creative, nonviolent protest, including: The wild and extreme weather and flooding that …