Politics

False hopes

Are Obama and Edwards promising ponies?

Hillary Clinton is getting in lots of trouble for some recent comments, but I suspect that while her message is politically doomed, there’s some truth …

What does California's climate bill mandate?

Does AB 32 call for maximizing emission reductions or minimizing costs?

California’s pioneering climate legislation, the Global Warming Solutions Act, or AB 32, caps the state’s emissions at 1990 levels by 2020. That’s the headline, anyway. …

New Hampshire prediction, guaranteed accurate to the tenth decimal

Obama by 8, McCain by 3. Clinton in second, Edwards in third. Romney in second, Huckabee in third.

China announces ban on super-thin plastic bags, fees for others

China has announced a ban on super-thin plastic bags in the country as well as a fee for other plastic bags, both beginning on June …

An interview with Andrew Rice, the Democrat challenging GOP Sen. James Inhofe

Andrew Rice. No national politician has done more to antagonize the environmental community than James Inhofe, Republican senator from Oklahoma. As chair of the Senate …

Another reason EPA's denial of Cali's waiver is bogus

Increased CO2 in the atmosphere exacerbates the effects of air pollution

The primary reason EPA head Stephen Johnson rejected California’s waiver request is that the state did not face "extraordinary and compelling conditions" as defined under …

Canada should consider adopting carbon tax, says panel

Canada should strongly consider adopting a carbon tax along with an emissions cap-and-trade system, a panel of experts advised the government today. The panel had …

What about the cities?

Urban issue virtually absent from campaign; mayors speak up

Ed Glaeser asks the presidential candidates: "What about the cities?" Last month, Clyde Haberman wondered the same thing. It’s a good question. Every rural cornpone …

Green gap is more of a chasm

The presidential debates once again highlight the obvious

Matthew Yglesias notes the environmental policy gap between Democratic and Republican presidential contenders: "On the Republican side, we have Mike Huckabee who thinks global warming is a serious problem but doesn't have any particular ideas about dealing with it." It strikes me as worse than that. When I read Andy Revkin's run-down of the weekend's debates, this made me want to get my shrill on: Mike Huckabee called for a billion-dollar prize for the first 100-mile-per-gallon car (a concept that might seem a bit goofy, but that has been embraced by some influential economists). It did indeed seem a bit goofy at first. Then I thought again. This idea goes well beyond goofy to ... deeply unserious? Insulting? Inane? Consider: 100 mpg-equivalent cars already exist. 100 mpg isn't all that ambitious. A bunch of kids are planning to bring a commercially viable 200 MPGe car to market in 2009. 100 mpg cars aren't a hugely important policy goal. So, let's see: a climate change an energy independence plan consisting of a billion-dollar prize for technology that already exists will probably soon be supplanted, and isn't a high priority. Of course, this was just one throwaway line in a debate. But I'm thunderstruck by the level of policy discourse on one of the most important issues of the day. Then I remember that voters don't actually care about this stuff, and it all sort of makes sense.