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Articles by Gar Lipow

Gar Lipow, a long-time environmental activist and journalist with a strong technical background, has spent years immersed in the subject of efficiency and renewable energy. His new book Solving the Climate Crisis will be published by Praeger Press in Spring 2012. Check out his online reference book compiling information on technology available today.

Featured Article

[Because the following is long, it is also available in pdf format at ]

Even as London carbon trading desks shut down[1] in response to the crumbling European Trading System (ETS) , the zombie concept of carbon trading spreads to China. Because Robin Hahnel’s carbon trading defenses[2] offer the best pro-carbon market arguments to date, this article tackles carbon trading largely by answering Hahnel.

For those wondering “who the hell is Robin Hahnel?”, he is an underappreciated left economist. His 1999 book Panic Rules was one of the  best critical primers on globalization.  He is a long time critic of market fundamentalism, and of markets themselves. Unlike many carbon trading defenders, his support for carbon trading is based neither on market uber alles ideology  nor upon ties to the carbon trading industry. That makes his defense of carbon trading more intelligent and more aware of pitfalls.

Why does that make him worth answering? Anyone with confidence in their views on a controversial subject, such as carbon trading, should be willing to engage the best arguments the other side can m... Read more

All Articles

  • Light rail on a diet equals better mass transit

    I often write about the key role the federal government plays in infrastructure. Ultralight rail is one small example of the role national governments can play in advancing or bottlenecking infrastructure change. The state of today’s light rail: when extensively used it saves energy compared to cars. Another advantage: light rail has lower capital costs. […]

  • The Price is Wrong

    [A short excerpt from the following was previously published on the “Triple Crisis” blog of Dollars & Sense magazine] For United States climate activists to succeed, they must demand serious government spending on energy efficiency and renewables – spending comparable to the current war budget. Calling for hundreds of billions in annual green public investment has […]

  • “Pennies for Wendy’s”

    Wendy’s is the biggest holdout among the fast food giants who refuses to pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes on condition that growers treat workers with a minimum of fairness. This , payment to workers at least equal to the minimum wage, time clocks, a third party grievance procedure. By refusing to join […]

  • Climate change deniers, you should get together with Beatles deniers

    Yes, along with those who deny that human action is the primary cause of this century’s global warming, there are people who deny that the Beatles ever existed.  Their basic argument: There was never just one group of 4 individuals calling themselves “The Beatles” who rose to world stardom.There were multiples of each character performing […]