Tag Archives: greenhouse gas (GHG)

Will Smog in China Spur Climate Solutions?

I have read a number of news stories about air pollution in the major Chinese cities recently. A soupy smog of particulates, ozone, sulfur and nitrogen oxides hangs over Beijing, Tianjin and other northern cities. The concentration of particulate matter … Continue reading

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It’s Time to Refocus California’s Climate Strategy

You know this already, but let’s review: Climate change is a global emissions problem. California produces about 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Over the next few decades, the majority of emissions will come from developing countries. If we … Continue reading

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In Defense of Picking Winners

Virtually all economists working on climate change agree that we should price GHG emissions.  Doing so creates an incentive to reduce emissions without the government directing specific technology adoptions or activity changes, that is, without “picking winners.” Nearly as many … Continue reading

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What wood smoke has taught me about fighting climate change

While much of the U.S. has been dealing with severe winter weather, California is experiencing a record dry spell.    The clear skies have also brought some cold nights and, with them, wood smoke.  What I’ve noticed in my neighborhood is … Continue reading

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Is demonizing “big carbon” a strategy or a copout?

Are we really being tricked, bullied or seduced into burning fossil fuels?  That seems to be the message behind two arguments made recently by prominent advocates for climate action: we should blame the producers of fossil fuels for the failure … Continue reading

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Natural gas: Not all it’s fracked up to be?

Natural gas is being touted as a “game changer” and a “bridge to a low carbon economy.” It is an abundant, made-in-America energy source.  It is about half as carbon intensive as coal when burned. The figure below suggests that … Continue reading

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Leaking Pet Coke

Blogging is much harder when all government websites I rely on for my morning entertainment are shut down. This past week, mostly due to a few inquiries from reporters, I have learned a lot about Petroleum Coke. For those of … Continue reading

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Much ado about nothing?

“Cutting carbon pollution from power plants” is the first item on President Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan.  The first milestone in this effort involves setting carbon dioxide emissions standards for new power plants. Last week, EPA administrator Gina McCarthy met … Continue reading

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Is an economist allowed to oppose the XL pipeline?

It feels at times as if opposing the XL pipeline requires one to give up their keys to the Energy Institute executive washroom. Chris Knittel has argued that stopping XL would yield  little to no reductions in emissions. Severin Borenstein … Continue reading

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Learning and Forgetting the Wisdom of Coase

I was an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan in 1985 when our downsizing department library put a stack of old journals in the hallway for disposal.  Walking by the pile, I spotted the 1960 Journal of Law and … Continue reading

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