Author Archives: Maximilian Auffhammer

About Maximilian Auffhammer

Maximilian Auffhammer is the George Pardee Professor of International Sustainable Development at the University of California Berkeley. His fields of expertise are environmental and energy economics, with a specific focus on the impacts and regulation of climate change and air pollution.

Giving Up on Carbon Markets in Favor of a Giant Vacuum in the Sky?

I sat next to a distinguished climate scientist at a recent dinner, who told me point blank that “carbon markets have failed, which means one should give up on market based approaches to reducing emissions”. After the ecologist on my … Continue reading

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Cartels Work Unless They Don’t

I spend a lot of time describing unicorns in my undergraduate classroom. And by unicorns, I mean perfectly competitive markets and their features. If you’re a little rusty on this stuff, it goes like this: no single consumer or firm … Continue reading

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No More Berning of Fossil Fuels

I am currently sitting in my yard enjoying the post El Nino 75 degree weather, while typing away on my locally made (…well invented at least) MacBook which was charged from the highly subsidized solar panels on my roof. I … Continue reading

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Gas is too cheap

Readers of this blog are likely aware that oil is really cheap right now. While in July 2008, the U.S. benchmark price peaked at just above $140 a barrel, its price dipped to below $27 in mid-January. The internet is … Continue reading

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Heat and Happiness

As we Californians snuggle up around our ethanol or natural gas powered fireplaces to survive the barbaric temperatures which are dipping into the 50s, 40,000 people are hanging out in Paris trying to hammer out a new climate accord. Well, … Continue reading

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Leaking Coal to Asia

The view from my window high up in the ivory tower is spectacular. Through my open window I breathe in the unpolluted air of knowledge and bask in the glow of theory. Recently I climbed down to attend a hearing … Continue reading

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VW’s Deepwater Horizon?

Last week one of the biggest environmental scandals since the Deepwater Horizon disaster made its way to somewhere near the bottom of page 11 of most major newspapers. VW admitted to systematically cheating on emissions tests of its Diesel vehicles. … Continue reading

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Why the Pope is Wrong on Markets

On a recent speaking engagement in Germany I ran into Prof. John Schellnhuber, who was on his way to the Vatican to present Pope Francis’ major coming out document on climate change. After I got over feeling oh so cool … Continue reading

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Hawai’i – The Next Frontier

Aloha, dear readers. It’s quiet at the Energy Institute as most of us are out in the field. I just got to spend some time with a number of the world’s smartest economists on Oahu and some vacation time on … Continue reading

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Exiting Coal?

On March 11, 2011 I was sitting in a coffee shop in Berlin, dressed appropriately in a black turtleneck and leather jacket, reading about the terrible Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear disaster. The next day I read that the German government was … Continue reading

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