For the past three years, I’ve team-taught a class that’s part of our Institute for Energy and Sustainability at Northwestern (ISEN) curriculum. It’s an introductory class, primarily focused on ethics and philosophy. One of my earth science colleagues kicks us off with the carbon cycle, the evidence for anthropogenic global warming, and interpretations of that … More Energy poverty and clean technology
Lynne Kiesling Cutting down trees to generate biofuels to substitute for fossil fuels can’t make sense in terms of carbon accounting, can it? I never thought so, but apparently some people have contended that it does. This Project Syndicate essay from Bjorn Lomborg addresses the question, and I think it’s worthy of consideration not just … More Cutting down trees for biofuels?
Lynne Kiesling The International Energy Agency has put a quantitative estimate on an effect that we all suspected — this year’s economic recession is contributing to a reduction in global carbon emissions. They estimate that 2009 carbon emissions will be 2 percent lower than 2008, with 75% of the reduction attributable to the economic slowdown … More IEA: Recession => lower carbon emissions
Michael Giberson A shortened version of Michael Trebilcock’s commentary on wind power, mentioned here the other day, was published in the Financial Post under the not so subtle title of, “Wind power is a complete disaster.” The Financial Post subsequently published a reply by Sigurd Lauge Pedersen, a Senior Adviser to the Danish Energy Agency: … More Sorting out some claims about Danish wind power
Michael Giberson Market-based approaches to regulating emissions are the new conventional wisdom, according to Robert Stavins, and it would be hard to disagree. Among proponents of regulating greenhouse gasses in the United States, the big debate is over which of two market-based approaches to regulating emissions should be pursued: emission tax or cap-and-trade. Is anyone … More A problem with market-based approaches to emission reductions
Lynne Kiesling One topic that has gotten some attention in 2008 is “food miles”, or the estimate of the environmental impact of the total resource use and transportation required to get food from grower to consumer. One argument for eating more locally-produced food is that it reduces the transportation impact; however, in making that argument … More Couple of “food miles” items