economics


King Coal’s Stages of Grief, Part 2: Financial Risk and the Economics of Coal

, senior energy analyst

This post continues my series on King Coal’s Stages of Grief, and focuses on more denial—this time about economics. Yesterday the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted that the production of coal from mountaintop removal (MTR) mining has decreased by 62 percent since 2008. And last month, Bank of America released its new Coal Policy, committing to phasing out financial support for mountaintop removal coal mining. Read more >

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Carbon Pricing, Income Inequality, and Shakespeare: Highlights from the 2015 American Economic Association Meeting

, lead economist and climate policy manager

While many of you were probably enjoying the last days of the holiday season, this past weekend I and thousands of my fellow economists made our way to Boston for the annual American Economic Association (AEA) meeting. Boring, you say? Not so quick! Among the many yawn-inducing sessions were some engaging, thought-provoking, even radical discussions. In no particular order, here are some themes that caught my attention. Read more >

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Who’ll Plant the Trees for Our Grandchildren to Use?

, sr. scientist & dir., Climate Research and Analysis

Thinking about trees often makes you think about your grandchildren. Both start small, can live for many decades, and will grow old in a world very different from ours today. And they’re connected. I expect that my granddaughter Esme, who just turned 1 ½, will probably live in a house made of wood, will write on paper, and perhaps will keep her house warm in the winter, as my wife and I do, with a wood stove. Have we thought about what trees that wood will come from? Read more >

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Charles Mann and The Atlantic Miss The Mark in a Confused Climate Change Piece

, science communication officer

A recent climate change article by Charles C. Mann in The Atlantic left me scratching my head. The title, “How to Talk About Climate Change So People Will Listen” piqued my interest. It’s something I grapple with every day. But instead of focusing on how our public conversations about climate change are shifting, he lingers on what he sees as failed efforts to enact national climate policy. Mann is a serious and respected writer — who happens to work with some of my favorite magazines — so this piece felt like a missed opportunity. Read more >

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What Are We Doing with our Planet’s Land? A Report from Berlin

, sr. scientist & dir., Climate Research and Analysis

I’m in Berlin at the Global Land Project conference, a biennial gathering of about 1000 scientists who study how we Earthlings use our world. I gave a talk on beef compared to other meats in the informal “Pecha Kucha” format, which requires you to use only 20 slides, each displayed for only 20 seconds. It was fun, but the big excitement has been hearing new ideas presented by researchers from all over the world.
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