energy

Nobels, Labs, Hubs, and Breakthroughs
October 13, 2009

One thing to say about the recently announced Nobel Prize in Physics is that it illustrates, as Congress mulls the nation’s R&D budgets, the economic rationale for bigger research investments.

The Sunstein-Thaler Version of the Public Option?
October 08, 2009

The Huffington Post has broken the news that yet another incarnation of the public could be coming into favor with Senate Democrats: a plan that would begin with a robust, national public plan, but allow state governments to “opt out” of the system should they chose. It’s worth noting that the compromise carries echoes of the Cass Sunstein-Richard Thaler school of policy design—the government would try to nudge things in the right direction by making the public plan the default option, but gives states the ability to opt out if they had the impetus, energy, and will to exclude themselves.

What Washington Should Do to Create Jobs
October 08, 2009

Rob Shapiro is the chair of the NDN Globalization Imitative and chairman of Sonecon, LLC. Policymakers and pundits who finally are worried about a "jobless recovery" should consider this: Our actual prospects are worse than that term suggests.   The initial expansion we may already be experiencing will be notable not for a lack of new jobs, as the phrase "jobless recovery" suggests, but for substantial, continued job losses.   Total employment will continue to decline for many months and perhaps as long as two years, as it did after the 2001 recession.   Nor will it be enough to aim for simpl

A Smarter Planet Begins with Smarter Cities
October 07, 2009

Over half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, and that is expected to swell to 70 percent by 2050. This was the backdrop for this year’s World Habitat Day, which falls on the first Monday of October of every year to bring attention to the needs of inadequate shelter, unsustainable development, and other challenges faced by cities and towns around the globe. This year’s activities were co-hosted by the United States for the first time, featuring kick-off remarks by HUD Secretary Donovan, U.N.

Today at TNR (October 7, 2009)
October 07, 2009

Hey Moderate Democrats, Stop Making Excuses for Blocking Health Care Reform! by The Editors The Case for Responding to Ahmadinejad: Why the Holocaust Still Matters, by Michael Oren Meet the Next Glenn Beck, by Michelle Goldberg Cohn: Consumer Protection, Except for the Part About Protecting Consumers, by Jonathan Cohn How Louis XIV’s Favorite Underling Invented the Police State, by David Bell Scheiber: Obama's Pay Czar is Actually on the Right Track, by Noam Scheiber Peretz: The US and Egypt Co-Sponsored a UN Resolution on Freedom of Expression. What the Hell Is Going On?

Breaking Down Spain’s Green Jobs Spending
October 02, 2009

We, like everybody else, have a lot of interest in the nature, size, and costs of developing a "green economy," and so are interested in understanding the existing scholarship. One of the most influential scholars on the subject recently has been an associate professor at King Juan Carlos University in Madrid, Gabriel Calzada Álvarez.

Drunk with Power
October 02, 2009

In 2001, an entrepreneur named Tom Casten traveled down to southern Louisiana, near the small town of Franklin, with a clever idea. For decades, the area had sustained a pair of chemical plants that produced carbon black, a grimy powder used in printer ink and tire rubber. But the owner of one of the plants, Cabot Corporation, was struggling to compete against cheap tire imports from abroad, and desperately seeking ways to cut costs. That’s where Casten came in. He pointed out that the gas left over from the carbon-black process was just getting wasted--burned off and flared up into the sky.

Is The Natural Gas Lobby Playing Both Sides?
October 01, 2009

The new Kerry-Boxer climate bill in the Senate shows a lot of love for the natural-gas industry, as Brad noted yesterday. Not only would a price on carbon give natural gas an advantage over more carbon-heavy fuels like oil or coal, but Barbara Boxer specifically added a "clean energy" provision to her bill, which would reward electric utilities for switching from oil or coal to natural gas.

The Senate Climate Wrangle Begins
October 01, 2009

Yesterday, Democratic Sens. Kerry and Boxer dropped their initial version of a Senate climate bill, so the game’s on. We’ll defer to Brad Plumer’s Vine post for a good side-by-side comparison, but suffice it to say the Kerry-Boxer Senate outline looks a lot like the Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House earlier this year, with a few differences.  Like the Waxman-Markey legislation, the Senate version sets emissions targets (a little stricter than the House standard with a 20 percent emissions reduction from 2005 levels required by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050).

Today at TNR (October 1, 2009)
October 01, 2009

Earth to Obama: You Can’t Negotiate With the Planet, by Bill McKibben Benched: Why the Supreme Court Is Irrelevant, by Barry Friedman Everything You Need to Know About the Senate’s New Climate Bill, by Bradford Plumer Dionne: Why Are Democrats Being so Timid in Defending the Public Option? by E.J.

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