Energy Policy

  • 04.20.17

    How Much Can This Planet Stand?

    In this article Bill McKibben talks about the potentially disastrous effects of a policy approach to carbon emissions that ignores the science of climate change. "What I mean is, we have only a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating." M...

    In this article Bill McKibben talks about the potentially disastrous effects of a policy approach to carbon emissions that ignores the science of climate change.

    "What I mean is, we have only a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating."

    McKibben states that many of the aspects of President Trump's approach to energy policy will have longer term effects: "The effects will be felt not immediately but over decades and centuries and millenniums. More ice will melt, and that will cut the planet’s reflectivity, amplifying the warming; more permafrost will thaw, and that will push more methane into the atmosphere, trapping yet more heat. The species that go extinct as a result of the warming won’t mostly die in the next four years, but they will die. The nations that will be submerged won’t sink beneath the waves on his watch, but they will sink. No president will be able to claw back this time — crucial time, since we’re right now breaking the back of the climate system."

  • 02.28.17

    The Solutions Project

    The Solutions Project is an organization that works to demonstrate and accelerate the United States' transition to 100% renewable energy. Their goal is to transition the United States and the world to 80% reliance on renewable energy by the year 2030 and 100% reliance on renewable energy by the year 2050. They env...

    The Solutions Project is an organization that works to demonstrate and accelerate the United States' transition to 100% renewable energy.

    Their goal is to transition the United States and the world to 80% reliance on renewable energy by the year 2030 and 100% reliance on renewable energy by the year 2050. They envision that this will primarily be through the expansion of multiple facets of solar and wind energy.Solutions World Transition

     

  • 02.27.17

    Senator Bernie Sanders And Bill Nye Discuss Climate Change

    Senator Bernie Sanders and Bill Nye sit down to discuss a number of issues around climate change, energy, and the future of science in America. Bill Nye begins his description of the current issue around climate change with a description of the consequences of doing nothing - including that sea level rise would di...

    Senator Bernie Sanders and Bill Nye sit down to discuss a number of issues around climate change, energy, and the future of science in America.

    Bill Nye begins his description of the current issue around climate change with a description of the consequences of doing nothing - including that sea level rise would displace millions of people around the globe and disproportionately affect lower income, and third world countries. He describes that "the science is settled" and skeptics are misinterpreting scientific uncertainty about minor elements of climate change to be uncertainty about the entirety of climate change. 

    They then discuss the transition to renewable energy. Bill Nye mentions his support for the "Solutions Project" that has laid out a plan that will transition the United States to 80% renewable energy in 15 years and 100% renewable energy in 30 years through converting all transportation to electric modes, and covering every roof with solar panels. Nye encourages young engineers to innovate and create a new electric grid that would collect electricity from all across the country. 

    Ultimately, Nye states that he wants to be able to find common ground on climate change and make this country the leader in renewable energy technology, space exploration, and addressing climate change. 

  • 11.20.16

    US Must Transition To Low-Carbon Energy

    In this article Jeffery Sachs outlines how and why the U.S. should transition to low carbon energy. He states that while the Trump administration has talked about the resurgence of coal and other fossil fuels, he believes that the pushback from other world leaders and millennials makes this less than likely. Sac...

    In this article Jeffery Sachs outlines how and why the U.S. should transition to low carbon energy.

    He states that while the Trump administration has talked about the resurgence of coal and other fossil fuels, he believes that the pushback from other world leaders and millennials makes this less than likely. 

    Sachs' roadmap to a transition to low carbon energy includes three steps:

    1. Energy efficiency: cutting back on excessive energy use through switching to energy-saving technologies.

    2. Transitioning to zero carbon electricity: by 2050 electricity should be generated entirely by non-carbon sources.

    3. Fuel switching: instead of burning fossil fuels in cars, people would use electricity or other substitutes.

    Sachs describes that global warming has already had major impacts on the world and the United States of America is in a prime position to use it's readily-available renewable energy sources to transition away from carbon energy and mitigate further consequences of global warming. 

  • 04.27.16

    New Politics For Clean Energy

    The Paris climate agreement was a large step for the world, but implementation of that agreement is going to be much more difficult. The U.S. government, and governments across the world will need "a new approach to an issue that is highly complex, long term, and global in scale." This sort of fast paced, wholist...

    The Paris climate agreement was a large step for the world, but implementation of that agreement is going to be much more difficult. 

    The U.S. government, and governments across the world will need "a new approach to an issue that is highly complex, long term, and global in scale." This sort of fast paced, wholistic transformation in industry is unprecedented.

    Sachs believes that "politics as usual" will not be sufficient to meet the need for this aggressive shift to reduce carbon emissions and that policies that look beyond the short-term political environment are needed to enact the necessary changes. Therefore, Sachs suggests removing the control of day to day planning and implementation of climate change regulation from "short term electoral politics" and creating "politically independent energy agencies with high technical experience."

  • 10.23.14

    A Simple And Smart Way To Fix Climate Change

    In this TED talk, Dan Miller explains his journey to towards paying more attention to climate change and how he believes this country can lead the world to reduce the impacts of climate change. After examining the scientific proof and consensus, Miller looks at why humans are less likely to believe that climate ch...

    In this TED talk, Dan Miller explains his journey to towards paying more attention to climate change and how he believes this country can lead the world to reduce the impacts of climate change.

    After examining the scientific proof and consensus, Miller looks at why humans are less likely to believe that climate change is occurring and describes that the usual "threat indicators" that we use to determine whether we are in danger (visible, immediate danger, caused by an enemy) are not present in climate change. 

    However, there is a "need to urgently and dramatically lower fossil fuel emissions." To do so, Miller proposes a "Fee and Dividend" policy. Under this policy, there would be a fee on the CO2 content of fossil fuels. The money collected from that fee would be given as a dividend to every leal resident of America which would help offset the increase in prices. Ultimately, because the wealthy use more CO2 than the poor and middle class, the dividend would disproportionately benefit those classes. 

    In addition, Miller suggests a border duty from other countries who do not have a similar fee on carbon that would encourage other countries to implement similar policies. 

  • 02.13.12

    The Colbert Report: Bill McKibben And The Keystone XL Pipeline

    In this video from the Colbert Report in 2012, Bill McKibben describes the issues with the pipeline and calls individuals to act - action that led to a halt of the pipeline under the Obama administration. McKibbed describes that his goal as an activist is to change the world for the better - when confronted by Col...

    In this video from the Colbert Report in 2012, Bill McKibben describes the issues with the pipeline and calls individuals to act - action that led to a halt of the pipeline under the Obama administration.

    McKibbed describes that his goal as an activist is to change the world for the better - when confronted by Colbert about the affects that environmentalists have on the day to day lives of citizens (gas prices and buying different cars) McKibben replies that "with any luck we are the people who are going help you get the plug in hybrid car that does so well on gas that you forget which side the gas cap is on” and that “Our goal now is to keep the planet working so that when you drop the top [of your car] it’s still alright outside”

    McKibben describes that we are already seeing substantial changes in the environment with 1 degree of warming and that we should beware of burning more without further extreme consequences.