This is my blog.

Urban Water Conservation Policies in the United States

Cities face challenges on many fronts as they work to assure their residents of safe and reliable access to water. Changes in both supply and demand are driven by complex interactions among many human and natural factors, such as drought, infrastructure, population growth, and land-use. Climate change adds new complexities and uncertainties as cities plan for the future. In the past, challenges to water security were addressed by Promethean energy- and technology-intensive infrastructure projects, such as long-distance transfers, desalination, and artificial aquifer recharge; but in recent years, attention to soft approaches has grown.

Read More…

Dangerous Assumptions Revisited

Comparisons of observed trends of energy and carbon intensity in the global economy to trends implied by emissions scenarios used in policy analysis suggested that those scenarios were severely over-optimistic about the rate at which the world would spontaneously decarbonize its economy. I update these analysis, using global emissions since 2005, and find that observed rates of decarbonization are not far behind those implied by the RCP 4.5 policy scenario. This suggests that the policy challenge may not be as difficult as previous work has reported.

Read More…

Are Cops on the Science Beat?

It is important to keep outright falsehoods out of journalism and the scientific literature. Creationism and fear-mongering about vaccine safety do not deserve equal time with biological and medical science. But in matters of regulatory science, where there is not a clear consensus on methods and where it is impossible to strictly separate factual judgments from political ones, the literature on science in policy offers strong support for keeping discourse open and free, even though it may become heated. But it also calls on individual scientists to consider how the results of their research and their public statements about it are likely to be used.

Read More…

Government action isn't enough for climate change: The private sector can cut billions of tons of carbon

With President Trump’s announcement to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, many other countries around the world—and cities and states within the U.S.—are stepping up their commitments to address climate change.

But one thing is clear: Even if all the remaining participating nations do their part, governments alone can’t substantially reduce the risk of catastrophic climate change.

Read More…

Morrison Prize

The Program on Law and Sustainability at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University has awarded the Morrison Prize to Mike Vandenbergh and me for our article “Beyond Gridlock,” 40 Columbia Environmental Law Journal, 217–303 (2015). The Morrison prize recognizes the paper published in the previous year in North America that is “likely to have the most significant positive long-term impact on the advancement of the environmental sustainability movement.

Read More…

All Posts by Category or Tags.