The Economist, “Nice words”

September 24, 2009

Leaders offer little of substance at the latest climate change gathering in New York

“The slow progress of cap-and-trade through Congress has foreign partners running out of patience with the excuse that the health-care bill must come first, or that Congress really is complex. America must move at the same time as other economies, rich and poor alike, a dilemma Scott Barrett, an economist at Columbia University, calls the ‘biggest collective-action problem in human history’. The lack of pace of cap-and-trade in the Senate is an ominous sign

Economist debate: greener fossil fuels

I’m moderating a climate-change debate on should greener use of fossil fuels be part of our strategy, or should we aim hard and fast for renewables? The debaters are Gerd Leipold of Greenpeace and Amy Jaffe of Rice, with a few experts offering guest insights. Check it out, and vote.

The Brian Lehrer show

September 23, 2009

I appeared on Brian Lehrer’s WNYC show to talk about Barack Obama’s speech to the UN. Fast forward to the 29:00 mark or so for our discussion.

The Economist, “Data drilling”

September 10, 2009

A little more light is shone on the oil markets

“BASHING ‘speculators’ is a popular pastime for American politicians trying to explain high and volatile oil prices. But whether speculation has really been responsible for spiking prices is a controversial issue. In 2008 the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a report dismissing the role of speculators in last year’s startling run-up in prices. But banks, hedge funds and others who bet on oil (without a use for the stuff itself) still face limits on the positions they can take, if Gary Gensler, the new CFTC head, can show that their influence in markets does harm

The Economist, “Waiting for the other shoe to drop”

The other big bill before Congress is is trouble too

“COMPARED with the argy-bargy over health-care reform, this summer’s public conversation about controlling carbon emissions has been a model of restraint. In August, a Zogby poll commissioned by the National Wildlife Federation found that 71% of likely voters in America support the Waxman-Markey bill, a proposal to create a cap-and-trade mechanism for carbon dioxide that cleared the House of Representatives in June. But the bill still faces an uphill climb in the Senate, which resumed work on September 8th