Monthly Archives: October 2008

The Answer to the Billion Dollar Question

Tony KreindlerThere’s a lot of buzz right now about the potential for "green" economic stimulus – policies and investments that grow the economy, create jobs, and protect the planet at the same time.


  • Treehugger reports that energy efficiency investment in California has led to 1.5 million new jobs and $56 billion in savings between 1972 and 2006.
  • An editorial in the Seattle Times explains how heavy investment in green infrastructure can put people back to work as well as solve the climate crisis.
  • A post on Gristmill cites Paul Krugman’s argument that federal spending is the only way out of our economic woes, and suggests that this spending should include a Green Jobs program.

Investing in projects to repair and update our aging infrastructure would pay off in new jobs and a more efficient America. But where will the money come from? Stuck between pay-as-you-go rules and no new middle-class taxes, Congress doesn’t have a lot of options. One could be the auction of pollution allowances under a national greenhouse gas emissions cap. Estimates are that an auction could generate somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 billion per year.

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Posted in Economics / Read 4 Responses

A Debate About Our Video Competition

Gernot Wagner's profileA few weeks ago we posted about our video design competition – $10,000 to the winner  – for depicting how a cap on greenhouse gases can solve our addiction to oil. Joe Romm on Climate Progress had a problem with this – said we were asking the impossible since a cap wouldn’t do this.

I responded to Romm’s objection on the Environmental Economics blog with a post titled “Bizarre”? No. Tough? Yes. But that wasn’t the end of it. Romm fired back, accusing EDF of “magical thinking”. Our exchange is also cross-posted on Grist (Romm’s first post, my response, Romm’s answer).

Stay tuned – I’ll be posting a response to Romm’s second post this week.

This post is by Gernot Wagner, Ph.D., an economist in the Climate and Air program at Environmental Defense Fund.

Posted in What Others are Saying / Read 1 Response

Florida Report: Capping Carbon Saves Money

Sheryl CanterThe State of Florida just issued a final report on energy and climate change with some hopeful findings. Its policy recommendations would not only reduce Florida’s greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, but also save the state $28 billion:

The total net cost savings of all Action Team recommendations combined is more than $28 billion from 2009 to 2025. Additionally, the recommendations would increase Florida’s energy security by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels resulting in a total fuel savings of 53.5 billion gallons of petroleum, 200.2 million short tons of coal, and 6.394 billion ft.³ of natural gas during the period of 2009 through 2025.

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Posted in Economics / Read 1 Response

Climate Legislation Buried by Economic Meltdown?

Sheryl CanterThere’s been a lot of buzz lately about the financial meltdown making lawmakers think that climate change legislation is less urgent. But while we worry about the financial markets, global warming marches relentlessly on. The science knows nothing of credit markets and there will be no pause in the march towards catastrophe while we work that out.

In fact, climate change legislation could well solve both problems. David Roberts talked about this at length in a post this week on Gristmill. Here’s an excerpt:

Greens and economists need to be making the point that these green investments are not something we need to do in spite of economic woes, or in conjunction with measures to turn the economy around. They are the measures to turn the economy around. Kudos to Cathy Zoi of We for making the case, but she could use some backup.

There won’t be much time to do something serious on climate. The news from scientists looks worse and worse every day.

This post is by Sheryl Canter, an online writer and editorial manager at Environmental Defense Fund.

Posted in Economics / Read 5 Responses

Fight Global Warming with Our New Toolbar

Sheryl CanterWe’ve been getting some good reactions to our new Fight Global Warming Toolbar. Treehugger describes it as “a very easy way to be green”. GoodCleanTech says “If only fighting global warming were as easy as surfing the web, surely our ailing blue planet would be on a fast track to recovery. If you think nothing is that easy, you better hold on to your browsers.”

Our free toolbar lets you raise money to stop global warming simply by using the search box, get our latest action alerts, share environmental news, and quickly access tips and tools for reducing your carbon footprint. We have versions for Internet Explorer and Firefox. Try it out and tell us what you think!

Global Warming Toolbar

This post is by Sheryl Canter, an online writer and editorial manager at Environmental Defense Fund.

Posted in News / Read 1 Response

South Pacific Island Evacuating Due to Global Warming

Sheryl CanterKiribatiIn March 2007, we blogged about the dire situation of the South Pacific islands Kiribati and Tuvalu. The sea is rising due to global warming, and two uninhabited islands nearby have already sunk. Now Kiribati is preparing for extinction:

The leader of the South Pacific island nation of Kiribati laid out an extraordinary plan Monday (Sept. 22) that would scatter his people through the nations of the world as rising sea levels submerge the islands they have called home for centuries.

Rising sea levels are submerging the land. Land not yet submerged is being rendered uninhabitable by salty ground water.

This post is by Sheryl Canter, an online writer and editorial manager at Environmental Defense Fund.

Posted in News / Read 11 Responses