Monthly Archives: January 2009

At the Davos World Economic Forum: It’s the Economy and the Climate, Stupid

I admit I was a little bit nervous on my way into Davos. I looked at the guest list – so many government officials this year – and I was sure that questions about climate and the environment were going to be completely sidelined by the terrible unfolding drama of the economy. But thankfully, today I was proved wrong. Read More »

Posted in International / Comments are closed

Jobs in Wind Energy Grew Explosively in 2008

In 2008, the wind energy industry added so many new jobs that it now employs more people than coal mining. That and other compelling numbers were released this week by the American Wind Energy Association.

This is a great example of how clean energy investment creates jobs. Unfortunately, with investment of all kinds down, experts don’t expect 2009 to be quite as rosy for the wind industry. But the long-term outlook is good for people seeking jobs in this sector — once Congress puts a cap on carbon pollution, the investment dollars will start flowing again, and the hiring will kick back into high gear.

(Hat tip to Green Wombat.)

Posted in News / Comments are closed

“He said, she said” Reporting Mangles Climate Economics Story

Gernot Wagner's profile What do you get when you give a respected journalist an academic fellowship? A new species entirely: a readable academic paper.

Eric Pooley, former managing editor of Fortune and a writer for Time magazine spent his fall semester at Harvard. The result is an eminently readable report on “How Much Would You Pay to Save the Planet? The American Press and the Economics of Climate Change.”

The conclusions are sobering. Most reporters treat the story as stenographers, engaging in “he said, she said” reporting, instead of serving as honest referees of the issues. As a result:

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Posted in Economics / Read 2 Responses

Vote for Your Favorite 30-Second Video

The Environmental Defense Action Fund just launched the Climate Activist’s Choice Award. Watch the videos and vote now, and help pick the winner of $1,000.
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Posted in Partners for Change / Comments are closed

In Case You Missed It: Nice Post over at TNR

Last week, Brad Plumer over at the New Republic made some thoughtful points about climate policy that are worth taking a look at.

He puts well the key difference between a cap and a tax:

With a tax, we know in advance how much it will cost, but aren’t sure what emissions level will result. With a well-enforced cap-and-trade regime, we know the maximum level of emissions we’ll get, but aren’t positive how much it will cost to get there…

We take issue with some of his thoughts about to how to cope with fluctuations in the market price of carbon (a so-called “safety valve” is a bad idea), but it’s great to see a clear-headed reaction to the fluctuations in the European market.

Posted in Policy, What Others are Saying / Read 2 Responses

What Change Looks Like

“The days of Washington dragging its heels are over”
– President Obama, Jan. 26, 2009

David Yarnold, EDF’s executive director, just sent this message out to our supporters, reflecting on President Obama’s actions this morning:

I just witnessed history in the making.

This morning, President Barack Obama signed two executive orders that could be remembered as the critical turning point toward achieving real energy independence and stopping global warming.

President Obama directed the EPA to review the Bush administration’s denial of a waiver request by California to cut global warming pollution from automobiles. The president also ordered the Transportation Department to enact short-term rules on how automakers can improve the fuel efficiency of their new models.

Politically, what President Obama said was at least as important as what he signed.

The President’s powerful statement affirming his commitment to moving aggressively to cut global warming emissions and unleash America’s clean energy future laid out clear goals for action in the coming weeks and months.

The President’s plan—including the next step of a cap on carbon pollution—means more new jobs, a rebirth for the American auto industry, and less global warming pollution.

If today’s announcement is the start of a comprehensive policy like that, I’d say that’s pretty darn good for the first week in office.

I was deeply honored to be among those who attended the White House ceremony and witness history in the making. And, I couldn’t help but think that this is what change looks like.

For more on today’s news, here’s a good article from the Washington Post.

We’ll keep you posted as we continue our efforts to support President Obama’s goal of capping and reducing America’s global warming pollution.

Steve Cochran is the director of Environmental Defense Fund’s national climate campaign.

Posted in News / Read 3 Responses