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  • Latest in the National Dialogue

    • The Moral Case for Fossil Fuel Taxes
      Josiah Neeley

      The Moral Case for Fossil Fuel Taxes

      One of the downsides of working in policy is that you end up hearing the same arguments over and over again. So I was excited to read Oren Cass' recent piece in City Journal, "The Carbon Tax Charade," which at least develops a new angle on arguments against a carbon tax. Unfortunately, what the argument offers in originality it fails to match in persuasiveness. In his article Cass offers a response to the recent announcement by a number of major oil and gas companies that they support a carbon tax. In response, he runs through a number of standard arguments about why this is not as surprising as it first seems (e.g., it's really about hurting coal). But it is... Continue Reading...

    • The fossil-free movement at Harvard
      Lulu Liu

      The fossil-free movement at Harvard

      “Symbols matter, because they signal our intent, and they invite other people to join in our intent.” - Naomi Oreskes, Professor, Harvard University. Lulu Liu. Almost 20 years have gone by since that confident moment in Kyoto when leaders of nearly all the planet's nations signed on to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the rain that day, on the grounds of JFK airport, a proud President Clinton declared, "[The agreement] reflects a commitment by our generation to act in the interest of future generations." Babies born that year are adults now. They look back on two decades of political gridlock and inaction. In a way, they are the first generation our leadership has failed, on that promise, to protect.... Continue Reading...

    • Getting to net-zero emissions
      David Hone

      Getting to net-zero emissions

      It is looking increasingly likely, but not a given, that a reference to global net-zero emissions or even a specific goal to achieve net-zero emissions by a certain date (e.g. end of the century) will appear in the climate deal that is expected to emerge from the Paris COP at the end of this year. But like many such goals, it is both open to interpretation and raises questions as to how it might actually be achieved. The background to this is that the issue itself implies that this outcome is necessary. The IPCC says in its 5th Assessment Report; Cumulative emissions of CO2 largely determine global mean surface warming by the late 21st century and beyond. Limiting risks across... Continue Reading...

    • Checkin' back
      Andreas Schmittner

      Checkin' back

      Checkin' back on my favorite climate observation sites from last year. The ocean heat content increased from ~17 to ~18 (1022 Joules). They had to extend the vertical axis from 20 to 25 to accommodate the expected rise until 2020.   Sure enough CO2 broke the 400 ppm ceiling (as I predicted [I admit there wasn't much magic in that]). Note that they also had to extend the vertical axis from 400 to 405. Arctic sea ice: about as low as last year. As I suspected last year, 2014 was a record warm year in terms of global average surface temperatures.   See ya next year! Andreas Continue Reading...

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