Thursday, August 25, 2016

California Resolves to Support Carbon Tax

California legislators have passed a resolution calling on the Federal government to enact a reveue-neutral carbon tax.

"... a carbon tax with dividend sharing model, starting at $10 per ton of carbon dioxide and increasing by $10 per ton each year, would reduce carbon dioxide emissions 50 percent below 1990 levels in 20 years. Moreover, the economic stimulus generated by the dividend sharing would, over the same period of time, add 2.8 million jobs to the American economy, compared with a business-as-usual scenario."


Link: California Legislators Want to Tax Carbon, But Give the Revenue to the People

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Carbon Tax in British Columbia is Working Well

I missed this article by Michael Purzycki in the Washington Monthly when it first came out but it's worth posting about now. It's a painfully clear reminder that we know how to beat climate change, it's all a matter of finding the political will and muscle to get it done.

The tax has had undeniably significant effects on the province’s consumption of fossil fuels and, as a consequence, its carbon emissions ... petroleum use per capita fell more than 16% in BC in the first five years of the carbon tax, while it rose 3% in the rest of Canada during the same period ... Canada’s Tokyo target [in global climate change accords] was a 6 percent reduction in 20 years.

And, no, the tax has not hurt British Columbia's economy either.

Link:  A Model Carbon Tax

The Method to Musk's Madness

The dependably interesting Dave Roberts at Vox has an article about how solar roofs fit in with the rest of Elon Musk's strategy for building businesses that fight climate change. I don't know that he's right, but I'd like to see all of Musk's ventures succeed.

But all this talk about the risks Musk is taking misses something key to understanding his ambitions for Tesla. I think it’s safe to say the possibility of failure means something different to Musk than it does to most entrepreneurs.

Link:  Here’s how solar roofs fit into Elon Musk’s master plan

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Solar takes the lead

Hurray!

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/02/3755967/solar-energy-rise/

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Solar Jobs Report

Think Progress has a nice summary piece about the growth of solar jobs in the United States. California leads the way, which is not surprise, but I am surprised that Massachusetts comes in second. I would have thought Texas, but I guess that a lot of the activity in Texas is around wind.

Solar employment numbers have gone up 20% a year for the last three years. That's fine, but it's a frustrating reminder that if the United States would just do the right thing about climate change and embrace solar then we could be having an employment boom in this country.

But, baby steps for now, I guess. The important thing is to elect a Democrat for President this year, along with as many Senators and Congress people that we can.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Obama's Oil Tax Proposal

John Cushman Jr. at Inside Climate News has a nice summary piece about Obama's proposal to place a $10 per barrel tax on oil.

Cushman's main thrust is that, while Republican control of Congress makes the passage of such a tax impossible, it is a wonderful thing to put the proposal out in public for discussion. Sounds right to me. It occurs to me that 350.org needs a new focus.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Integrating Renewable Energy into the Grid

A nice overview from Joe Romm at Think Progress about the techniques that are being used to integrate wind and solar electricity into the energy grid despite the notorious variability of wind and solar.

Spoiler alert: it's going really well.

One of the key developments is the availability of highly accurate forecasts of wind and cloud cover that utilities are successfully using to forecast when they need to fire up a traditional power plant to cover a shortfall. Apparently it's the unpredictability of renewable sources that's the problem, rather than their variability. If utilities can predict their availability then they can cope with the variability.

But I have to say that I was amused by the idea of using the batteries of parked electric cars as a form of energy storage for the grid. The idea is that parked cars, at night, could supply energy from their batteries to the grid on the expectation that early morning wind will recharge these car batteries before the cars are needed for the morning commute. That seems far-fetched to me. But points for thinking outside the box.