Tuesday, August 30, 2016

SB 32: California Uber Alles

Brad Plumer at Vox has a great summary of California's new drive to reduce global warming emissions. If we make it, then we're number 1!

Add it up and scenario S3 is serious business. We’re talking about a world where California gets more than 50 percent of its electricity from renewables in 2030 (up from 25 percent today), where zero-emissions vehicles are 25 percent of the fleet by 2035 (up from about 1 percent today), where high-speed rail is displacing car travel, where biodiesel has mostly replaced diesel in heavy-duty trucks, where pastures are getting converted to forests, where electricity replaces natural gas in heating, and on and on.

Possible? Sure. Easy? Hardly. The level of effort is just orders of magnitude different from anything California has done so far.
 I'm amazed that this made it through the legislature, but it did and that makes our job easier. Going forward we just have to support our existing laws.

Link:  California is about to find out what a truly radical climate policy looks like

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