Rethinking Environment

The UN climate panel still doesn’t understand technology – and it matters

With the Sixth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) being released, it’s important to revisit the climate scenarios that are its centerpiece. These scenarios form the basis of the climate science community’s modeling and projections, which in turn affects governance and investment decisions across the world. Trillions of dollars …

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How to go vegan without really going vegan: precision fermentation, cellular agriculture and the disruption of food

  Last year, the folks at Our World in Data published an article and some graphics about how human diets affect land use. The conclusion, as you can see on their chart below, is that if everyone in the world ate a vegan diet – one without any animal products at all – global agricultural …

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Rethinking the Jevons Paradox: Why more clean energy efficiency is good for the environment

  “What about the Jevons Paradox?” This is a common refrain in environmental discourse. It’s another way of asking, “won’t new technology always just create more problems than it solves?” William Stanley Jevons was an English economist and mathematician who noticed in 1865 that, paradoxically, the consumption of coal actually increased when technological progress improved …

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How to Achieve Rapid, Cheap Energy Decarbonization Using the RethinkX Clean Energy U-Curve

We are witnessing the start of the most profound disruption of the energy sector in over a century. Like others throughout history, this disruption is the result of a convergence of several key technologies – namely, solar photovoltaics, onshore wind power, and lithium-ion batteries (SWB). A 100% SWB energy system is possible as soon as …

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The Next Economy: Why the growth and degrowth debate misses the point

During COP 26, as he was on route to the G20 summit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had an extraordinary message. Civilization could collapse “like the Roman empire”, he warned, “unless we get this right in tackling climate change.”   “Humanity, civilization and society can go backwards as well as forwards and when they start to …

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The fastest route to net zero is not a carbon tax: it’s ending the $6 trillion/year fossil fuel bailout

Global business groups are calling on governments to pursue an international strategy on carbon pricing at the COP26 UN climate summit. While well-intentioned, the reality is we don’t need carbon pricing to create a level-playing field in global markets. We just need to end trillions of dollars of subsidies to the coal, oil and gas …

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Restoring Our Faith in Human Progress: Part 1 – How Prosperity Solves Problems

OK, Doomer…  Doom and gloom are everywhere, and not just because of what the COVID-19 pandemic has done to societies and economies across the globe over the last 18 months. A deeper contagion of pessimism has been spreading as well. The belief that we are doomed by climate change, and that all other human progress …

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Decarbonization is an unprecedented economic opportunity for poorer countries

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, is bringing together world leaders to discuss the world’s future action on climate change. At present, the world’s biggest polluters are China, the United States, and India – three enormous countries with large populations and extensive infrastructure built on fossil fuels. In these, and all, countries, it’s …

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To Save the Rainforests, Stop Doing the Things That Are Destroying Them

Many scientists now believe that the Amazon is close to a tipping point, after which it would become a savanna rather than a rainforest. Instead of pulling greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere, it will start pumping them into the atmosphere, leading so-called flying rivers – bands of moisture in the air that bring rainfall …

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