Climate Change & Environment

A recent Washington Post editorial and a letter by leading economists suggest that a carbon tax is the “best first-line policy.” The editorial argues that “a high-enough carbon price would shape millions of choices, small and large, about what to buy, how to invest and how to live that would result in substantial emissions cuts.” It sounds plausible, yet [...]

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(CNN) There are three main ideas of the Green New Deal Resolution introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey. The first is to decarbonize the US energy system — that is, to end the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning coal, oil and natural gas, in order to stop global warming. The second is to [...]

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NEW YORK – This month’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland succeeded in producing a rulebook to implement the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Every UN member state signed on. But that will not be enough to head off climate catastrophe. It’s time to call in the engineers. The diplomatic success at COP24 was [...]

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JAMES WONG asked: Professor Sachs, you laid out a visionary blueprint for the end of poverty underpinned by an international commitment of wealthier countries to provide international development aid to developing economies. Such a plan was always going to be reliant on multilateral cooperation but recently, you have commented on the end of multilateralism – [...]

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(CNN) In every generation we depend on a few people of supreme decency and intelligence to hold the world together. In Jewish tradition, there are at all times 36 tzadikim, righteous people, without whom the world would perish. Kofi Annan was one of the righteous people, a man of extraordinary intelligence, decency, warmth and joy of [...]

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NEW YORK – Modern humans, born into one climate era, called the Holocene, have crossed the border into another, the Anthropocene. But instead of a Moses guiding humanity in this new and dangerous wilderness, a gang of science deniers and polluters currently misguides humanity to ever-greater danger. We are all climate refugees now and must [...]

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June 18th, 2018

Energy for the common good

NEW YORK – The climate crisis we now face is a reflection of a broader crisis: a global confusion of means and ends. We continue to use fossil fuels because we can (means), not because they are good for us (ends). This confusion is why Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew are spurring us to [...]

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In recent years, New Yorkers, like people all over the world, have faced the realities of human-made climate change: extreme storms, rising sea levels, summer heat waves, massive winter nor’easters, and a $20 billion plan to reduce future flooding. Last year, the United States as a whole experienced the highest losses from climate disasters, an [...]

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(CNN) The federal government’s top ethics official has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to take “appropriate actions to address any violations” rising from the behavior of the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt.  Read the full article on CNN.

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China’s proposed Global Energy Interconnection – based on renewables, ultra-high-voltage transmission, and an AI-powered smart grid – represents the boldest global initiative by any government to achieve the goals of the Paris climate agreement. It is a strategy fit for the scale of the most important challenge the world faces today. Read the full article [...]

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