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The science is settled. The rest is up to us.

The Fairness Question

The Fairness Question

The World Leader in Coal Consumption Might Need Our Help. The most pernicious challenge in reaching a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is the question of fairness in allocating access to a limited carbon budget. If we accept the basic physics, which says that we would be wise to emit only a limited […]

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The Moment

The Moment

President Obama said it from the steps of the Capitol in his second inaugural address. We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and […]

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What Just Happened

What Just Happened

President Obama likes to greet his supporters with this headline. So, what happened during his first term on climate policy? Just after the Presidential election last November, I joined a press briefing by an environmental journalist. Given how little news coverage climate change received during the Great Recession, I wasn’t expecting much. But Americans actually […]

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What Do We Have to Share?

What Do We Have to Share?

Looking past ideology, perhaps conservatives and liberals have more in common than we usually think. I recently heard two inspired talks about shifting from fossil fuels to clean energy sources, but it was the circumstances of the presentations that really got my attention. In a plenary at the Behavior, Energy and Climate Change conference, the […]

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The Climate Moment

The Climate Moment

The election is over. Now, the President needs to hear from you. If not for the Louisiana Purchase, and the ensuing fight over whether new states would join the union as free or slave, how long would have slavery persisted in our country? But for the Cuban Missile Crisis, when would the superpowers have moved […]

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Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences

Misleading rhetoric has real impacts on real people. “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.” With these words, Mitt Romney accepted the Republican Party’s nomination to become president. While it is unseemly to bicker about politics while […]

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Leadership Attitude

Leadership Attitude

Awakening from the “big sleep” epilogue—leadership requires optimism and courage. I am an optimist, but I do not assume we can escape from the climate crisis unscathed. It’s already too late for that. This year, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere broke 390ppm—roughly 40% above the pre-Industrial Revolution level. Most of this extra […]

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Leadership by Example

Leadership by Example

Awakening from the “big sleep” No. 5—climate shyness is abetting the denial campaign. I know a lot of people who are doing almost nothing to reduce their personal contributions to global warming. Many of them express despair about the futility of personal-scale responses to a global-scale threat. I also know a lot of business leaders […]

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