Climate News Roundup – Transportation Special

Worldwide backlash hits biofuelsUSA Today:

  • Scientist Jane Goodall says the rush to grow biofuels is threatening primate habitat in Uganda and Indonesia.
  • Brazil is trying to crack down on near-slave labor conditions that have helped keep down the cost of ethanol production.
  • Paramilitary groups are forcing peasants from their land in Colombia to make room for palm oil plantations, raising the specter of “blood biofuels.”

Reimagining the Automobile Industry by Selling the ElectricityNew York Times profiles a global venture capitalist. “He plans to extend the existing electric-power grids with a wide network of intelligent recharging stations in urban areas and supplementing it with a smaller number of automated battery-replacement stations.”

GM Launches New Advanced Science and Research Center in Shanghai – Green Car Congress. China is teaming up with universities and businesses to launch research centers in China designed to explore alternative fuels and the energy efficiency of new vehicles. A quick analysis excerpted from the Wall Street Journal (subs. req’d) summarizes:

  • The Commitment: GM is investing in fuel-efficient technology research in China, the world’s fastest-growing auto market.
  • The Intent: Chinese adoption would mark an endorsement because of the market’s size and the government’s involvement.
  • The Barrier: Fuel-saving technologies could find a limited market because they may appeal only to China’s most affluent drivers.
  • 3 Responses to Climate News Roundup – Transportation Special

    1. John McCormick says:


      If your vistors take a moment to read (link below) the objective appraisal of the liklihood of cellulosic ethanol becoming commercial anytime soon, or ever, they will do themseles a large favor by not investing a dime in that dead end idea.

      Wish we had thought a bit more of the whole system and how pieces must fit when the Democratic candidates dished up corn ethanol to get the farm vote. We are really not a clever specie; we just think we are.

    2. tidal says:


      An interesting collection of authors and (bite-size) policy papers from The Economists Voice, released yesterday… just fyi…

      The Economists’ Voice, The Berkeley Electronic Press
      [i][b]Special Issue: Global Climate Change[/b][/i]

      Joseph Stiglitz “A New Agenda for Global Warming”, The Economists’ Voice: Vol. 3: No. 7, Article 3.
      Joseph E. Stiglitz presents his plan for getting the United States and the Developing World to address global warming, and argues that by failing to address this problem, the United States is implicitly subsidizing energy usage and engaging in unfair trade practices.

      Sheila M. Olmstead and Robert N. Stavins (2007) “A Meaningful Second Commitment Period for the Kyoto Protocol”, The Economists’ Voice: Vol. 4: No. 3, Article 1.
      Robert Stavins and Sheila Olmstead propose ways to modify the Kyoto Protocol for its second commitment period (2012-2016) so that it will provide a way forward that is scientifically sound, economically rational, and politically pragmatic.

      Kenneth J. Arrow (2007) “Global Climate Change: A Challenge to Policy”, The Economists’ Voice: Vol. 4: No. 3, Article 2.
      Kenneth J. Arrow explains why something must be done to limit global warming even if the Stern Report inadequately discounted future costs.

      Thomas C. Schelling (2007) “Climate Change: The Uncertainties, the Certainties and What They Imply About Action”, The Economists’ Voice: Vol. 4: No. 3, Article 3.
      Thomas Schelling argues although the uncertainties regarding climate change are many, the certainties create certain urgencies and inaction is an extreme position; he emphasizes technological advance and governmental sponsorship.

      Lawrence H. Goulder (2007) “California’s Bold New Climate Policy”, The Economists’ Voice: Vol. 4: No. 3, Article 5.
      Lawrence Goulder describes California’s recent commitments addressing Global Climate Change and recommends that a cap-and-trade program play a key role in achieving the state’s climate policy goals.

      Scott Barrett (2007) “Proposal for a New Climate Change Treaty System”, The Economists’ Voice: Vol. 4: No. 3, Article 6.
      The existing international agreements on climate change are inadequate, according to Scott Barrett, and a new approach is needed.

      Joshua S. Gans (2007) “Do Voluntary Carbon Offsets Work?”, The Economists’ Voice: Vol. 4: No. 4, Article 7.
      Voluntary purchases of offsets for carbon emissions have been criticized as potentially increasing emissions. However, Joshua S. Gans argues that even if offsets do increase the consumption of carbon intensive goods, net emissions will always fall because these goods will become less carbon intensive.

      Rognvaldur Hannesson (2007) “Letter: The Other Problems with the Stern Report”, The Economists’ Voice: Vol. 4: No. 3, Article 4.
      The Stern Report seems optimistic about the cost of emissions reductions, and does not seriously face the fact that stabilizing the climate could require keeping much of the world in poverty, according to Rognvaldur Hannesson.