Dieter Helm – Wikipedia

I heard Dieter Helm speak at a Yale forum today on zoom. Climate Change and Global Development: Net-Zero after Covid-19?
“The seventh in a series of virtual panel discussions, The Yale Development Dialogues – a collaboration between the Yale Economic Growth Center, the South Asian Studies Council at Yale MacMillan Center, and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.”

Sir Dieter Robin Helm CBE (born 11 November 1956) is a British economist and academic.

Career[edit]

Helm is Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Oxford, and Fellow in Economics at New College, Oxford.[1][2][3]

He was a member of the Economics Advisory Group to the British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and Chair of the Natural Capital Committee.[1][4][5]

His research interests include energy, utilities, and the environment.[6]

Helm was knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours for services to the environment, energy and utilities policy.[7]

The Carbon Crunch[edit]

In his book The Carbon Crunch (2012) and in print media, Dieter Helm criticised efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through current regulation and government intervention, and the deployment of renewable energy, particularly wind power.[8][9][10][11]

He recommended establishing a carbon tax and carbon border tax, increased funding for research and development, and an increased use of gas for electricity generation to substitute coal and to act as a bridge to new technologies.[12]

Works[edit]

Books[edit]

As author

  • Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change (September 2020), Harper Collins, ISBN 9780008404468.
  • Green and Prosperous Land (March 2019), William Collins, ISBN 978-0008304478.
  • Burn Out: The Endgame for Fossil Fuels (March 2017), Yale University Press, ISBN 9780300225624.
  • Natural Capital: Valuing the Planet (May 2015), Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0300210989.
  • The Carbon Crunch: How We’re Getting Climate Change Wrong – and How to Fix it (September 2012), Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0300186598.
  • Energy, the State, and the Market: British Energy Policy since 1979 (February 2004), revised edition, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199270743.

Source: Dieter Helm – Wikipedia

E.P.A. to Announce Sharp Limits on Powerful Greenhouse Gases – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/climate/EPA-HFCs-hydrofluorocarbons.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday will take its first significant step under President Biden to curb climate change when it moves to sharply reduce a class of chemicals that is thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the planet, an agency spokesman has confirmed.

The proposed regulation aims to reduce the production and importation of hydrofluorocarbons, which are used in refrigeration and air-conditioning, in the United States by 85 percent over the next 15 years. It’s a goal shared by environmental groups and the business community, which jointly championed bipartisan legislation passed by Congress in December to tackle the pollutant.

The move is important because it will be the first time the federal government has set national limits on HFCs, which were used to replace ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons in the 1980s but have turned out to be a significant driver of global warming. More than a dozen states have either banned HFCs or are formulating some restrictions.

Opinion | Biden’s Chance to Save the Everglades – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/27/opinion/biden-environment-everglades-florida.html

“. . . The project in question, launched near the end of the Clinton administration, is an effort to restore the biological health of the Florida Everglades. Originally funded at $7.8 billion, the program is now more than 20 years old, and while some progress has been made, it has moved in fits and starts. It is now at a critical point, with several major plans on the cusp of success if the money can be found. Decisions taken in the next few months may well determine whether the Everglades project lives up to its promise of reviving the South Florida ecosystem.

The project is essentially a vast re-plumbing scheme aimed at replicating as nearly as possible the historical flows of fresh water from Lake Okeechobee — flows that a pioneer advocate named Marjory Stoneman Douglas called the River of Grass — that once made South Florida a biological wonderland. These flows slowed to trickle starting in the late 1940s when Congress ordered up a massive flood control project to protect Florida’s booming cities, which looked like a smart idea at the time.

A purple gallinule in the Royal Palm area of the Everglades National Park.

A mangrove island in the Florida Bay area of the park.

The Army Corps of Engineers responded by draining a half-million acres south of the lake with a vast web of levees, canals and pumping stations — an impressive piece of engineering that flushed Lake Okeechobee’s copious overflows out to sea and away from the cities instead of letting it move slowly and naturally southward, as it had for centuries. This made Florida’s eastern coast safe for development and its midlands safe for agriculture, in particular for the big sugar companies, but it was also an environmental disaster, robbing the Everglades and the fishing grounds of Florida Bay of their traditional sources of fresh water, and nearly killing both.” . . .

Farhad Manjoo | We Need Buses, Buses Everywhere – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

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Credit…Florian Buettner/laif, via Redux

“In America, nobody loves the bus. Lots of people ride the bus — we took about 4.6 billion trips by bus in 2019, more than by any other mode of public transportation. But at least 4.5 billion of them must have begun with a deep, dejected sigh of resignation.

Buses are hard to love. Bus systems across the country are chronically underfunded, leading to slow, inconvenient and unreliable service. In New York, America’s most transit-friendly city with by far the nation’s most-used bus system, terrible service regularly causes people to lose jobs, miss medical appointments and squander many hours, sometimes in rain or snow, just waiting.

People have said for years that the bus could be the next big thing in transportation. Now we can make that a reality. With the proper investment, city buses might be transformed into the sort of next-generation transportation service that technology companies and car companies have spent billions over the last decade trying to build — a cheap, accessible, comfortable, sustainable, reliable way to get around town.”

Chuck Schumer Stalls Climate Overhaul of Flood Insurance Program – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — One of the federal government’s main efforts to push Americans to prepare for climate threats is in question after the Senate majority leader’s office objected to a plan to adjust flood insurance rates.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was preparing to announce new rates for federal flood insurance on April 1, so that the prices people pay would more accurately reflect the risks they face. The change would very likely help reduce Americans’ vulnerability to floods and hurricanes by discouraging construction in high-risk areas. But it would also increase insurance costs for some households, making it a tough sell politically.

Last week, the office of Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic majority leader, pushed back on the changes, according to several people familiar with the discussion. That pushback has caused FEMA to pause the rollout of the new rates.” . . .

Excellent reporting, though disgusting. Thank you.
Here is the top comment, one of many good ones, with my two cents.
Theresa McDermott
Essex ct1h ago

I don’t understand Schumer’s objection. The current data suggests that lower cost homes have been overpaying on flood insurance while higher cost homes have been underpaying based on a formula that assesses risk. Flood insurance is one of the most powerful tools to limit climate change damage to communities. The Biden administration has rightfully established climate change as a top priority. What am I missing? Absent additional data, this is a disgraceful position for Schumer.

5 Replies146 Recommended

 

 
 
David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
 
Excellent but disturbing reporting, thank you. Schumer is a disgrace. This makes him look like a self-centered, selfish, crook and ass. We need politicians with an iota of integrity.
He is screwing the public and the country, to pamper to his high-end donor base. The rest of us have to pay for their federally subsidized mansions on the water, that have to be rebuilt every time there is a big storm. It is crazy, wrong and stupid. But they write big campaign contribution checks. Schumer clearly puts his narrow self-interest ahead of the country.

Why geoengineering is not a solution to the climate problem

This briefing addresses grave scientific concerns in relation to proposed
geoengineering techniques such as solar radiation management (SRM).
“Geoengineering” as used here does not refer to negative emissions technologies that
remove CO2 from the atmosphere (carbon dioxide removal or CDR) as part of the
energy system or through ecosystem restoration and afforestation or reforestation.
Here we specifically address the risks posed by SRM.
Fahad Saeed, Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, William Hare
Summary
Solar radiation management is not a solution to the climate problem
Solar radiation management does not address the drivers of human-induced climate
change, nor does it address the full range of climate and other impacts of
anthropogenic greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions. Solar radiation
management aims at limiting temperature increase by deflecting sunlight, mostly
through injection of particles into the atmosphere. At best, SRM would mask warming
temporarily, but more fundamentally is itself a potentially dangerous interference
with the climate system.

Click to access climateanalytics_srm_brief_dec_2018.pdf

Margaret Renkl | Yes, America, There Is (Some) Hope for the Environment – The New York Times

A contributing Opinion writer based in Nashville who covers flora, fauna, politics and culture in the American South

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Credit…Peter Marlow/Magnum Photos

“NASHVILLE — I’ve been keeping a collection of links to good news about the environment as a hedge against despair when so much of the news from nature is devastating. Rolling pandemics. The near annihilation of birds and insects. Even the end of sharks. In short, a “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals,” according to a recent report in Frontiers in Conservation Science.

It’s so bad that I’ve begun to mutter darkly about the end of humanity. So bad that sometimes I wonder if the end of humanity would be such a bad thing. Once we’re out of the way, the earth might have a chance to recover before everything is gone.

Y’all know it is bad when pondering the death of humanity cheers up a person who is really hoping to have grandchildren someday.

In honor of the spring equinox, which falls this coming weekend and brings with it the return of longer days, I offer some news that might bring you, too, a glimmer of light in all this darkness. I share these stories with the usual caveat attached to any kind of climate optimism: Hope is not a license to relax. Hope is only a reminder not to give up. As bad as things are, it is far too early to give up.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
Thank you Margaret for this important essay. By the way, Bill Gates reported in the Netflix show, Inside Bill’s Brain, episode three, that he had organized a team of nuclear scientists who have designed a nuclear plant that uses nuclear waste as fuel, and cannot blow up in an explosion. This new device will get us through to a clean sustainable energy future if it works.
But we are in the Anthropocene, causing the sixth great extinction of species, as you well know. 7.7 billion humans are the new asteroid, or the cause of the this sixth extinction. If we don’t reduce rather than increase our numbers, we are probably doomed, and will take most to the world’s wonderful species with us. As I sing in my song “Talking Climate Change Blues,” we need a Marshall plan for population control.

Electric Cars Are Coming. How Long Until They Rule the Road? – The New York Times

“Around the world, governments and automakers are focused on selling newer, cleaner electric vehicles as a key solution to climate change. Yet it could take years, if not decades, before the technology has a drastic effect on greenhouse gas emissions.

One reason for that? It will take a long time for all the existing gasoline-powered vehicles on the road to reach the end of their life spans.

This “fleet turnover” can be slow, analysts said, because conventional gasoline-powered cars and trucks are becoming more reliable, breaking down less often and lasting longer on the road. The average light-duty vehicle operating in the United States today is 12 years old, according to IHS Markit, an economic forecasting firm. That’s up from 9.6 years old in 2002.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT comment:
Great piece of writing. Thank you. Yes, and, there is a story to review on how the Japanese upgrades their auto fleet in the 1950’s and 60’s. They wanted to develop their auto manufacturing, and so they passed laws of some kind that made it almost impossible for an older car to pass inspection, forcing the entire population of car drivers to get new cars, which because of tariffs or restrictions, had to be Japanese. They forced their people to buy new cars if I recall correctly.

President Biden Faces Challenge From Surge of Migrants at the Border – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — Thousands of migrant children are backed up in United States detention facilities along the border with Mexico, part of a surge of immigration from Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence that could overwhelm President Biden’s attempt to create a more humane approach to those seeking entry into the country.

The number of migrant children in custody along the border has tripled in the past two weeks to more than 3,250, according to federal immigration agency documents obtained by The New York Times, and many of them are being held in jail-like facilities for longer than the three days allowed by law.

The problem for the administration is both the number of children crossing the border and what to do with them once they are in custody. Under the law, the children are supposed to be moved to shelters run by the Health and Human Services Department, but because of the pandemic the shelters until last week were limiting how many children they could accommodate.

The growing number of unaccompanied children is just one element of an escalating problem at the border. Border agents encountered a migrant at the border about 78,000 times in January — more than double the rate at the same time a year ago and higher than in any January in a decade.

Immigration authorities are expected to announce this week that there were close to 100,000 apprehensions, including encounters at port entries, in February, according to people familiar with the agency’s latest data. An additional 19,000 migrants, including adults and children, have been caught by border agents since March 1.”  . . .

David Lindsay Jr.

Hamden, CT | NYT Comment

I can see the Biden era that so many of us helped usher in start to disintegrate right now over illegal immigration. I am first and foremost an environmentalists, sometimes referred to as a climate hawk. Unimitated illegal immigration is not only not on that agenda, it is counter to it. Allowing unlimited unaccompanied minors into the country for placement is a disaster for the near term future of the Democratic Party, and folks like me will join with the Lincoln Project and others to help form a center right party. I have worked diligently and almost daily to elect Joe Biden for over two years, and I never thought our honeymoon would be so short.

 

Farhad Manjoo | In California, Berkeley Beat Back NIMBYs – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

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Credit…Andrew Burton for The New York Times

“A century ago, the civic leaders of Berkeley, Calif., pioneered what would become one of America’s most enduring systems of racial inequity — a soft apartheid of zoning.

In 1916, the city that is now a byword for progressivism became one of the first in the country to set aside large tracts of its land for single-family homes. Berkeley’s purpose was openly racist; as a real estate magazine of the era explained, excluding apartments and other densely populated residences was part of an effort to protect the wealthy white residents of Berkeley from an “invasion of Negroes and Asiatics.”

In the decades that followed, Berkeley’s restrictive zoning would be adopted by cities across California and the nation. Combined with other forms of discrimination in real estate — including “redlining,” which restricted access to loans for homes in nonwhite areas, another practice that shaped Berkeley’s growth — zoning limits cemented racism into America’s urban landscape.

Last week, Berkeley finally took a step in a new direction. The City Council adopted a measure that acknowledges the racist history of single-family zoning and begins a process to eliminate the restriction by 2022. It is a very baby step: Berkeley’s measure is mainly symbolic, putting off for the future the tough business of actually rezoning the city.” . . .