Resources Radio

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Resources Radio is a weekly podcast by Resources for the Future. Each week we talk to leading experts about climate change, electricity, ecosystems, and more, making the latest research accessible to everyone.

Episode Date
AC/DC: Unequal Access to Air Conditioning, with Kelly T. Sanders
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Kelly T. Sanders, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Southern California. With her coauthors, Sanders has recently published a series of studies on air conditioning use in southern California, with a focus on who does—and does not—have access to cooling on hot days. This work, which touches on issues of energy and environmental justice, has big implications for managing the COVID-19 pandemic this summer—and managing climate change in the decades to come. References and recommendations: "Utilizing smart-meter data to project impacts of urban warming on residential electricity use for vulnerable populations in Southern California" by Mo Chen, George A. Ban-Weiss, and Kelly T. Sanders; "Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities" by Vaclav Smil; "These Truths: A History of the United States" by Jill Lepore;
Jul 06, 2020
Resources Radio Live: How COVID-19 Has Powered Down the US Economy, with Steve Cicala
This is the first episode in an ongoing webinar series, which is providing Resources Radio listeners the chance to listen to a podcast recording live and ask guests their own questions about pressing energy issues. In this episode, host Kristin Hayes talks with Professor Steve Cicala of the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy (soon to be moving to Tufts University’s Department of Economics). Expounding on research recently highlighted in the New York Times, in which he undertook one of the earliest looks at electricity demand during the peak of the pandemic lockdowns in the United States, Cicala details how electricity demand can serve as a valuable—if incomplete—tool to assess the health of the economy and the outlook for recovering from a recession. Cicala notes that the current crisis has shifted renewable penetration and affected energy consumption, but researchers remain uncertain about the duration of the pandemic and its long-term impacts on the electric grid. References and recommendations: "Another Way to See the Recession: Power Usage Is Way Down" by Quoctrung Bui and Justin Wolfers; "Early Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Europe: A View from the Grid" by Steve Cicala; "What Is Owed: It Is Time for Reparations" by Nikole Hannah-Jones;
Jun 28, 2020
The Challenge of Diversity in the Environmental Movement, with Dorceta Taylor (Rebroadcast)
These past few weeks, people across the United States have been horrified by the continuing violence against people of color. Resources for the Future has been working toward contributing energy and thoughtful work—not just words and statements—to support and incorporate diversity in our environmental mission. Toward that end, we are rebroadcasting this Resources Radio episode from last July with Dorceta Taylor. In this episode, host Daniel Raimi talks with Professor Dorceta E. Taylor of the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability (soon to be moving to the faculty at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies). Raimi asks Taylor about her research on the history of the environmental movement, focusing on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion within environmental groups—both historically and today. While some progress has happened over the years, major challenges remain, and the field has plenty of room for improvement. References and recommendations: "The Rise of the American Conservation Movement" by Dorceta E. Taylor; "The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations" by Dorceta E. Taylor;
Jun 22, 2020
Space: The Next Great Market Opportunity, with Michael Toman
This week, host Kristin Hayes talks with Michael Toman, lead economist on climate change for the World Bank’s Development Research Group. Toman worked at Resources for the Future (RFF) for many years, during which he collaborated with former RFF Vice President for Research Molly Macauley in her pioneering effort to develop the economics of outer space as a topic for research and policy analysis. Hayes and Toman discuss the commercialization and privatization of space, both in light of the recent successful SpaceX launch to the International Space Station, and given that the day of recording (June 10) would have been Molly’s 63rd birthday.
Jun 13, 2020
Growing the Power Grid in Africa, with Todd Moss
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Todd Moss, executive director of the Energy for Growth Hub and a nonresident fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute. Moss has years of experience expanding access to energy around the world, particularly in Africa. Here, Raimi and Moss discuss the current strategies that countries, companies, and international organizations are implementing to expand access in Africa; how COVID-19 is affecting these efforts; and the intersection between expanding energy access and mitigating climate change. References and recommendations: "Power Trip: The Story of Energy" show on PBS; "Power Trip: The Story of Energy" book by Michael E. Webber; "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates;
Jun 07, 2020
Adding Subtraction to the Climate Toolkit: Discussing Carbon Dioxide Removal with Wil Burns
In this episode, host Daniel Raimi talks with Wil Burns, co-director of the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy at American University. Raimi and Burns discuss the approaches and technologies that might be helpful in removing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, what governments and companies are doing to encourage the deployment of these options, and some of the risks and challenges that each approach brings. References and recommendations: "Dam Breaches in Michigan Raise Questions for Dam Maintenance Across the Nation," a Q&A with RFF's Margaret Walls;
Jun 01, 2020
Decarbonizing Global Industry, with Jeffrey Rissman
This week, host Kristin Hayes talks with Jeffrey Rissman, the industry program director and head of modeling at Energy Innovation, a research firm focused on accelerating clean energy. He leads modeling efforts for the firm’s energy policy solutions focus area, to determine the policies that most effectively help meet climate and energy goals. Rissman is the lead author on a new paper released recently in the journal "Applied Energy," which dives deep into the technologies and policies that might drive decarbonization across global industry. This sector is notoriously difficult to decarbonize, but it's critical to meeting long-term emissions reduction goals. References and recommendations: "Technologies and policies to decarbonize global industry: Review and assessment of mitigation drivers through 2070" by Jeffrey Rissman, Chris Bataille, Eric Masanet, Nate Aden, William R. Morrow III, Nan Zhou, Neal Elliott, Rebecca Dell, Niko Heeren, Brigitta Huckestein, Joe Cresko, Sabbie Miller, Joyashree Roy, Paul Fennel, Betty Cremmins, Thomas Koch Blank, David Hone, Ellen D. Williams, Stephane de la Rue du Can, Bill Sisson, Mike Williams, John Katzenberger, Dallas Burtraw, Girish Sethi, He Ping, David Danielson, Hongyou Lu, Tom Lorber, Jens Dinkel, and Jonas Helseth; Energy Policy Simulator; "Sustainable Materials without the Hot Air" by Julian M. Allwood and Jonathan M. Cullen;
May 25, 2020
China's Emerging Policies for Emissions Reductions, with Dick Morgenstern
Along with several co-authors, Resources for the Future (RFF) Senior Fellow Dick Morgenstern has recently released an RFF working paper on China’s new emissions trading program: a “tradable performance standard,” which sets a ratio of emissions to output that individual firms have to meet. Host Daniel Raimi talks with Morgenstern in this episode about the goals of the trading program, how it's designed, some of its strengths and weaknesses, and how the policy fits into the framework of international negotiations on climate change. While the standard is not as efficient as more typical models, it stands to significantly reduce emissions once it expands beyond the power sector—without necessarily curbing China’s economic growth. References and recommendations: "China's Unconventional Nationwide CO2 Emissions Trading System: The Wide-Ranging Impacts of an Implicit Output Subsidy" by Lawrence H. Goulder, Xianling Long, Jieyi Lu, and Richard D. Morgenstern; "The Wizard and the Prophet" by Charles C. Mann; "Alaskan glaciers melting 100 times faster than previously thought" by Jenny Howard; (and other "National Geographic" glacier coverage) "The Big Thaw" by Daniel Glick; (and other "National Geographic" glacier coverage)
May 19, 2020
Reflecting on Solar Geoengineering, with David Keith
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Harvard University Professor David Keith about solar geoengineering. Keith describes the variety of ways that solar geoengineering could work; some of its risks at local, regional, and global scales; recent small-scale experiments; and what might be needed to deploy a larger-scale research program. Raimi and Keith also discuss public policies related to potential deployment technologies, including the substantial issues surrounding governance and geopolitics. References and recommendations: "Inner Ranges" by Geoff Powter; "Pilgrims of the Vertical" by Joseph E. Taylor III; "Environmental Insights" podcast with Robert Stavins;
May 12, 2020
Going Deep on Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), with Julio Friedmann
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks about carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) with Julio Friedmann, a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. Friedmann gives an overview of the status of CCUS deployment worldwide, describes the costs of CCUS relative to other approaches for reducing emissions, and notes some emerging federal policies that aim to increase deployment of CCUS in the United States. References and recommendations: "Capturing Investment: Policy Design to Finance CCUS Projects in the US Power Sector" by Julio Friedmann, Emeka Ochu, and Jeffrey D. Brown; "To Tackle Climate Change, the (Industrial) Heat Is On" by Julio Friedmann; "Low-Carbon Heat Solutions for Heavy Industry: Sources, Options, and Costs Today" by Julio Friedmann, Zhiyuan Fan, and Ke Tang; "Engineers of Victory" by Paul Kennedy; "Innovation and Its Enemies" by Calestous Juma; "45Q&A" blog series about the 45Q tax credit for CCUS;
May 05, 2020
Is the Trump Administration Ditching WOTUS?, with Ellen Gilinsky
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Ellen Gilinsky about Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, which refers to the 2015 Clean Water Rule that defined the scope of federal water protection, particularly for streams and wetlands that share a hydrologic system with "navigable waters." Gilinsky was the associate deputy assistant administrator for water at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); she is an expert on all things WOTUS. Raimi and Gilinsky discuss why WOTUS is so important for federal regulation of surface waters; why the waters that fall under regulation are so tricky to define; and how the Trump administration has sought to change the definitions, with implications that reduce regulation. Just last week, EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers published their Navigable Waters Protection Rule to change the definition of WOTUS and "navigable waters," demarcating four categories for waters under jurisdiction. The new rule becomes effective on June 22 this year, although lawsuits already are challenging it. References and recommendations: "Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity" by Sandra Postel; "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens; "Cadillac Desert" by Marc Reisner;
Apr 25, 2020
Lessons from 50 Years of the Clean Air Act, with Maureen Cropper
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Maureen Cropper, an economics professor at the University of Maryland and senior fellow at Resources for the Future (RFF). Raimi asks Maureen about a paper she recently coauthored, which takes a retrospective look at the Clean Air Act, as this year we mark the 50th anniversary of its 1970 amendments. With more than 50 years of data since the original Clean Air Act came into existence in 1963, Cropper et al.'s new paper reviews how the law has been implemented, drawing out key lessons and research questions that we may be able to apply to good effect in the next 50 years. References and recommendations: "Looking Back at Fifty Years of the Clean Air Act" by Joseph E. Aldy, Maximilian Auffhammer, Maureen L. Cropper, Arthur G. Fraas, and Richard D. Morgenstern; Fall 2019 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives (vol. 33, no. 4), which focuses in part on the fiftieth anniversary of the Clean Air and Water Acts; "What Do Economists Have to Say about the Clean Air Act 50 Years after the Establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency?" by Janet Currie and Reed Walker; "Policy Evolution under the Clean Air Act" by Richard Schmalensee and Robert N. Stavins; "US Water Pollution Regulation over the Past Half Century: Burning Waters to Crystal Springs?" by David A. Keiser and Joseph S. Shapiro; Purple Air, a personal monitor for real-time air-quality assessments;
Apr 19, 2020
Has Good Benefit-Cost Analysis Been Swept under the MATS?, with Mary Evans And Matthew Kotchen
In this week's episode, Kristin Hayes talks with Mary Evans and Matthew Kotchen, two of the authors on a new study published in the journal "Science" last week, which takes a critical look at how the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently updated the benefit-cost analysis of its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS. At the risk of skipping to the punchline, the paper's authors suggest that EPA’s analysis is seriously flawed. Evans and Kotchen discuss why they and their colleagues reached this conclusion, what the perceived flaws in the analysis could mean for human health and the environment, and how EPA and the Trump administration should proceed from here. References and recommendations: "Deep flaws in a mercury regulatory analysis" by Joseph Aldy, Matthew Kotchen, Mary Evans, Meredith Fowlie, Arik Levinson, and Karen Palmer; "Lead pollution tracks the rise and fall of medieval kings" by Ann Gibbons; DJ D-Nice spinning on Instagram Live with Club Quarantine;
Apr 13, 2020
The Value of a Statistical Life and Coronavirus, with Alan Krupnick
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with RFF Senior Fellow Alan Krupnick about the value of a statistical life, or VSL. As we all try to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic, some analysts have started to ask the question, How much economic pain is appropriate to withstand to protect public health? The question is studded with ethical and moral land mines that, to some extent, VSL helps to address. In today’s episode, Krupnick takes us through the history of the VSL concept, different methods for calculating VSL, and how VSL might (or might not) be applied in today’s rapidly changing world. References and recommendations: "Mengele: Unmasking the 'Angel of Death'" by David G. Marwell;
Apr 05, 2020
A Status Report on Global Emissions Trading, with Stephanie La Hoz Theuer
This week, Daniel Raimi talks with Stephanie La Hoz Theuer, a senior project manager at adelphi, an environmental think tank, as well as a member of the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) Secretariat. Each year, ICAP releases a valuable report on the status of emissions trading around the world, and the 2020 report was released just last week. In this episode, La Hoz Theuer provides updates on emissions trading policies around the world, including Europe, North America, Asia, and elsewhere. She and Raimi also discuss other policies that countries are deploying to reduce emissions, including in non-energy sectors such as agriculture. References and recommendations: "Emissions Trading Worldwide: Status Report 2020" by the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP); "An amateur Chinese marathon runner under coronavirus lockdown ran 31 miles in his living room to pass the time"; "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman; "Collapse" by Jared Diamond;
Mar 27, 2020
Do National Monuments Help or Hinder Local Economies?, with Margaret Walls
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with RFF senior fellow Margaret Walls. Along with coauthors Patrick Lee and Matthew Ashenfarb, Walls published a study last week on the economic impacts that result from the establishment of national monuments. The study looks at how the designation of a national monument affects businesses and employment in the surrounding area. While some have argued that monuments stifle economic activity by making land off-limits to extractive activities like oil and gas drilling, others argue that national monuments generate growth in other industries, such as tourism. In their new study, Walls and colleagues provide answers. References and recommendations: "National monuments and economic growth in the American West" by Margaret Walls, Patrick Lee, and Matthew Ashenfarb; "Cadillac Desert" by Marc Reisner; "The Source" by Martin Doyle; "Nuclear explained: Where our uranium comes from" by the US Energy Information Administration;
Mar 23, 2020
Oil Markets in the Time of COVID-19, with Amy Myers Jaffe
This week, host Kristin Hayes talks with Amy Myers Jaffe about what has been unfolding in world oil markets over the past week, as the coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread and radically impact human lives and the global economy. Jaffe is the David M. Rubenstein senior fellow for energy and the environment and director of the Energy Security and Climate Change Program at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a leading expert on global energy policy, geopolitical risk, energy, and sustainability.
Mar 15, 2020
Managing Flood Risk under Climate Change, with Carolyn Kousky
This week, host Kristin Hayes talks with Carolyn Kousky, the executive director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Kousky is a university fellow at Resources for a future and was a fellow at RFF for a number of years. Kousky's research has examined multiple aspects of disaster insurance markets, the National Flood Insurance Program, federal disaster aid and response, and policy responses to potential changes in extreme events with climate change. In this episode, Hayes and Kousky discuss resilience to natural disasters such as flooding and wildfire, whether the current US system of funding for that resilience is working (and for whom), and what other options for responding to natural disasters the United States might want to consider. References and recommendations: "Insuring Nature" by Carolyn Kousky and Sarah E. Light; "The Cure for Catastrophe" by Robert Muir-Wood;
Mar 07, 2020
The Economics of Environmental Justice, with Samuel Stolper and Catherine Hausman
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Catherine Hausman and Samuel Stolper of the University of Michigan about a new working paper they’ve coauthored, called "Inequality, Information Failures, and Air Pollution." Catie and Sam take an economics lens to the problem of environmental justice and identify a new and important channel through which these problems can arise: the role of information. References and recommendations: "Inequality, Information Failures, and Air Pollution: by Catherine Hausman and Samuel Stolper; "Hop on Pop" by Dr. Seuss; "The Dispossessed" by Ursula K. Le Guin;
Mar 01, 2020
Which Climate Path Are We On?, with Zeke Hausfather
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Zeke Hausfather, director of climate and energy at the Breakthrough Institute. Hausfather discusses the past, present, and future of global greenhouse gas emissions, the emissions trajectory that the world is currently on, how that pathway looks different from some of the worst-case scenarios that researchers have used in the past, and the crucial uncertainties that remain when it comes to estimating future global warming under any given emissions pathway. References and recommendations: "The End of Nature" by Bill McKibben; "Explainer: Nine 'tipping points' that could be triggered by climate change" by Robert McSweeney; The "Broken Earth" trilogy by NK Jemisin; "Endless Night at -50 Degrees: A Look at Life on an Icebreaker" by Henry Fountain; "Wild storms and shifting ice: Two explorers talk about Arctic life" by Henry Fountain and Esther Horvath;
Feb 24, 2020
On the Job with Florida’s First Chief Resilience Officer, Julia Nesheiwat
This week, host Kristin Hayes talks with Julia Nesheiwat, the first chief resilience officer for the state of Florida. Nesheiwat elaborates on how she’s helping support Florida’s climate resiliency efforts by coordinating across communities and organizations across the state and cutting the red tape that tends to stall environmental efforts related to climate change response. Nesheiwat has served in combat with the US Army; she earned her PhD from Tokyo Institute of Technology, MA from Georgetown University, and BA from Stetson University in Florida. She has lectured on the geopolitics of energy, climate, and technology at the US Naval Postgraduate School, Stanford University, and the University of California, San Diego. Fittingly for the Florida resident, Nesheiwat likes to go stand-up paddleboarding and surfing. References and recommendations: "Master the Disaster" from FM Global; "The Geography of Risk" by Gilbert M. Gaul;
Feb 16, 2020
Going Deeper on NEPA, with J.B. Ruhl
In this episode, host Daniel Raimi talks with J.B. Ruhl, a professor at Vanderbilt University Law School who specializes in environmental, natural resources, and property law. Ruhl provides an overview of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the landmark law that permits lawsuits against federal agencies for any actions that are perceived to affect the quality of the environment. Drawing from his years practicing environmental law, Ruhl explains how NEPA lawsuits are especially complex—involving statutes, court opinions, and recent regulatory changes that are often at odds. He also discusses the implications of a proposed rule change by the Trump administration that could limit the types of litigation that can be pursued under NEPA. References and recommendations: "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond; "Boomtown" podcast;
Feb 09, 2020
Extra! Extra! Listen All About It: A Conversation with Energy and Climate Journalist Amy Harder
In this week's episode, host Kristin Hayes talks with Amy Harder, national energy and climate change reporter at Axios. Harder's reporting includes exclusive scoops and analyses of national and global trends. Previously, she covered similar issues for the Wall Street Journal and National Journal. Harder also was the inaugural journalism fellow for the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute in 2018. Harder has been a longtime friend of RFF and has participated as a moderator in several RFF events. You may have followed her work on shale gas development, carbon pricing, and so many of the other topics of interest in today’s energy and climate policy conversations. Here, Harder discusses how she thinks about environmental journalism—and journalism in general—in this day and age. References and recommendations: RFF's Global Energy Outlook tool; Wall Street Journal reporter Russell Gold's climate reporting; "See how global warming has changed since your childhood" by Tim Leslie, Joshua Byrd, and Nathan Hoad;
Feb 03, 2020
Green Growth That Works: Discussing Ecosystem Services, with Lisa Mandle
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Lisa Mandle, lead scientist at the Natural Capital Project, based at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Lisa is the co-editor of a new book called "Green Growth That Works: Natural Capital Policy and Finance Mechanisms from around the World." The book presents a range of fascinating case studies from around the world, all centered around the tools that governments and others can use to protect and enhance ecosystem services. Raimi and Mandle discuss some of those cases, including New York’s famously unfiltered water, preservation of wetlands, and stormwater management in Washington, DC. References and recommendations: "Green Growth That Works: Natural Capital Policy and Finance Mechanisms Around the World" by Lisa Ann Mandle, Zhiyun Ouyang, James Edwin Salzman, and Gretchen Cara Daily; (offer code "GROWTH" provides a discount) "Everyone wants to Instagram the world's most beautiful canyon. Should they?" by Rebecca Jennings; "Ice on Fire" documentary;
Jan 24, 2020
40 Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future, with Daniel Esty
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Daniel Esty, a professor at Yale University and a member of the board of directors at Resources for the Future (RFF). Dan talks about a new book he edited, "A Better Planet: 40 Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future." As its title suggests, the book covers a wide range of topics. Raimi and Esty's conversation focuses on an essay that Esty wrote, which outlines how to design environmental policy in a way that fosters innovation and new technologies. They also touch on the role of finance and politics in shaping environmental outcomes. References and recommendations: "A Better Planet: 40 Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future" edited by Daniel C. Esty; Hearing on "Building a 100 Percent Clean Economy: Solutions for Economy-Wide Deep Decarbonization" with Daniel C. Esty, Noah Kaufman, David K. Gattie, and Tim Profeta; "Decarbonizing Space Heating with Air Source Heat Pumps" by Noah Kaufman, David Sandalow, Clotilde Rossi di Schio, and Jake Higdon;
Jan 19, 2020
Shifting Sands: Using Taxes to Build the Best Beaches, with Megan Mullin
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Megan Mullin, an associate professor of environmental politics at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Mullin talks about her research, which analyzes how communities pay to rehabilitate beaches affected by erosion and how differential tax rates can affect levels of support for these beach nourishment projects. Mullin also makes clear why coastal management is relevant: as climate change accelerates the erosion of beaches, and as federal funding dries up, local communities will increasingly have to grapple with how to pay to replenish their shorelines. References and recommendations: The Conversation, "Where does beach sand come from?" "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance";
Jan 12, 2020
Pricing Climate Risk in the Markets, with Robert Litterman
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Robert Litterman, a founding partner at Kepos Capital and a board member at Resources for the Future (RFF). Litterman recently was named the chair of a new committee that will be advising US financial regulators on the economic risks of climate change, a new position that leverages Litterman's extensive experience working on risk management in the financial sector and his deep interest in climate change. Raimi and Litterman talk about the scale of the risks to the US financial system from climate change; whether and how markets are currently pricing the risks of climate change for assets like coastal property or energy companies; and the recent paper Litterman coauthored, which takes an unconventional and novel approach to carbon pricing. References and recommendations: "Global Warming of 1.5 degrees," an IPCC special report; "Declining CO2 price paths" by Kent D. Daniel, Robert B. Litterman, and Gernot Wagner;
Jan 04, 2020
2019 Year in Review: Energy and Environmental Policy, with Susan Tierney and Sarah Ladislaw
This week's episode features a review of the year 2019 in environmental and energy policy, with two amazing guests: Susan Tierney, senior advisor at the Analysis Group and chair of the board at Resources for the Future (RFF); and Sarah Ladislaw, senior vice president, director, and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, with their Energy and National Security Program. Host Daniel Raimi facilitates a conversation with Tierney and Ladislaw, asking what they consider to be the most interesting environmental and energy policy developments during the past year, at the federal and state level. The discussion touches on everything from vehicles to electricity, to interstate natural gas pipelines, and more. References and recommendations: "Time to move away from old precedents in FERC pipeline reviews" by Susan Tierney; "FERC’s Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Facilities" by Susan Tierney; "Blowout" by Rachel Maddow; "The River" by Peter Heller; "Made in China: 2025 and the Future of American Industry" by Marco Rubio; "Perspectives on the Green New Deal" with Leah Stokes and Jerry Taylor; Riders in the Sky;
Dec 29, 2019
Was Madrid a COP-Out? Assessing COP25, with Nathaniel Keohane
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Nathaniel Keohane, senior vice president for climate at Environmental Defense Fund. In this episode, Keohane gives a readout on the outcomes of this year’s annual international climate negotiations, called COP25. He and Raimi talk about the goals of the conference; whether those goals were achieved; and several other issues, including conference protests, the role of the US delegation, and what to look forward to at next year’s COP26. There was so much to talk about that the episode extends about ten minutes beyond the usual length of the podcast. Given the importance and timeliness of this topic, we think you’ll appreciate the extra time. References and recommendations: "What to Expect at COP25 in Madrid" by Robert Stavins; "Elliot Diringer on the conclusion of COP25" from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions; "This Changes Everything" by Naomi Klein;
Dec 21, 2019
Understanding Water Use in the US Energy System, with Emily Grubert
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Emily Grubert, an assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Raimi and Grubert discuss how water is used in the energy system, a subset of the topic known as the “Energy-Water Nexus.” They also talk about a 2018 paper that Grubert coauthored with Kelly Sanders—research that provides intricate detail on the life cycle of water consumption for every major fuel source in the United States. Raimi and Grubert compare and contrast the different water profiles of coal, oil, gas, biofuels, and other sources of energy. They also talk in detail about water use in hydraulic fracturing. References and recommendations: “Water use in the United States energy system: A national assessment and unit process inventory of water consumption and withdrawals” by Emily Grubert and Kelly T. Sanders; “Who speaks for Crazy Horse” by Brooke Jarvis; “Gold Fame Citrus” by Claire Vaye Watkins; “The Water Knife” by Paolo Bacigalupi;
Dec 14, 2019
Preparing for the Coming Climate Disruption, with Alice Hill and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz
This week, host Kristin Hayes talks with Alice Hill and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, authors of a new book released this fall by Oxford University Press, called "Building a Resilient Tomorrow: How to Prepare for the Coming Climate Disruption." Hayes, Hill, and Martinez-Diaz delve into the topics covered in the book, including ten lessons for decisionmakers in building a resilient future. To introduce Hill and Martinez-Diaz, using their own words from the book (with some light editing for length): Alice Hill spent the bulk of her career in courtrooms, first as a US federal prosecutor chasing white-collar crooks and, later, as a judge presiding over cases ranging from homicide to medical malpractice. She became immersed in climate change after she joined the US Department of Homeland Security in 2009 as senior counselor to the secretary. She was tasked with helping the department understand how climate could affect its operations. Hill went on to the White House to lead resilience efforts as special assistant to President Obama and member of his climate team. She is now a senior fellow for climate change policy at the Council of Foreign Relations. Leonardo Martinez-Diaz spent several years as an academic before joining the Obama administration, where one of his first tasks as head of the policy office at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was overseeing the development of a climate change strategy for the agency. Later, as deputy assistant secretary for energy and environment at the Treasury Department, he negotiated finance elements of the Paris Agreement and represented the United States on the governing bodies of major providers of climate finance, including the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility. He now works at the World Resources Institute as the Global Director for WRI’s Sustainable Finance Center. References and recommendations: "Building a Resilient Tomorrow: How to Prepare for the Coming Climate Disruption" by Alice Hill and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz; “New elevation data triple estimates of global vulnerability to sea-level rise and coastal flooding” by Scott A. Kulp and Benjamin H. Strauss; "Ultimatum" by Matthew Glass;
Dec 07, 2019
Public Attitudes toward Climate Activists, with Nathaniel Geiger
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Nathaniel Geiger, assistant professor of communication science at Indiana University. Geiger studies, among other things, how the public responds to communication around climate change. Geiger and Raimi discuss the recent history of advocacy on climate change; how recent movements like the youth-led climate strike might shape public attitudes toward climate policy and toward the activists themselves; communicating with a wide range of audiences about climate issues; and much more. References and recommendations: "Is Climate Change like Diabetes or an Asteroid?" by Ted Nordhaus and Alex Trembath; "On Fire" by Naomi Klein;
Nov 30, 2019
Waive Goodbye? The History and Future of the California Waiver, with Emily Wimberger
On this week's podcast, Emily Wimberger talks with host Kristin Hayes about the so-called "California waiver." The waiver has flown under the public radar for decades, but it’s now getting a closer look from the Trump administration, and it’s been turning up in the headlines. In this episode, Wimberger and Hayes discuss what the waiver is; how it came to be; and why it matters for California, the rest of the United States, and perhaps even the rest of the world. Emily Wimberger is a climate economist at the Rhodium Group, working on the energy and climate team. Prior to Rhodium, she served as the chief economist for the California Air Resources Board, where she analyzed the economic impact of California’s portfolio of climate change and air quality policies, focusing on programs related to carbon markets and transportation. References and recommendations: "Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore" by Elizabeth Rush;
Nov 22, 2019
Balancing the Ledgers: Pollution and GDP, with Nicholas Z. Muller
Nicholas Z. Muller, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, recently published a paper with coauthors that measures the health damages from air pollution in the United States. The paper looks at how those health damages compare with traditional economic metrics such as gross domestic product (GDP) and describes the harm that some economic activities impose, relative to their contribution to the economy. Raimi talks with Muller about how these trends have changed over time, which parts of the economy account for the most pollution, and what this all means for environmental policy. References and recommendations: "Fine Particulate Matter Damages and Value Added in the US Economy" by Peter Tschofen, Ines L. Azevedo, and Nicholas Z. Muller; "The Sixth Extinction" by Elizabeth Kolbert; Impossible Whopper at Burger King;
Nov 15, 2019
Carbon Pricing Proposals in Today's Congress, with Marc Hafstead
In this special episode of Resources Radio, host Daniel Raimi partners with the Energy 360° podcast from the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Energy Program. Raimi and CSIS's Sarah Ladislaw interview RFF Fellow Marc Hafstead, director of RFF's Carbon Pricing Initiative. Raimi and Ladislaw talk with Hafstead about a raft of recent legislative proposals in the US Congress to price greenhouse gas emissions: the major design elements of these bills, such as how revenues are used; how border adjustments can help protect US manufacturers; the political viability of these different proposals, including which policy elements might help build support for a carbon price; and whether other policy approaches, such as a Clean Energy Standard, stand more of a chance in today's political environment. References and recommendations: "The Wizard and the Prophet" by Charles C. Mann; "Paying for Pollution: Why a Carbon Tax is Good for America" by Gilbert E. Metcalf; "Paying for Pollution, with Gilbert Metcalf" Resources Radio podcast episode;
Nov 11, 2019
Candidate Tracker: The Future of Fracking, with Daniel Raimi
In this special episode of the podcast mini-series related to RFF's Candidate Tracker, host Kristin Hayes talks with Resources Radio regular Daniel Raimi, a senior research associate at RFF. Hayes and Raimi share thoughts about how the presidential candidates in this election cycle are talking about fracking. Raimi's research has primarily focused on the shale revolution in the United States, but he brings a wealth of experience on topics related to climate impacts, global energy outlooks, and a number of other important energy- and climate-related subjects. If his voice sounds familiar, it's because Raimi is the other regular host of Resources Radio. References and Recommendations: RFF Candidate Tracker: "The Ezra Klein Show" with podcast guest Kate Marvel; "Acknowledging uncertainty impacts public acceptance of climate scientists’ predictions" published in the journal "Nature Climate Change"; "Getting Real on the Economic and Environmental Impacts of the Shale Revolution" by Daniel Raimi; "Yesterday";
Nov 03, 2019
Saving the Snow: A Conversation with Minnesota Senator Tina Smith on Climate Policy
Host Kristin Hayes talks with Senator Tina Smith, the junior senator from the great state of Minnesota. Senator Smith served as the 48th lieutenant governor of Minnesota from 2015 to 2018, after a career in both the private and public sectors in the state, where she has lived since 1984. Senator Smith is a member of several committees in the Senate relevant to natural resource, energy, and climate issues, including the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Senator Smith talks about her own interests in these issues, her perspective on why they matter to Minnesota and the nation, and recent energy legislation that she has introduced. There is also some talk about loons—a first for Resources Radio. References and recommendations: "One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy" by Carol Anderson; "The Secret Commonwealth" by Philip Pullman;
Oct 25, 2019
The Economics of California’s Power Shutoffs, with Judson Boomhower
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Judson Boomhower, an assistant professor of economics at the University of California San Diego and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Boomhower and Raimi discuss the recent public safety power shutoffs that affected over one million people in northern California, what led to the shutoffs, the effects of the shutoffs, and how planned shutoffs might become more common in the future. The shutoffs have gotten a lot of attention, but Boomhower brings unique expertise to the issue, including a deep understanding of the electricity system, wildfire, and—crucially—the economics of liability. References and recommendations: "Earth as Art" from the US Geological Survey; "Between Two Fires" by Stephen J. Pyne;
Oct 22, 2019
Candidate Tracker: The Big Picture on Candidates’ Climate Policy Plans, with Joseph Aldy
This week, Kristin Hayes and Joseph Aldy discuss the presidential candidates’ stances on climate change. Aldy is professor of the practice of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a university fellow at Resources for the Future (RFF). Aldy worked as an RFF fellow in 2005–2008, leaving in 2009 to serve as the special assistant to the president for energy and environment, reporting through both the National Economic Council and the Office of Energy and Climate change at the White House. Given this experience as both a researcher and a policymaker, Aldy is the perfect person to kick off the Resources Radio podcast series that accompanies RFF’s new online interactive tool, the Candidate Tracker. The Candidate Tracker has been developed to compare and contrast the positions of the 2020 presidential candidates from both major political parties on a range of climate- and energy-related topics. It’s available online at We hope Resources Radio can serve as a great venue for some deeper-dive analysis on several issues under discussion by the candidates; listeners will see episodes posted over the next few months in this mini series. This first episode in the Candidate Tracker series with Aldy is designed to offer some big-picture commentary on how the candidates are talking about energy and climate, how their plans compare, and how the conversation is evolving. References and recommendations: "Declining CO2 price paths" by Kent D. Daniel, Robert B. Litterman, and Gernot Wagner;
Oct 11, 2019
Catalyzing Markets toward Sustainability, with Kyung-Ah Park
This week, host Kristin Hayes talks with Kyung-Ah Park, who leads environmental markets and innovation in the newly formed sustainable finance group at Goldman Sachs; she also serves on the board of RFF. Previously, Park headed the Environmental Markets Group at Goldman Sachs. As the episode title suggests, their conversation focuses on the potential to catalyze markets toward further investments in environmentally beneficial products and services. Hayes and Park talk about the definition of environmental markets and why markets matter in driving change at the scales needed. An edited transcript of this episode also is available as an article in issue 202 of "Resources" magazine. References and recommendations: "The Uninhabitable Earth" by David Wallace-Wells;
Oct 07, 2019
A New York State of Carbon Pricing, with Karen Palmer and Daniel Shawhan
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Resources for the Future (RFF) Senior Fellow Karen Palmer and RFF Fellow Daniel Shawhan. Along with RFF Senior Research Assistant Paul Picciano, Palmer and Shawhan recently released a report called “Benefits and Costs of Power Plant Carbon Emissions Pricing in New York.” Raimi, Palmer, and Shawhan talk about this new work, which examines how a carbon price applied specifically to New York State would affect emissions inside and outside of the state, electricity prices for consumers, what role carbon pricing could play in achieving New York’s ambitious climate targets over the next few decades, and more. References and recommendations: "Benefits and Costs of Power Plant Carbon Emissions Pricing in New York" by Daniel Shawhan, Paul Picciano, and Karen Palmer "The Biggest Little Farm"; "Free Solo"; "Electricity Market Design" by Peter Crampton;
Sep 28, 2019
What’s Driving the Future of Automobiles?, with Ellen Hughes-Cromwick
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Ellen Hughes-Cromwick of the University of Michigan Energy Institute. Hughes-Cromwick previously served as chief economist in the US Department of Commerce. Before that, she was the chief economist at Ford Motor Company for over 18 years. Raimi asks Hughes-Cromwick about the state of play in the automotive industry, how electric and autonomous vehicles are changing the economic and competitive landscape, which companies are best positioned to take advantage of these new technologies, and what role climate policy can play in planning for the vehicles of the future. References and recommendations: "Energy Transitions and Local Action: The Case of Colorado's Coal Transition"; "The Pioneers" by David McCullough; "The Fifth Risk" by Michael Lewis; "The Undoing Project" by Michael Lewis; Paradigm shifts and the philosophy of science: Thomas Kuhn ( and Karl Popper (
Sep 19, 2019
Market Solutions for Water Pollution, with Cathy Kling
This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Catherine Kling, who, among her many titles, is a Tisch University professor at Cornell University and a member of RFF's Board of Directors. They talk about a recent op-ed that Kling published in the New York Times, called “Polluting Farmers Should Pay,” which focuses on nutrient runoff from agricultural land and how the runoff contributes to harmful algae blooms across the United States. They also talk about potential options for federal and state policies to address this problem, as well as Kling's early work on developing a social cost of water pollution. References and recommendations: “Polluting Farmers Should Pay” by Catherine Kling; "Lake Michigan has become much clearer in 20 years, but at great cost"; "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver; "Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter" by Ben Goldfarb;
Sep 13, 2019
A Tribute to Marty Weitzman, with Gernot Wagner
This week's episode pays tribute to the life and work of Harvard Economics Professor Marty Weitzman, who died two weeks ago. Host Daniel Raimi talks with Gernot Wagner, a close collaborator and friend of Weitzman’s and a professor at New York University. Raimi and Wagner talk about two of Weitzman’s seminal contributions to the field of environmental economics, how this work has shaped public policies around the world, and who Marty was as a person. References and recommendations: "Chutes and Ladders" board game; "The Uninhabitable Earth" by David Wallace-Wells;
Sep 08, 2019
100 Percent Clean: Understanding Climate Policy in Washington State, with Sharon Shewmake
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Sharon Shewmake, a professor of environmental economics at Western Washington University. Shewmake also represents Washington's 42nd legislative district in the state's House of Representatives. Shewmake discusses Washington's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector to zero by 2045, other state policies that affect energy and the environment, and how researchers can more effectively engage with policymakers. References and recommendations: "A Trailblazing Plan to Fight California Wildfires” by Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker; "So, Should We Recycle?" by Planet Money;
Sep 03, 2019
Finding a Future for Forests in Energy and Climate Solutions, with Robert Bonnie
This week we talk with Robert Bonnie, Rubinstein fellow at Duke University. Robert is an expert on many things, but we'll talk to him today about the role that forests play in energy, climate change and more. We ask him about the past, present, and the future of wood energy in the United States and globally and what role forests might play in helping to achieve deep decarbonization goals. We'll also talk about the challenges that this issue raises, including developing markets to incentivize reforestation, land use competition, and much more. References and recommendations: "Boom Town" by Sam Anderson; "Between Two Fires" by Stephen Pine; "Sapiens" by Yuval Noah Harari;
Aug 23, 2019
Is the Endangered Species Act Under Threat?, with Ya-Wei Li
This week, we talk with Ya-Wei Li, Director of Biodiversity at the Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC). Ya-Wei is an expert on the Endangered Species Act, a law that's been in the news recently because the Trump administration has proposed a number of changes to the way the act is administered and enforced. We'll get Ya-Wei's take on which changes are most important, what effect they'll have on species and their habitat, and whether media coverage of the proposed changes has been overwrought. References and recommendations: "A Guide to the Revised Endangered Species Regulations" by Environmental Policy Innovation Center; "Last week's endangered species regulations: what really happened?" by Ya-Wei Li; Sage Grouse Mating Dances; "Noah's Choice: The Future of the Endangered Species Act" by Mann and Plummer;
Aug 14, 2019
Paying for Pollution, with Gilbert Metcalf (Rebroadcast)
This week, we are rebroadcasting host Daniel Raimi's 2018 interview with Gilbert Metcalf, the John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service; Professor of Economics; and Graduate Program Director at Tufts University’s Department of Economics. Daniel talks to Gib about his new book, "Paying for Pollution: Why a Carbon Tax is Good for America." We are re-airing this interview because several federal carbon pricing bills have recently been proposed in the US Congress, raising renewed interest in carbon pricing. References and recommendations: "The Year of the Carbon Pricing Proposal" by Marc Hafstead; "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History" by Elizabeth Kolbert;…sixth-extinction "Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America" by Eliza Griswold;…y-and-prosperity "Confronting the Climate Challenge: US Policy Options" by Lawrence Goulder and Marc Hafstead;…ge/9780231179027 "Paying for Pollution: Why a Carbon Tax is Good for America" by Gilbert Metcalf;…97?cc=us&lang=en&
Aug 12, 2019
Community Vulnerability in a "Just" Energy Transition, with Sanya Carley
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Professor Sanya Carley of Indiana University's O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Daniel and Sanya discuss her work on the Just Transition, which addresses questions like, how do climate policies affect energy affordability for low-income households, how do they affect the well-being of energy producing communities, and what approaches might help reduce the unwanted side effects of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector? References and recommendations: "The Overstory" by Richard Powers; “Why Setting a Climate Deadline is Dangerous” by Shinichiro Asayama;
Aug 05, 2019
Are Climate Communicators Credible?, with Shahzeen Attari
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Professor Shahzeen Attari of the Indiana University's O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Daniel and Shahzeen discuss her work on how the personal behavior of climate change communicators can affect the reception of their message. If a climate scientist uses a lot of energy at home or is a frequent flyer, do they lose credibility? It's a really challenging question—one that Shahzeen's work illuminates. The results, and this conversation, can help all of us think critically about our own energy use. References and recommendations: "Climate Change Communicators’ Carbon Footprints Affect Their Audience’s Policy Support" by Shahzeen Z. Attari, David H. Krantz, and Elke U. Weber; "Statements about Climate Researchers’ Carbon Footprints Affect Their Credibility and the Impact of Their Advice" by Shahzeen Z. Attari, David H. Krantz, and Elke U. Weber; "The Overstory" by Richard Powers; "New York 2140" by Kim Stanley Robinson; "First Reformed"; "Years and Years"; Author Ursula K. Le Guin;
Jul 29, 2019
The Challenge of Diversity in the Environmental Movement, with Dorceta Taylor
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Professor Dorceta Taylor of the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability. Daniel asks Professor Taylor about her research on the history of the environmental movement, focusing on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion within environmental groups, both historically and today. There’s been quite a bit of progress over the years, but there are still big challenges and plenty of room for improvement. References and recommendations: "The Rise of the American Conservation Movement" by Dorceta E. Taylor; "The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations" by Dorceta E. Taylor, PhD; Listen to the full interview (40 min) with Dr. Taylor:
Jul 23, 2019
What Happened at Chernobyl?, with Todd Allen
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Professor Todd Allen, chair of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences at the University of Michigan. Todd and Daniel discuss Chernobyl—what caused the explosion, what is known about its health effects, and what lessons policymakers and nuclear engineers learned from the disaster. Todd and Daniel also comment on the recent HBO miniseries called "Chernobyl"—what did it get right, and where did it miss the mark? References and recommendations: "Lessons of Darkness"; "Full Body Burden" by Kristen Iversen; "The Grid" by Gretchen Baake;
Jul 13, 2019
Economics in the Age of Environmental Policy, with Robert Stavins
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Robert Stavins, the A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy and Economic Development at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Daniel and Rob discuss the role that economics has played in shaping environmental policy, both in the past and today. As major proposals like the Green New Deal seem to be turning away from market-based approaches, long-advocated by most economists, Rob shares how he sees the role of environmental economics in today’s environmental policy landscape. References and recommendations: "Harlan County USA"; "Columbia Energy Exchange";
Jul 08, 2019
Nature and Nurture: Understanding the Psychology of Pro-Environmental Behavior, with Susan Clayton
Host Kristin Hayes talks with Susan Clayton, the Whitmore-Williams Professor of Psychology and Chair of Environmental Studies at the College of Wooster. They discuss questions such as: why do some people care about environmental conservation more than others? How can policymakers and other decisionmakers encourage pro-environmental behavior? And how do we wrestle with our own human limitations in processing and trying to address climate change? References and Recommendations: "Rising" by Elizabeth Rush; "The Psychology of Climate Change Communication" by the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University;
Jul 02, 2019
An Anthropologist's Take on Climate Change, with Susie Crate
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Susie Crate, a professor of anthropology at George Mason University. Susie discusses how she studies environmental issues through an anthropological lens and describes the community in northern Siberia that she's been studying since 1991. Daniel and Susie talk about how that community is being affected by climate change and how they are planning for the future. References and recommendations: "The Day the Dinosaurs Died" by Douglas Preston; "The Anthropologist";
Jun 24, 2019
Shedding Light on Rural Energy Access, with Subhrendu Pattanayak
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Professor Subhrendu Pattanayak of Duke University. Over the last several years, Subhrendu has literally trekked the Himalayas to do research on how to provide access to electricity for communities in hard-to-reach places. Daniel and Subhrendu talk about what policy and market factors might make it easier to expand energy access, and Subhrendu explains how dynamics within these communities can affect the likelihood of small-scale electricity projects to succeed or fail. References and recommendations: "Earth" by Lil Dicky; (explicit) "Power to the Poor" by Morgan D. Bazilian; "Reducing Risk for Private Investment in Off-Grid Energy" by Oliver Waissbein; "Energizing Finance 2017" Sustainable Energy for All; "Energizing Finance 2018" Sustainable Energy for All; "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss;
Jun 16, 2019
Refined Coal: The Billion-Dollar Subsidy You've Never Heard Of, with Brian Prest
Host Daniel Raimi talks with RFF postdoctoral fellow Brian Prest about a little-known topic: refined coal. Brian and coauthor Alan Krupnick have published a new RFF working paper that takes a close look at a $1-billion-a-year federal subsidy for refined coal. So, what is refined coal? What's the purpose of the subsidy? And does the subsidy deliver? References and recommendations: "How Clean is Refined Coal?" by Brian C. Prest and Alan Krupnick; "The Last Lobster: Boom or Bust for Maine's Greatest Fishery" by Christopher White;
Jun 07, 2019
The Money Behind Wind Power, with Jay Bartlett
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Jay Bartlett—a research associate at RFF—about his recent work on wind energy development. Jay explains how wind projects actually get built, i.e., how developers raise money for their projects and who they sell their electricity to. Daniel and Jay also discuss how state and federal policies shape these markets, and how the coming changes in the policy landscape are likely to affect future wind development. References and recommendations: "Reducing Risk in Merchant Wind and Solar Projects through Financial Hedges" by Jay Bartlett; "News of the World" by Paulette Jiles; "The Son" by Philipp Meyer; "Our Planet;"
Jun 04, 2019
Biodiversity, Food Security, and Sustainability, with Sue Lieberman
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Dr. Sue Lieberman, vice president for International Policy at the Wildlife Conservation Society. They discuss a major new report that synthesizes the literature on the global state of biodiversity. The report warns about a variety of risks, including species extinction, habitat degradation, food insecurity, and much more. Sue describes the scale of some of these risks, and shares her views on how policymakers can respond to prevent them. References and recommendations: IPBES Summary; "The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming" by David Wallace-Wells; "Our Planet;" "Why the Guardian is Changing the Language it Uses about the Environment;"
May 27, 2019
How the Trump Administration's ACE Rule Affects Emissions, with Amelia Keyes
Host Daniel Raimi talks with RFF Research Associate Amelia Keyes about her recent research on the Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. Amelia and several colleagues have estimated the effect of the rule on emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxide, finding that ACE could actually increase these emissions rather than reduce them. References and recommendations: "Mapping America’s Wicked Weather and Deadly Disasters"; "Mothers of Invention";
May 21, 2019
New Mexico's Path to a Low-Carbon Future, with NM Cabinet Secretary Sarah Propst
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Sarah Propst, the Cabinet Secretary of the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department for the state of New Mexico. New Mexico recently enacted legislation to transition to 100 percent zero carbon electricity by the year 2050, and to provide transition assistance to workers and communities affected by the changing energy landscape. Daniel and Sarah discuss how the bill was developed, how much it's going to cost, and what other steps New Mexico is taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. References and recommendations: "The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs" by Steve Brusatte;
May 12, 2019
Sen. Whitehouse Dives in on a Carbon Fee and Ocean Pollution
Host Kristin Hayes talks with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) about the reintroduction of the American Opportunity Carbon Fee Act. Sponsored by the senator and several colleagues, the legislation would impose a carbon fee on fossil fuels, starting at $52 per metric ton of CO2 emitted. They also discuss the challenges facing our planet’s oceans—a topic of great importance to the senator from the Ocean State. Top of the Stack: "Our Planet";
May 07, 2019
A Master Plan for Protecting Louisiana's Coast, with Denise Reed
Host Kristin Hayes talks with Dr. Denise Reed, an internationally recognized expert in coastal marsh sustainability and the role of human activities in modifying coastal systems. They discuss Louisiana's coastal master plan, on which Denise has be an adviser to state officials leading the plan development. This ambitious, long-term planning process has grown even more important in the face of rising sea levels. References and recommendations: Richard Campanella books on New Orleans; "Do Renewable Portfolio Standards Deliver?" by Michael Greenstone and Ishan Nath;
Apr 30, 2019
Exploring the Resource Curse and Enhancing Energy Access, with Todd Moss
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Dr. Todd Moss, Executive Director of the Energy for Growth Hub. Todd has worked for years at the intersection of energy and economic development, with a focus on developing economies in Africa and elsewhere. They cover two major topics: avoiding the so-called "oil curse" in the nation of Guyana, and supporting economic growth in the developing world by improving energy access for businesses and industries. References and recommendations: "Amity and Prosperity" by Eliza Griswold; "Rising" by Elizabeth Rush; IEA Report on Air Conditioners;
Apr 21, 2019
Can We Price Carbon?, with Barry Rabe of the University Of Michigan
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Professor Barry Rabe of the University of Michigan about his new book, "Can We Price Carbon?" Barry shares his insights on some of the real-world challenges for implementing policies that price carbon, and describes some of the key features that might help make them stick. They talk about how experience from previous efforts to price carbon can inform discussions on the Green New Deal, and much more. References and recommendations: "Can We Price Carbon?" by Barry G. Rabe; Senate Bill 181: Protect Public Welfare Oil And Gas Operations; Elections in Canada; "Blood Oil" by Leif Wenar;
Apr 15, 2019
Exploring the Farm Bill, with RFF's Ann M. Bartuska
Host Daniel Raimi talks with RFF Vice President for Land, Water, and Nature Ann M. Bartuska about the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill is a massive piece of legislation, so Daniel and Ann discuss some key topics related to land conservation and agricultural research. Ann shares her expertise on those topics, along with the connection between the Farm Bill and forest management, climate change, meatless hamburgers, and more. References and recommendations: Burger King Impossible Burger: USGS Water Data:
Apr 08, 2019
Carbon Dioxide Removal, with Greg Nemet of the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Host Kristin Hayes talks with Greg Nemet, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the La Follette School of Public Affairs and the Nelson Institute's Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. They discuss the future of carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere, with a particular focus on negative emissions technologies. References and recommendations: "How Solar Energy Became Cheap: A Model for Low-Carbon Innovation" by Greg Nemet;
Apr 01, 2019
Measuring Methane, with Arvind Ravikumar of Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Arvind Ravikumar, assistant professor of Energy Engineering at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania. They discuss methane emissions from oil and natural gas systems, their effect on climate change, new technologies, which can detect and reduce those emissions, and what governments are doing to encourage the deployment of those new technologies. Plus, Arvind will give an update on how climate change is affecting the annual Iditarod race in Alaska. References and recommendations: Cows actually burp methane; Melting snow and the Iditarod; "Three Considerations for Modeling Natural Gas System Methane Emissions in Life Cycle Assessment" by Emily A. Grubert and Adam R. Brandt;
Mar 25, 2019
Carbon Pricing in Germany, with Christian Flachsland of the Mercator Research Institute
Host Kristin Hayes talks with Dr. Christian Flachsland, head of the Governance Working Group at Germany's Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, and an assistant professor for Climate and Energy Governance at the Hertie School of Governance. They discuss the ongoing carbon pricing debate in Germany, the EU Emissions Trading System (EUETS), and ways to make these policies more efficient while still achieving climate goals. References and recommendations made by Christian: "Carbon Budget 2018" by Global Carbon Project;
Mar 18, 2019
Coffee in a Changing Climate, with Kim Elena Ionescu of the Specialty Coffee Association
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Kim Elena Ionescu, Chief Sustainability Officer at the Specialty Coffee Association. They discuss how coffee producers are likely to be affected by climate change, how they might adapt, and what resources are available to help them make decisions. They also talk about the role that consumers play in this discussion. References and recommendations made by Kim Elena Ionescu: "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" by William McDonough and Michael Braungart;
Mar 12, 2019
Community Perceptions of Wind Energy, with Sarah Mills of the University of Michigan
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Dr. Sarah Mills, senior project manager at the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy. Sarah and colleagues recently published a study looking at how people perceive the positive and negative impacts of wind energy development. We'll talk about what the study found, what the implications are for state and local planning, and what this might mean for the fast-growing industry of wind energy in the United States. References and recommendations made by Sarah Mills: "Exploring Landowners’ Post-Construction Changes in Perceptions of Wind Energy in Michigan" by Sarah Banas Mills, Douglas Bessette, and Hannah Smith; "The Politics of Resentment" by Katherine J. Cramer;
Mar 04, 2019
A Lawmaker's Take on the Green New Deal, with Former Congressman Phil Sharp
Hosts Kristin Hayes and Daniel Raimi team up to interview Phil Sharp, former Indiana congressman, former president of RFF, and current non-resident fellow at the Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy. They ask Phil to share his thoughts on the Green New Deal—the ambitious set of proposals aimed at tackling climate change, inequality, and more. Phil gives his take on the pros and cons of the approach from a political perspective, as well as shares his broader thoughts about the ability of our political system to deal with big, complex challenges like climate change. References and recommendations made by Phil Sharp: "Designing Climate Solutions" by Hal Harvey, Robbie Orvis, and Jeffrey Rissman;
Feb 23, 2019
Does the Shale Boom Equal Climate Doom?, with RFF's Daniel Raimi
Host Kristin Hayes talks with Daniel Raimi, host of Resources Radio and a senior research associate at RFF. They discuss Daniel's latest research on the oil and gas industry and his new paper, "The Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Increased US Oil and Gas Production." References and recommendations made by Daniel Raimi: "The Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Increased US Oil and Gas Production" by Daniel Raimi; "The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals;"
Feb 18, 2019
Understanding Climate Models, with Massimo Tavoni of EIEE
Host Kristin Hayes talks with Massimo Tavoni, the director of the RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment and an associate professor at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy. They discuss integrated assessment models, what they are, how they're used in studying climate change, and why they matter for decisionmaking. References and recommendations made by Max Tavoni: Carbon Brief; "Mountain";
Feb 10, 2019
Fracking in Colorado, with Matt Lepore of Adamantine Energy
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Matt Lepore of Adamantine Energy about oil and gas development in Colorado. They'll discuss the controversies surrounding development, how the state has responded, and whether it's done a good enough job. They'll also talk about the results of the statewide election, in which Colorado voters rejected a proposal that would have dramatically restricted new oil and gas development. References and recommendations made by Matt Lepore: "Sapiens" by Yuval Noah Harari; "Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy;
Feb 03, 2019
Demystifying Sea Level Rise, with Robert Kopp of Rutgers University
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Dr. Robert Kopp—Director of the Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, a professor at Rutgers University, and co-director at the Climate Impact Lab—about sea level rise. They discuss the latest update on how a changing climate will affect sea levels, and where the major uncertainties lie. Daniel will also ask Robert how he responds when people ask a common question posed of climate scientists: “are we doomed?” References and recommendations made by Robert Kopp: "We Need Courage, Not Hope, To Face Climate Change" by Kate Marvel; "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History" by Elizabeth Kolbert; "New York 2140" by Kim Stanley Robinson;
Jan 24, 2019
Paying For Pollution, with Gilbert Metcalf of Tufts University
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Gilbert Metcalf, the John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service, a Professor of Economics, and Graduate Program Director at Tufts University's Department of Economics. They discuss his new book, "Paying for Pollution: Why a Carbon Tax is Good for America," why he thinks that a carbon tax is the smartest way to deal with the problem of climate change, and his views on why it's preferable to other policy approaches. References and recommendations made by Gilbert Metcalf: "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History" by Elizabeth Kolbert; "Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America" by Eliza Griswold; "Confronting the Climate Challenge: US Policy Options" by Lawrence Goulder and Marc Hafstead; "Paying for Pollution: Why a Carbon Tax is Good for America" by Gilbert Metcalf;
Jan 19, 2019
People, Parks, and Policy, with RFF's Margaret Walls
Host Kristin Hayes talks with Margaret Walls, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future about her work on the economics of national parks and other public lands, including ways to address ongoing funding needs and overcrowding. They also discuss some of the recent concerns related to national parks and the government shutdown. References and recommendations made by Margaret Walls: "The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks" by Terry Tempest Williams; "All The Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West" by David Gessner;
Jan 13, 2019
The New Energy Geopolitics, with Meghan O'Sullivan of Harvard University
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Meghan O’Sullivan, the Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, about her recent book "Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power." They discuss energy independence, the US-China relationship, energy ties between Europe and Russia, and much more. References and recommendations made by Meghan O'Sullivan: "Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power" by Meghan O'Sullivan; "Rethinking Saudi Arabia" by Karen Elliott House;
Jan 06, 2019
Energy Inefficiency, with RFF's Joshua Blonz
Host Daniel Raimi and Joshua Blonz, a postdoctoral fellow at RFF, talk about his recent research on an energy efficiency program in California, the “principal-agent problem,” and what that means for policymaking on energy efficiency and much more. References and recommendations made by Joshua Blonz: "The Welfare Costs of Misaligned Incentives: Energy Inefficiency and the Principal-Agent Problem" by Joshua Blonz; "Lyft Doesn’t Cause Congestion, All Vehicles Do" by Severin Borenstein;
Dec 30, 2018
Sensing Pollution with Satellites, with RFF's Alan Krupnick and Daniel Sullivan
Host Daniel Raimi and RFF's Alan Krupnick and Daniel Sullivan discuss their recent study using satellite data to better measure air pollution in the United States, what the implications are for public health, and how policymakers might respond. References and recommendations made by Alan and Daniel: "Using Satellite Data to Fill the Gaps in the US Air Pollution Monitoring Network" by Daniel Sullivan and Alan Krupnick;
Dec 23, 2018
Communicating Complex Social Problems, with Matthew Nisbet of Northeastern University
Host Kristin Hayes and Matthew Nisbet, a professor of communication, public policy, and urban affairs at Northeastern University, discuss effective communications related to complex social problems such as climate change and political polarization. References and recommendations made by Matthew Nisbet: Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy by Siva Vaidhyanathan;
Dec 16, 2018
Agriculture and Climate Change, with Fran Moore of UC Davis
Host Daniel Raimi and Dr. Fran Moore of UC Davis talk about the economic impacts of climate change on agriculture, what a recent study authored by Moore and colleagues found, and what these findings mean for estimating the social cost of carbon. References and recommendations made by Fran Moore: "New Science of Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture Implies Higher Social Cost of Carbon" by Frances C. Moore, Uris Baldos, Thomas Hertel, and Delavane Diaz; American War: A Novel by Omar El Akkad; The End We Start From by Megan Hunter; Odds Against Tomorrow: A Novel by Nathaniel Rich;
Dec 07, 2018
Wildfires, with RFF's Matthew Wibbenmeyer
Host Daniel Raimi and RFF Fellow Matthew Wibbenmeyer discuss the recent fires in California, looking not only their causes but also how to mitigate their risk. References and recommendations made by Matthew Wibbenmeyer: The Relationship between Trees and Human Health: Evidence from the Spread of the Emerald Ash Borer, a US Forest Service Study by Geoffrey Donovan et al.
Dec 01, 2018