Varun Sivaram

Energy, Security, and Climate

CFR experts examine the science and foreign policy surrounding climate change, energy, and nuclear security.

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The Five Most Influential Energy and Climate Studies of 2012

by Michael Levi

Ideas matter. Or at least Council on Foreign Relations fellows like to believe that: otherwise, we’d be wasting a lot of our time. With that in mind, I canvassed some of the smartest observers of the energy and climate worlds – scholars, advocates, journalists, businesspeople, and policymakers – for their picks for the most influential studies, reports, in-depth articles, or books of the year in the field. Then I threw my own judgement into the mix. Read more »

Weeklyish Reading

by Michael Levi

It’s that time of the week again. Some recommendations:

  • Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of Marcellus shale gas”, Environmental Research Letters. Six researchers at Carnegie Mellon take a careful look at the emissions from shale gas development. They conclude that they’re far lower than those from coal.
  • Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy”, American Economic Review. (Working paper version here.) Three researchers look at what would happen if you included air pollution damages in U.S. economic accounts. More bad news for coal: the damage created by coal-fired power appears to be considerably larger than the value that the sector creates.
  • Jared Bernstein and Brad Plumer both wonder why driving has taken such a dive during the recent economic downturn. (It barely budged during the last couple.) Each speculates about fundamental shifts that might underlie the change. I’m not so sure that exotic explanations are necessary: the most recent recession featured a much larger dip in output than the previous two and way followed by much higher gasoline prices than on either of the other occasions. I’m hoping someone with a bit of time on their hands will take a look at this.
  • Read more »

Weekly(ISH) Reading

by Michael Levi

I promised I’d post weeklyish reading lists on this blog. That was a month ago – hence the capital letters in this post’s title. In any case, here are some suggestions: