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Energy & Environmental Policy Misc National Op-Ed

Op-ed: Rexposé

The Cockrell School has said in a statement that its new distinguished lecture series “aims to bring influential leaders…to the Cockrell School [and] offers students an opportunity to hear and learn from successful individuals at the top of their fields.” I feel let down by the Student Engineering Council for selecting Rex Tillerson, former CEO […]

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Economics & Trade Policy Energy & Environmental Policy National Op-Ed

To Fund Infrastructure, Tax Carbon Emissions

If the midterm elections result in a so-called blue wave, Democrats could lead the push in securing funding for much-needed infrastructure investments. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), America’s infrastructure has a near failing grade of D+. ASCE recommends an additional $2 trillion in investments over the next decade, from all levels […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy LBJ School National Technology Policy

Spraying the Skies: an Untested Stopgap for Climate Change

Late in July, an off-the-record gathering of experts and academics converged on the Grand Summit Hotel in Newry, Maine to talk climate change. The handpicked coterie of conference-goers did not discuss carbon emissions or unveil next-generation renewable energy tech. Instead, the topic at hand was climate engineering: a sci-fi-sounding, catch-all term that refers to deliberate […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy International Development Misc Summer Internships

Addressing Climate Change in Cape Town

As many in the development field recognize, rural and urban planning can contribute greatly to (or hinder) socioeconomic development. In the townships around Cape Town, for example, everyday I see how poor infrastructure contributes to poverty through limited access to water, healthcare, food, electricity and adequate housing. Heavy rains can cause terrestrial flooding that predominantly […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy Misc Technology Policy

Are Exxon and IPCC both right? If yes, what does this mean for policymakers?

Twenty-six years ago, as the average LBJ student was just getting started in life, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed to organize the international scientific community of climate change research.  Later that same year, in July 1988, NASA’s Jim Hansen provided a now famous Senate testimony to a sweltering hot chamber.  Legend […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy Misc Technology Policy

Climate Change: A non-partisan issue in Texas?

Some interesting recent polling, including work done by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, suggests a narrowing gap between California and Texas over climate change concerns. This may be surprising to many since Texas’s political leaders take a hard line on restricting greenhouse gas emissions compared to public leaders in the Golden State. Governor […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy

Lighting Up a Dark Continent

  Take a look at a satellite photo of Africa at night.  Apart from a few specks of light over the largest cities, the continent is dark. Millions of rural Africans live without any electrical power at all, and the U.N. Development Program estimates that on a yearly basis the 19.5 million people of New […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy

Teeing Up for Climate Change

  I was asked the other day to name a country that I’d want to be a marketing agent for – spice up their image. I answered with some African state – predictable for an Africanist “do-gooder” who wants to “change!” the world. I was wrong. I should have said the Maldives. Before I continue, […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy

Hemp: The Solution to Climate Change

  What if we could reduce CO2 emissions without raising taxes? What if a carbon-neutral source of renewable energy could be grown on American soil and generate all the power the United States needed? What if one plant could bolster the economy, provide nutritious food, bio-degradable plastics, durable fiber, carbon-neutral energy, and save the world from […]

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Energy & Environmental Policy

The Intersection of Climate Change and Recovery

  On Friday, April 8, the U.S. Congress dodged a government shutdown by striking a budget compromise, undoubtedly crushing the dreams of the news outlets gleefully throwing countdown clocks and “what if?!” statements around. What the media have largely failed to cover, however, are the follow-up discussions that continue to adjust the budget. One of […]