• Does ‘green energy’ have hidden health and environmental costs? Does ‘green energy’ have hidden health and environmental costs?

    Does ‘green energy’ have hidden health and environmental costs?

Does ‘green energy’ have hidden health and environmental costs?

Edgar Hertwich, Yale University; Anders Arvesen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Sangwon Suh, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Thomas Gibon, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

There are a number of available low-carbon technologies to generate electricity. But are they really better than fossil fuels and nuclear power? The Conversation

To answer that question, one needs to compare not just the […]

The Carbon Footprint of Capital

We think of capital, the assets we use in production, as heavy: machines, buildings, infrastructure, trucks and railroads. Being composed mostly of cement and steel, we would expect their production to cause a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. In a new paper, we offer a first detailed analysis of the carbon footprint of gross fixed capital formation across countries and sectors. The picture that emerges is interesting because of some small surprises.

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Alternative climate theory in shatters

An alternative theory for climate change based on the influence of cosmic radiation lead to prominent predictions of an imminent cooling of global temperatures. Three years after the book by Fritz Vahrenholt and Sebastian Lüning was a bestseller in Germany and translated into English, its predictions – popular with climate sceptics also in the US –  have been shown to be false. Instead of a rapid cooling since the publication […]

Industrial Ecology – Reflexions

In 2003, I moved to Trondheim to become Director of the Industrial Ecology Programme (IndEcol) of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). In […]

Carbon pricing improves economics of energy

The Economics of Energy – What is the cost-effectiveness of energy and climate policies? 

In a panel debate with key European policy makers hosted by GE and organized by ScienceBusiness; I emphasized the need to more systematically internalize environmental costs, which we have enumerated in recent scientific work.

The social and economic benefits of modern energy are tremendous. While two billion people still lack access to clean cooking […]

We can reach 2°C if we *replace* polluting technology

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that hope is not forsaken: rigorous climate politics locally and nationally has spurred development of new technology sooner than expected. Increased pressure in the pursuit of climate protection is still required to reach the 2°C Target.

Carbon Budget: Trillion tons of CO2

The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the climate climate system launched last year has a clear message: […]

What’s new in the IPCC report

After 4 years of intensive work, the fifth assessment report of climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has finally been published. It says that it is urgent to begin reducing emissions, otherwise we will not be able to stay below the articulated limit of two degree temperature rise. Sure, but that was already the main message of the […]

  • Carbon footprint of hydro power Carbon footprint of hydro power

    Carbon footprint of hydro power

Carbon footprint of hydro power

I took a deep breath after a brisk climb up the soft hill near the border to Sweden. The sun peaked out under the clouds and the light was beautifully reflected by the water of Nesjøen, while reindeer was munching away on delicious blueberries a little further down the ridge. The reservoir below contrasted to the barren land on the other side, making it more tranquil and interesting at […]

  • Ecological tragedy, economic naiveté Ecological tragedy, economic naiveté

    Ecological tragedy, economic naiveté

Ecological tragedy, economic naiveté

The tragic extinction of species, from the black rhinoceros to plants remaining undiscovered, is unfortunately one of the hallmarks of humans on the planet. This week, the Trondheim Conference of Biodiversity celebrated its 20 year anniversary by gathering 400 scientists and international negotiators to an exchange of knowledge and ideas. The focus of this conference was on the economy and options for […]

  • Rich Pressure Poor Ecosystems Rich Pressure Poor Ecosystems

    Rich Pressure Poor Ecosystems

Rich Pressure Poor Ecosystems

I just returned from my weekly trip to the supermarket: in addition to Kenyan roses, Brazilian melons, Israeli oranges, Dutch tomatoes, Kiwis from New Zealand, and potatoes from Saudi Arabia (!), I have, for the first time, found minced beef from Botswana, sold for just over half the price of the Norwegian one. We have over the years become accustomed to the increasing variety and prettiness of food we find on supermarket shelves, regardless […]