"The Efficiency Illusion and other Energy Myths: Why Cap & Trade Won't Work -- and What Can"
Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., University of Colorado, Professor in the Environmental Studies Program and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)
Wednesday, July 1st, 6:00-7:30PM
Giannini Hall Room 141 (campus map)
As climate policy gets debated in Washington and around the world, Roger Pielke, Jr., an expert on science and environmental policy, will argue that the current climate policy framework rests on faulty assumptions about energy efficiency and the decarbonization of the global economy. Pielke is lead author of a controversial 2008 Nature article, "Dangerous Assumptions," which argued that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based its policy analysis on highly optimistic assumptions about future efficiency gains and also missed the recarbonization of the global economy, due largely to the turn back to coal led by China and India.
Pielke will argue that such flawed assumptions lead many analyses to routinely double-count emissions reductions achieved through energy efficiency, and ignore the actual history of technological change, making the challenge of decarbonization seem easier and less costly. The result, he argues, is that the policies we are debating are far from up to the challenge of stabilizing concentrations of greenhouse gases at levels now deemed acceptable. Pielke will lay out an alternative framework for action on climate change, one focused on technology innovation, adaptation, and decarbonization of the global economy.