News Archive:

ERG’s Dan Kammen Enthusiastic for Berkeley Scholars to Join Biden Administration

Recently, President-elect Joe Biden has nominated UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy (GSPP) faculty member Jennifer Granholm to lead the U.S. Department of Energy and Haas School of Business Professor Emeritus Janet Yellen to serve as secretary of treasury. Two campus alumni are also expected to serve within the administration, with Alejandro Mayorkas selected to lead the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, and Adewale Adeyemo picked for deputy treasury secretary.

ERG professor Dan Kammen expressed enthusiasm for the candidates in multiple news sources, stating that “The Department of Energy is going to be central to almost everything in the Biden-Harris plan, from energy transformation to re-entering the Paris Climate Accords. We’re also going to need a huge infusion of attention and effort to be put into creating jobs. That fits Jennifer Granholm to a T. I’m just so impressed that they made this choice. I think she’s ideal for the job at this time.”

Read the Berkeley News article on Jennifer Granholm here, the San Francisco Chronicle article here, and the Daily Californian article on all four Berkeley scholars here.

Rausser College’s Fall Breakthroughs Magazine Features ERG Professor Isha Ray and PhD Student Valeri Vasquez

In the latest fall 2020 issue of Breakthroughs magazine, ERG professor Isha Ray was interviewed on her work in social equity and inclusive activism, and ERG PhD student Valeri Vasquez was featured on her project of using computational models to research how genetic technologies might work as public health interventions.

“Equity and inclusion have always motivated me, in both research and teaching, and I’ve served as an equity adviser in my department for many years,” Ray states in her interview. “My field research has always focused on social justice, particularly in communities that are neglected and marginalized and with people struggling to be included as full citizens. You would think that, in this century, clean, affordable drinking water wouldn’t be such a huge ask, but apparently it is.”

Read Isha Ray’s full interview here, Valeri Vasquez’s work here, and the full Breakthroughs issue here.

ERG Professor Dan Kammen Discusses Climate change in the age of Joe Biden

ERG Professor Dan Kammen was recently interviewed in The Daily Californian, where he discussed what the fight against climate change would look like in 2021 and what he anticipates for President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

“California’s always had a very aggressive plan,” Kammen said. “We’re now in a position where 10 states have joined California and have targets of zero-carbon economies by mid-century, so President-elect Biden is working with a much better deck.”

Read the full interview here.

ERG’s Dan Kammen on How Decreased CO2 Emissions Shape the Future of Electric Vehicles

In a recent Sustainability Times article, ERG professor Dan Kammen explains how pandemic lockdowns resulted in historic drops in our CO2 emissions. Additionally, Kammen’s previous study on how exactly COVID-19 lowered said Co2 emissions was featured in a Berkeley News article, arguing that a move towards greater usage of electric-powered vehicles would “reduce the major greenhouse gas responsible for climate change and global warming”.

“The greatest reduction of emissions was observed in the ground transportation sector. Largely because of working from home restrictions, transport CO2 emissions decreased by 40% worldwide,” Kammen stated.

Read how the pandemic lockdowns decreased Co2 emissions here, and what this means for the future usage of electric vehicles here.

 

ERG Professor John Harte Oversees “Science Journal for Kids” Adapting UC Berkeley Study

As a Science Journal for Kids advisory board member, ERG professor John Harte recently oversaw UC Berkeley researchers and Science Journal for Kids adapting a paper that found associations between redlining and emergency department visits for asthma. The study was adjusted to be more kid-friendly, and was featured in relevance to today’s youth and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“The purpose of the organization is to bring easily readable and understandable articles to kids and to ‘improve the level of scientific understanding in society’,” Harte stated.

Read the full article here.

ERG Dan Kammen on What the Biden-Harris Victory Means For COVID-19 & Climate Change

ERG professor Dan Kammen recently published an op-ed on the Daily Californian, discussing the powerful impact the Biden-Harris victory has on addressing the issues of COVID-19 and climate change. Kammen further states that the new leadership’s energy and climate platform can be a game-changer for achieving social and climate justice.

“Science, social justice and both domestic and global partnerships to address climate change are now back on the agenda in the United States,” Kammen writes. “More than any one specific action, the commitment Biden has already shown to a science-driven administration is critically important domestically and worldwide.”

Read the full op-ed here.

Alum Barbara Haya on MIT Technology Review: the Reality of Amazon’s “net zero” emissions

In a recent MIT Technology Review article, alumna Barbara Haya raises concerns of Amazon’s carbon offset programs, providing research depicting that such programs can significantly overstate carbon reductions. She states that this could potentially result in Amazon exaggerating progress towards its goal of “net zero” emissions.

“Under the rules for the reduced harvesting practice, landowners would generally only need to account for a 10% leakage rate in their calculations. This suggests that even if the family forest projects do draw down significant additional carbon, much of the benefit could be wiped out by larger harvests elsewhere, limiting the real-world climate benefits,” Haya states.

Read the full article here.

ERG Professor Dan Kammen Optimistic for Advancing California’s Climate Agenda

In a recent San Francisco Chronicle article, ERG professor Dan Kammen was featured discussing how Biden’s goals of addressing climate change could potentially be achieved in the near future. While divisions in Congress are likely to slow progress, Kammen remains optimistic for the advancement of California’s climate agenda.

“It would be easier, of course, if Biden had the Senate. But the Senate does have a way of sensing the mood of the nation. There’s going to be some serious reckoning… There’s going to be increasing amounts of senators on the Republican side that ultimately switch over,” said Kammen.

Read the full article here.

ERG Professor Margaret Torn on the Growing Impact of Californian Wildfires

In the recent Scientific American article “California’s Mega Fires Have Arrived 30 Years Early”, ERG adjunct professor Margaret Torn argued that as more people living in wildland-adjacent areas, the catastrophic impacts of wildfires only continues to grow.

“We’re changing how catastrophic a fire is because we have put more properties and lives at risk… because we’re building in fire zones,” Torn stated.

Read the full article here.