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GET TIMELY INSIGHTS. Our blog showcases a variety of voices from our home at the University of Pennsylvania—including faculty, students, staff, senior fellows, and visiting scholars. Opinions and perspectives are from the authors; not the Kleinman Center.

Jun22
2017

As the U.S. Falters on Paris Agreement, Ethiopia Sees Opportunity in Renewables

Oscar Serpell
Donald Trump’s June 1st decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate agreement was widely denounced by world leaders, scientists, and advocates around the world as ill-informed. Many believe the decision will significantly jeopardize our ability to succeed in this global effort to limit the planetary...
Wind turbines with mountains in the background
Jun20
2017

If It Sounds Too Good to be True, It Probably Is

John Quigley
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I quoted that old saying three years ago in raising come cautionary flags about a provocative claim that the United States, and each of its member states, could get all of their energy from renewables by 2055. That proposition has since gained a life of its own.  It...
Digital portrayal of a giant pencil drawing a bridge over a cliff for people
Jun20
2017

How Exxon Thinks About Climate Change

Mollie Simon
Although a carbon tax may seem like an impossibility given our current political climate, private companies have long been preparing to put a price on carbon. Wanting to plan for something that they see as a future inevitability, big oil companies have been building in carbon pricing to their financial models for...
Exxon Mobile logo
Jun15
2017

Knowing the Unknowable: Benefits and Drawbacks to Agent-Based and Equation-Based Modeling

Oscar Serpell
Edward Lorenz’s famous hypothetical scenario of a butterfly flapping its wings and somehow, weeks later, causing a tornado hundreds of miles away, illustrates the chaotic and uncertain future outcomes of seemingly inconsequential behaviors taken today. This complexity, and the resulting uncertainty of predicting the...
Computer screen showing multiple model graphs
Jun14
2017

Power Grid on Alert After Two Cybersecurity Warnings Issued this Week

Christina Simeone
This week, two different cybersecurity warnings were issued in the U.S., flagging significant potential threats to the electricity grid. The first threat is ‘CrashOverride’, a malware program associated with Russia that was specifically designed and successfully used (outside the U.S.) to target electric power grid...
Digital numbers with "malware" magnetized with hand holding magnetizer
Jun12
2017

There Is No Acceptable Alternative to Paris

Mark Alan Hughes
This was originally published by the Philadelphia Inquirer on June 15, 2017. Below is an identical version with full hyperlink citations.   We know that the Earth’s climate is changing and that humans are causing that change with the same degree of scientific confidence with which we know smoking causes lung cancer...
Delegates at the UNFCC Paris Agreements celebrating
Jun08
2017

Lessons Learned: From Kyoto to Paris

Mollie Simon
Last week, after much anticipation, President Trump announced that the United States would be formally withdrawing from the Paris Accord. This announcement does not come as a surprise given President Trump’s negative comments about the agreement on the campaign trail and the fact that the Trump Administration has...
The Eiffel Tower lit up at night with "For the Planet" lit up on the front
Jun02
2017

Leaving Paris, and Sanity: A Bad Deal for America and Future Generations

John Quigley
President Trump has decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, despite (to spite?), pretty much, the rest of the world. Only two countries declined to join the Paris Agreement: civil war-torn Syria, and Nicaragua. The latter boycotted the accord to protest what it saw as initial goals...
United Nations Paris Climate Agreement Logo
Jun01
2017

Once in a Lifetime Investment Opportunity to Trigger More Baseload Retirements in PJM

Christina Simeone
Billions of dollars in new gas generation investments will trigger more baseload retirements in PJM. And no, it is not renewables driving these plants out of the market in the Mid-Atlantic. And yes, low-priced natural gas is driving the retirement trends.  But, it is more complicated than that.  Risk-taking investors...
Chess pieces on a chess board
May19
2017

Transparency, Capping Returns a Must for Nuclear Subsidies

Christina Simeone
Pennsylvania policymakers are contemplating new subsidies for existing nuclear power plants. Honestly, I could argue for or against these subsidies, but that is for another day. Here are some principles Pennsylvania lawmakers should keep in mind if they are interested in supporting nuclear power. Transparency on Plant...
Green street sign with opposite arrows above a green street sign stating "Take and Give"

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