Daniel M. Kammen is the Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at the University of California.
Daniel M. Kammen is the Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at the University of California. He co-directs the Berkeley Institute of the Environment (http://bie.berkeley.edu) and is founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (http://rael.berkeley.edu). Kammen has served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He has appointments in the Energy and Resources Group and the Goldman School of Public Policy.
Dan Kammen, professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley and a climate adviser to the Obama administration, discusses the potential of a carbon tax at the recent Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) conference in San Francisco.
Although experts are still debating at what point we're likely to see dramatic, rapid changes in global climate, the fact that the planet is able to absorb less carbon means the importance of concerted action is needed now.
Many people are unaware that wind power in many cases has become competitive with conventional power derived from fossil fuels. European countries such as Spain and Germany also are demonstrating how wind generation is leading to significant job growth within the clean energy sector.
Just as $90 barrels of oil are making alternative technologies possible and desirable, awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC acknowledges the need for shared recognition of the implications of climate change. What we do with that evolving collective wisdom remains to be seen.
Through action or inaction, our collective climate future is strongly tied to what course the United States steers in the beginning of the 21st Century. And choosing the right course means replacing the vast infrastructure and economy developed to exploit fossil fuels.
The now-widespread acceptance of the reality of climate change, and the subsequent debates on how best to address it, ignore the fact that our current schemes of carbon-based currency markets unfairly place the burden of the climate fight on poor and developing nations.
The growth of solar power in the last 40 years has been remarkable in many ways, but it is still a small contributor to our total energy usage. There are several models in place around the world that offer great promise in spreading solar power far and wide -- and quickly.
Today's movement to 'get the carbon out' of our fuel supply bears a resemblence to the push to 'get the lead out' in the 1970s. Now, as then, the transition to a low-carbon fuel supply can be remarkably easy -- and effective.