Pathbreaking Environmental Initiatives

Over the past 30 years, arguably the most significant innovation in environmental policy has been the introduction of policy instruments that rely upon market forces to control pollution. You may know it as “cap-and-trade.” This policy debuted in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and has since spread from a focus on acid rain in the US to the development of carbon markets around the world. China is the most recent large emitter to announce a national carbon market.

This talk by Dan Dudek at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara reviews the major innovations of this policy tool, its migration around the world, and prospects for the future.

Dudek joined the Environmental Defense Fund in 1986. He has participated the development of several environmental initiatives including the Montreal Protocol, the US acid rain program, the Kyoto Protocol, and California’s AB-32. He has been an adviser and consultant to numerous governments and organizations. He has served on the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board; US EPA advisory committees; and on two councils that personally advise China’s Premier on environmental issues. He launched EDF’s China Program in 1995 to develop programs for the control of both conventional and greenhouse gas emissions. His work now focuses on India’s air quality problems.

Watch From the Adirondacks to Beijing: One Economist’s Journey.

New GRIT Talks from UCSB

842Get an up-close look at ground-breaking research and innovative technology from UCSB. Geared towards the community, these talks present the best minds from UCSB covering a wide-range of topics in science, medicine, technology and more. Check out these recent programs:


The Challenges That Society Brings to Engineering Designs
Understand the unique challenges that surface when seeking to design and control physical infrastructure such as transportation networks, power grids and data centers.

Why Antibiotics Fail – People Are Not Petri Plates
The standard antibiotic test used worldwide is based on how well drugs kill bacteria on petri plates — not in the body. Drugs that pass the standard test often fail to treat bacterial infections, whereas drugs identified by the “in vivo” test are very effective.

How Biology, Ecology, and Technology Balance Tradeoffs in an Uncertain World
Do complex systems exhibit fundamental properties? This talk looks at tradeoffs between robustness and fragility that occur in biological, ecological, and technological systems.

From Bitcoin to Central Bank Digital Currencies
Rod Garratt, UCSB Professor of Economics, describes his work on a project to build a proof of concept for a wholesale interbank payment system that facilitates payments of central bank digital currency using a distributed ledger.

Overcoming Climate Anxiety at a Time of Global Crisis
Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez discusses how humans can contribute to improving current ocean problems and eventually return the oceans to a more sustainable state.

The Remarkable Learning Abilities of the Human Brain
Greg Ashby studies how people learn new categories of objects. By mapping the neural networks, scientists have been able to identify many important and surprising differences in how we learn.

The Future of Computer Science: The Rock We Tricked Into Thinking
Explore the state of the art in computing and how the demands for energy efficient and intelligent systems is driving the creation of entirely new approaches to the problem.

The Math of Swarming Robots, Superconductors, and Slime Mold
Explore the mathematics underlying systems of interacting agents and how such systems can be analyzed using an age old scientific technique: what happens if we poke it?

Check out these programs and more on UCSB’s GRIT Talks.

Confronting Climate Change

8232Rosina Bierbaum, formerly of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and an Adaptation Fellow at the World Bank, shows how climate change will affect all regions and sectors of the economy, and disproportionately affect the poorest people on the planet. Therefore, improving the resilience, adaptation, and preparedness of communities must be a high priority, equal to that of achieving deep greenhouse gas reductions and rapid development and deployment of innovative technologies, as well as altered planning and management strategies in the coming decades to achieve a sustainable world.

Watch Confronting Climate Change: Avoiding the Unmanageable, Managing the Unavoidable with Rosina Bierbaum – 2017 Keeling Memorial Lecture

To see more programs from this series, click here.

Unlocking the Science Behind Atmospheric Rivers

8232 This year, California’s winter weather has been wet and wild. Join Scripps scientist Marty Ralph, Director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E) as he describes the phenomena of atmospheric rivers, their impact on our weather, and the essential role modeling and prediction play in managing California’s precious water resources.

Watch Unlocking the Science Behind Atmospheric Rivers

To see more programs in the Jeffrey B. Graham Perspectives on Ocean Science Lecture Series, click here.

Get the Latest on Climate Change Research and Solutions

climate-solutionsNew programs on The UC Climate Solutions Channel explore what climate change is, the science behind what we know, and what we can do about it.

8232The Natural Climate Solutions Symposium, from UC Davis
Enjoy highlights from this lively and informative symposium on natural climate solutions hosted by the Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy at UC Davis.

8232Harness the Sun: America’s Quest for a Solar-Powered Future
Philip Warburg explores a range of solar technologies. A seasoned environmental lawyer, Warburg makes a case for embracing this technology as he talks about what is happening around the country and what more could be done.

8232Climate Change is Here. Now What?
Berkeley Lab Scientist, Bill Collins, discusses what we know about climate change, how we know it, and what we can do about it. Collins serves as the director for the Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division at Berkeley Lab. He is also the director of the Climate Readiness Institute, a multi-campus initiative to prepare the Bay Area for climate change.

Check out The UC Climate Solutions Channel for more videos on climate change research and solutions.