All posts by Lewis Gilbert

We need system change, not regulationSystem Change

This article was originally published in The Conversation.

The higher levels of heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels are one feature of what many call the Anthropocene, a new geological era dominated by humans.

Yet regulatory approaches to managing carbon in the Earth system are doomed to fail. This is because the rise of carbon dioxide levels — what I call the CO Catastrophe — is taking place at the scale of the Earth system itself. Humans are inside of that system, COemissions are coupled to energy use, and increasing energy use is central to economic advancement. I have become convinced that it is simply not possible to manage energy usage from the scale of households to that of the planet itself using regulatory methods. Continue reading

Minnesota meets the Energiewendesolar thermal installation on Hamburg's Energie Bunker

I recently spent a week in Berlin participating in the Berlin Seminar on Energy Policy.

This was the third seminar and my second time participating in the exchanges, which are organized by the University of Minnesota Center for German and European Studies. CGES director Sabine Engel and Minnesota lieutenant governor Yvonne Prettner Solon are the hosts of the seminar.

The German Energiewende (energy transition) is at the center of our discussions with German policy makers and energy innovators. It has very ambitious goals: Continue reading