Twice a month, we’re compiling the most relevant news stories from diverse sources online, connecting the latest environmental and energy economics research to global current events, real-time public discourse, and policy decisions. Keep reading, and feel free to send us your feedback.
For this special edition of the newsletter, we’ve curated some of the stories we’re most eager to revisit and share as we wrap up the year:
As 2022 winds down, the editorial team at Resources for the Future (RFF) has reviewed the past 12 months of blog posts, magazine articles, and podcast episodes to select some notable pieces of the year, including analyses of the climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, an updated social cost of carbon, and the future of hydrogen in the United States. Take a look to catch up on research about economics, energy, and the environment that may resonate with you.
The end of 2022 also marks the end of RFF’s 70th-anniversary year. We celebrated our anniversary in October by hosting the Net-Zero Economy Summit, a daylong conference that brought together leading experts in government, research, and industry to discuss how we can confront the climate challenge. In a recent blog post, RFF President Richard G. Newell reflects on the Net-Zero Economy Summit, examines lessons from RFF’s 70-year history, and looks ahead to the future. “The best solutions for today may nonetheless differ from the approaches we’ve successfully used in the past and from what we thought we would be relying on just a few years ago,” says Newell. “In the best traditions of RFF, I therefore encourage you to be on the lookout for ideas that might seem unconventional or untested—ideas that might fly in the face of current conventional wisdom, but just may hold the key to our future.”
Rural regions are well-suited to host wind and solar energy projects, because remote areas contain large swaths of continuous and undeveloped land. But reluctance to host renewable energy projects is becoming more common in rural communities. University of Michigan researcher Sarah Mills joined a recent episode of the Resources Radio podcast to discuss how people in rural communities tend to receive and perceive large-scale renewable energy projects and why such projects often face opposition. “What underlies most of the opposition to wind and solar—and this is, again, the truism about opposition to land use change in general—is aesthetic arguments,” says Mills. “People nearby are worried about their property values and that a large wind or solar farm is going to change the character of their community.”
In Focus: Managing and Adapting to Wildfire Risk
More fires were reported in 2022 than during any other year in the past decade, and new research finds that a growing number of people are occupying the wildland-urban interface, a portion of the landscape that’s especially vulnerable to wildfire. In the latest installment of In Focus, RFF Senior Fellow Margaret Walls shares her thoughts on the wildland-urban interface and what communities can do to mitigate the risk of wildfire.
Data Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Data Online. Accessed December 16, 2022.
This chart shows ten-year averages of annual snowfall in Washington, DC. While snowfall totals have trended downward over the past century, the occasional megastorm still blankets the city. In February 2010, “Snowmaggedon,” a two-day storm that Washington Post Weather Editor Jason Samenow fondly recalled on an episode of Resources Radio this year, dropped around 18 inches on the capital.