- Sol discussed Planetary Management and the use of data to revolutionize how we understand the potential impact of climate change.
- Don discussed his quest to build a cheap and long-lasting battery capable of supplying grid-level storage, so that renewables can eventually power the planet.
- The two then sat down to discuss these issues with Jason Pontin and the audience.
Solomon Hsiang and Nitin Sekar published an op-ed in the Guardian, in answer to the question: "Would a legal ivory trade save elephants or speed up the massacre?"
The op-ed discusses the recent research findings from the Lab that legal ivory sales in 2008 increased poaching, rather than decreased poaching as the policy intended.
Negotiations for creating a permanent legal global ivory market were halted at the recent meeting of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, in part due to these research findings.
Tamma Carleton and Solomon Hsiang published an article in Science discussing and synthesizing the methods and results used to understand the impact of climate from the last decade. We demonstrate how findings across the literature and sectors are linked, identify commonalities across numerous studies, and compute how much (i) various aspects of the current climate contribute to to historical social outcomes, (ii) how much climate change to date has affected outcomes, and (iii) quantitative projections of the future. We identify that understanding "adaptation gaps" is the most important area for future research.
What the filmmakers say about it
‘The Hurt Locker’ meets ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES investigates the impacts of climate change on increased resource scarcity, migration, and conflict through the lens of US national security and global stability.
Through unflinching case-study analysis, distinguished admirals, generals and military veterans take us beyond the headlines of the conflict in Syria, the social unrest of the Arab Spring, the rise of radicalized groups like ISIS, and the European refugee crisis – and lay bare how climate change stressors interact with societal tensions, sparking conflict.
Whether a long-term vulnerability or sudden shock, the film unpacks how water and food shortages, drought, extreme weather, and sea-level rise function as ‘accelerants of instability’ and ‘catalysts for conflict’ in volatile regions of the world.
We launched the Opportunity Lab website. The Opportunity Lab is a new group of economists on campus that leverage data to uncover solutions to poverty and inequality issues. The Lab focuses on six core research areas: Climate and Environment, Crime and Criminal Justice, Education and Child Development, Health, Social Safety Nets and Employment, Taxation and Inequality. Sol and collaborator Reed Walker are co-directing the Climate and Environment program of the Lab. Stay tuned!
Felipe Gonzalez has a new working paper Distorted Quality Signals in School Markets, demonstrating that schools in Chile increase their ranking by discouraging low performing students from showing up to class on days when standardized tests are administered. This is important because standardized tests scores determine how competitive schools are ranked and how resources are allocated across schools.
At the Asian Art Museum of SF, a display of oracle bones provides perspective on how far we've come in terms of using science to improve policy decisions. These bones (circa 1100 BCE) were designed to discover information about potential future outcomes by eliciting answers from deceased ancestors.