The entire issue is here.
Some of the coverage:
Act. An excerpt:
Demand response is, in essence, an inversion of the traditional logic of power generation: instead of paying to create power, you pay money to reduce the need for it. The procedure has been particularly popular in major cities, where grids are strained to the limit. ConsumerPowerline controls 300 huge buildings in New York alone, where hastily brokered turnoffs by Macy’s and major hotels prevented the spread of a 2006 blackout in Queens — a blackout that lasted for more than a week — into Manhattan. “If you’re someone who’s controlling 100 buildings at once, and with a flick of a finger you can change their energy behavior,” says Gary Fromer, ConsumerPowerline’s C.E.O., “that’s very powerful.”
Eat. An excerpt:
It is the locavore’s dilemma that organic bananas delivered by a fuel-efficient boat may be responsible for less energy use than highly fertilized, nonorganic potatoes trucked from a hundred miles away. Even locally grown, organic greenhouse tomatoes can consume 20 percent more resources than a tomato from a far-off warm climate, because of all the energy needed to run the greenhouse. Various organizations like the British grocery chain Tesco and the Global Footprint Network itself are trying to design accurate calculators both for carbon outputs and for general ecological impact.
Innovate. An excerpt:
In late 2006, Toby Heap, the owner of a digital media company in Sydney, Australia, read a report from the University of California, Berkeley, that found that on average black computer screens generally use less energy than white ones. Not long after, Heap noticed a posting on the ecoIron blog claiming that a black version of Google would save 750 megawatt hours per year worldwide. That inspired him to start Blackle, an eco-conscious search engine, in February 2007.Death. Check out the page on eco-friendly cremation or burial.
Freakonomics: Pay-as-you-drive insurance. An excerpt:
Higher tolls, especially variable tolls like congestion pricing, are one option [to reduce driving]. This seems to have worked well in London but was recently quashed in New York City, where the political hurdles proved too high.
A higher gas tax might also work. If a typical car gets 20 miles to the gallon, then the proper tax would be about $2 per gallon. But with the current high market price for gas and the political hysterics attached to it — well, good luck with that one.
This brings us to automobile insurance. While economists may argue that gas is poorly priced, that imbalance can’t compare with how poorly insurance is priced.
Since no one expects to pay the same price for, say, a 60-minute massage as they pay for a 15-minute massage, why should people pay the same for insurance no matter how many miles they drove?
“The objection within the White House,” Edlin recalls, “was there wasn’t good academic research on the subject.”
Edlin and a few others, including Jason Bordoff and Pascal Noel at the Brookings Institution, have since done such research. It makes a compelling case that PAYD insurance would work well, reducing the carbon emissions, congestion and accident risk created by too much driving while leading drivers to pay the true cost of their mileage. Bordoff and Noel put the total social benefit at $52 billion a year.