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Mike Sandler
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Mike Sandler spent much of the past ten years working with local governments, water agencies, and others to develop climate protection programs in California, including co-founding the Climate Protection Campaign. Mike has served as a City Planning Commissioner and as an advisor to an air quality regulatory agency. His research interests include public trust aspects of carbon market mechanisms, and monetary reform for sustainability. He has a degree in Political Economy from UC Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from UCLA.

Entries by Mike Sandler

For Paris 2015: A Climate Trust Not a Treaty

(1) Comments | Posted November 30, 2014 | 11:41 PM

The international negotiators meeting in Lima, Peru for the 20th United Nations convention on climate change have all but given up on a new legally enforceable climate treaty to replace the outdated Kyoto Protocol. In preparations for the Paris climate conference in December 2015, the Obama Administration avoids the word...

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Expanding on the California Climate Credit

(1) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 5:41 PM

California's climate change program lowered millions of households utility bills last April, but very few people noticed. And it is about to happen again with the return of the semi-annual "California Climate Credit" applied to October bills. The credit deserves more attention because it is the rare case...

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Who Will Carry Big Dividend Checks at the People's Climate March?

(6) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 2:06 PM

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
-From the US Declaration of Independence
"...all persons have a right to income from...
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When Philanthropists Give Directly, Are Climate Dividends Next?

(1) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 3:47 AM

International development philanthropies have been testing out a simple solution to a complex problem. Can we help the poorest people in the world by just giving them money? If so, how about giving them money with no strings attached? An idea that simple to solve a problem that complex must...

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Use Your Climate Credit to Ask for More

(1) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 5:35 PM

In the next month, millions of Californians will receive their first "climate credit." The credit will appear as a line item of about $35 on household electric utility bills for customers of PG&E, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and a few others around April or...

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How Climate Extinction Are You? (Wait, What?)

(4) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 11:12 AM

Guess what! I just read on the Internet that we're in the sixth great extinction event in the planet's history! That's right! Many of the plants and animals that you grew up hearing about -- orangutans, rhinoceroses, tigers -- are now threatened with extinction! It's so depressing that...

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State Senator's Proposal Moves from Cap & Trade to Fee & Rebate

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 4:53 PM

On February 20, 2014, California Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D - Sacramento) proposed removing transportation fuels from the state's Cap & Trade program under AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Steinberg said the State should instead add a 15 cent per gallon gasoline tax...

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Janet Yellen's 2014 To-Do List: Climate Change

(7) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 9:22 PM

On January 6, Janet Yellen will likely be confirmed as the next Chair of the Federal Reserve System. Her to-do list will be full of things like the interest rate, the bank bailouts, the unemployment rate, and in general, running the economy. Climate change would be an unexpected addition to...

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Don't Flee to Mars, but Maybe Send the Tea Party There

(6) Comments | Posted October 19, 2013 | 10:45 PM

With Congress barely able to do simple things like finance its basic operations, it is a stretch to think that they will be able to address a major problem like global climate change. The anti-science, backward-looking members of Congress who held the American economy hostage are the same ones expressing...

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A Fantasy Fed Chair Who Can Save the Planet

(3) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 1:49 PM

President Obama will soon appoint a successor to chair the Federal Reserve when Ben Bernanke steps down at the end of his term. The Federal Reserve (aka "The Fed") serves as the country's central bank, oversees the biggest banks, and sets monetary policy for the nation. It is a

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California and the Raiders of the Lost Commons

(1) Comments | Posted May 20, 2013 | 4:25 PM

The first Indiana Jones movie opens with our hero taking a gold statue from an ancient temple, only to have his prize stolen from him by a rival archeologist. Poor Indiana Jones, viewers think, he dodged tarantulas, poison darts, and outran a giant boulder, only to have this...

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Supply Shock Reveals a Serious Problem: Economic Growth

(3) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 11:55 AM

Supply Shock is a gutsy new book about a major taboo in our culture: economic growth. Economic growth is the real third rail of American politics. Question it and you are immediately branded an outsider (or even a Marxist). Who doesn't want a rising tide that lifts all...

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Not a Fake Tweet: Fossil Fuel Companies' Balance Sheets Contain Toxic Carbon Assets

(12) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 6:59 PM

This is real and could affect markets more than a fake tweet. Oh, and the fate of the planet is at stake too. A new report shows that publicly listed fossil fuel companies hold more reserves than can be safely burned this century, and investors have not included...

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Fund Green Infrastructure, but Not With Cap-and-Trade

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 2:58 PM

A dollar is a dollar, right? But when it comes to government policy, some dollars draw a lot of attention, while other funds fly under the public's radar. All dollars have the same purchasing power, but highly visible dollars have magnified political repercussions, and must be handled with care. For...

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The Trillion Dollar Coin vs. Limits to Growth

(4) Comments | Posted February 5, 2013 | 3:18 PM

For those who missed it, the trillion dollar coin rose to public awareness early this year as a novel approach to circumvent the debt ceiling debate. It was interest-free and debt-free, and a few blogs noted the implications for a new, and perhaps better money system. But was the coin...

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The Trillion-dollar Coin's Week of Fame

(33) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 11:42 AM

Instead of the usual fifteen minutes of fame, the trillion-dollar coin got the whole week of Jan. 5-12, 2013. Within days of its arrival, the trillion-dollar coin was disparaged and mocked as a silly solution to circumvent the debt ceiling, and done away with by officials at the Treasury Department,...

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Beyond Debt Ceiling, Trillion Dollar Coin Offers New Economic Paradigm

(21) Comments | Posted January 10, 2013 | 12:11 PM

Last week the "trillion dollar platinum coin" entered the public lexicon as part of Washington's debt ceiling debate. It sounds jaunty and paradoxical, but it is a surprisingly serious proposal.

The coin presents a rare opportunity to have a public discussion about the nature of money, something very...

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Doomsday Prepping for a Sustainable Future

(5) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 3:28 PM

Is the "end" near? If the pop-culture version of the Mayan calendar's "apocalyptic" predictions turns out to be correct and the world ends on 12/21/12, then you will probably not be reading this blog. The fiscal "cliff" sounds dire, but luckily it is only an annoying metaphor. This latest round...

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The Birth of Carbon Pricing and Delivering California's First 'Climate Dividend'

(1) Comments | Posted December 5, 2012 | 10:07 AM

If carbon pricing in the United States were a baby, it would have been born on November 14, 2012, when the California Air Resources Board (ARB) launched its first auction of Cap and Trade greenhouse gas permits under the state's AB32 climate law. The happy parents were Mary...

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Monetary Reform Could Expand the 'Fiscal Cliff' Debate

(29) Comments | Posted November 9, 2012 | 4:00 PM

The election is over and the media immediately turned to the coming "fiscal cliff." Components of the metaphorical cliff include across the board cuts to government spending occurring at the same time the Bush tax cuts expire, and the federal government's likely need to raise the national debt ceiling in...

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