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Mike Sandler
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

What If Janet Yellen Joined Todd Stern in Paris?

(2) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 12:46 PM

On December 11, the UN Climate Change conference in Paris (called COP-21) will be wrapping up, and the headlines will announce if the negotiators were able to agree to save the Earth or not. Todd Stern, the U.S. State Department's Special Envoy for Climate Change, will be leading the U.S....

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Environmental NGOs: Be More Specific for Paris

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 2:16 PM

For environmental groups, the biggest event of the decade will be the international climate change negotiations in Paris in December called COP-21. Enviro groups have been sending out emails, asking their members to sign petitions, and tweeting up a storm (pardon the pun): #ActinParis, #RoadthroughParis, #PathwaytoParis,...

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Cap and Trump: Imaginary Environmentalist Rants From the Donald

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 9:45 AM

Donald Trump has been hogging the headlines with his wild rants about immigrants, Mexicans, Mexican immigrants, and Megyn Kelly. His outlandish statements are made with conviction, and when questioned, he not only "doubles down," he triples down. What if Donald Trump used his tough-guy, 3rd grade level ...

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Five Ways to Improve California's Cap & Trade System

(2) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 10:45 AM

The State of California will be hosting a series of public workshops in August to update their plan for distributing the billion or so dollars collected through the state's Cap & Trade climate change program in the next few years. This presents an opportunity to review California's approach...

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Greece's Debt, a New Monetary System, and the Climate Negotiations in Paris

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2015 | 11:01 PM

People can't stop talking about the economic crisis in Greece. There are many layers to it, but generally it involves negotiating a restructuring of Greece's debt with the IMF, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank. Some of the debt arose from the Greek government's trade deficits...

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The Pope Calls for New Global Institution to Protect the Commons, Tackle Climate and Poverty

(5) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 12:04 PM

Pope Francis's recently released Encyclical "Laudato Si" makes a strong moral case for climate action. It is a powerfully-written, wide-ranging document, and is already influencing decision makers and observers preparing for the U.N. climate conference taking place in December. For those interested in how carbon pricing can contribute...

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Greece and the U.S. Senate: Economics for the 99 Percent

(13) Comments | Posted February 6, 2015 | 11:17 AM

The recent election in Greece has brought a new party called Syriza to power, whose platform is economic stimulus not austerity. The austerity mindset, embraced by Germany and the International Monetary Fund, is known for imposing austerity, cutting government spending on public services and social benefits, and, finally, Greece had...

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Marketing California's "Climate Credit for Cars" to Everyone

(7) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 9:41 PM

Starting in January 2015, California's cap and trade program is expanding to include transportation fuels. Gasoline refiners will be required to purchase allowances for the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their product, and at $12 a ton for carbon dioxide, this will raise the price of California gas for consumers...

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For Paris 2015: A Climate Trust Not a Treaty

(1) Comments | Posted November 30, 2014 | 10:41 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 | 4:41 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 | 1:06 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 | 2:47 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 | 4:35 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 | 10:12 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 | 3:53 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 | 8:22 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 | 9:45 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 | 12:49 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 | 3:25 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 | 10:55 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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