What’s the Plan for Plastic? (Pt. I)

I’m excited to share the first part of a deep dive I’ve been working on for the past two months (hence the lack of #content lately). Enjoy! The ubiquity of plastic is hard to overstate. You might wake up, squeeze some toothpaste out of a polyethylene tube onto the nylon bristles of a polypropylene toothbrush,… Continue reading What’s the Plan for Plastic? (Pt. I)

The State of U.S. Energy in 5 Graphs

I wanted to make a version of my previous post but focusing exclusively on the US. So, here’s the state of energy in the United States in 5 figures. All charts are made by me unless otherwise cited, and data sources are cited. Primary energy consumption by source and sector Primary energy is the energy… Continue reading The State of U.S. Energy in 5 Graphs

Review: Motivating Pro-Environmental Behavior with Self Determination Theory

Social change is necessary for a sustainable society. But how can we best make this social change? This is the question that the pro-environmental behavior (PEB) area of psychology tries to answer. This paper combines two types of psychological theories to propose a refreshed theory of PEB and strategies to go with it.

Review: OECD Decoupling Indicators and Decoupling for Ecological Sustainability

The OECD defines “decoupling” as ” breaking the link between ‘environmental bads’ and ‘economic goods.’”1 To put it more vividly, this is generally understood as having economic growth happen without increased resource use and its associated environmental damage. An economy could get more decoupled by selling a more fuel-efficient car instead of an inefficient one,… Continue reading Review: OECD Decoupling Indicators and Decoupling for Ecological Sustainability

Haber & Bosch: Heroes or Not?

The Haber-Bosch process is perhaps one of the most widely known industrial chemical processes. I won’t describe the history in too much detail (there’s Wikipedia for that), but in a nutshell, it’s a chemical process for making ammonia (NH3) from nitrogen (N2) and hydrogen (H2) invented in 1909. N2 + 3H2 → 2NH3 This doesn’t… Continue reading Haber & Bosch: Heroes or Not?

Review: Beyond Accumulation and Technical Progress: Negative Externalities as an Engine of Economic Growth

It’s a long title for an elegant idea. This paper asks: “why does the economy grow?” It argues that the existing reasons of 1) accumulation and 2) technical progress fail to explain why a) people work so much for money and b) why they’re still so unhappy. Bartolini argues that the missing piece of the puzzle is negative externalities, which are in fact an engine of economic growth.