The UT Energy Symposium welcomes Mason Inman, lead analyst for Near Zero, to give a talk titled Scientific Oversight of Climate Policy: Lessons from California.
Mason Inman is the lead analyst for Near Zero, a non-profit research organization based within the Carnegie Institution for Science, on the Stanford University campus. Mason has a commitment to open-source models in Python, and also oversees the organization’s communications.
Previously, Mason worked as a journalist for a dozen years, primarily focused on climate science and energy issues, and wrote a book, The Oracle of Oil: A Maverick Geologist’s Quest for a Sustainable Future(W.W. Norton, 2016). He received his bachelor’s in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a graduate degree in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. During his work as a science journalist, Mason reported for Science, Nature, Scientific American, and other outlets from several countries including Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Abstract: Climate policy implementation is a technically, economically, and legally complex process that involves decision-making under uncertainty and political trade-offs in the face of diverse stakeholder pressures. Reality often diverges from expectations, and opacity can lead to gaps between policy aspirations and what is actually achieved. Drawing on Near Zero’s work in California, I will illustrate the role science and scientific oversight can play to help governments, the media, and the public monitor and improve climate policy implementation. In particular, I’ll discuss the state’s cap-and-trade system, which is expected to be a key driver of emissions reductions and a cornerstone of the state's plan for achieving ambitious emissions cuts required by law. Near Zero’s work has highlighted key inconsistencies between these expectations and the performance to date and current design of the program.
The UT Energy Symposium meets every Thursday during the long semesters. Come early to attend a networking session before the talk.