The Breakthrough Institute

The Ecomodernist is a monthly column on TWN provided by the Breakthrough Institute, a global research center based in Oakland, California, that identifies and promotes technological solutions to environmental and human development challenges.

Authors published under this byline include:

Adam Stein is a senior nuclear energy analyst. Follow him on Twitter at @_A_Stein_.


Alex Smith is a food and agriculture analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @alexjmssmith.

Alex Trembath is the deputy director and is the lead or coauthor of several Breakthrough publications, including Saying the Quiet Part Out Loud, Beyond Boom and Bust and Our High-Energy Planet. Follow Alex on Twitter @atrembath.


Caroline Grunewald is a government affairs manager in the food and agriculture program. You can follow her on Twitter @caro_grunewald.

Daniel Blaustein-Rejto is the director of the food and agriculture program. You can follow him on Twitter @danrejto.

Dr. Emma Kovak is a senior food & agriculture analyst.

Rani Franovich is senior policy advisor for nuclear energy innovation. Franovich is a former regulator at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Follow her on Twitter @RFMeraxes.

Saloni Shah is a food and agriculture analyst. You can follow her on Twitter @SaloniShah101.


Vijaya Ramachandran is director for energy and development. You can follow her on Twitter @vijramachandran.

Zeke Hausfather is the director of climate & energy, a contributing author of the recent AR6 IPCC report, and the lead or coauthor of several Breakthrough publications, including Saying the Quiet Part Out Loud, among others. Follow Zeke on Twitter @hausfath.

Recent Work

Joe Manchin: Climate Hawk

The clean energy spending in the recently unveiled Inflation Reduction Act marks a victory for the sort of bottom-up, incrementalist,... Read More

The clean energy spending in the recently unveiled Inflation Reduction Act marks a victory for the sort of bottom-up, incrementalist, behind-the-scenes climate policy that progressive climate advocates have decried as inadequate for over a decade. It is a credit to the climate left’s pragmatism that the... Read More

Federal Ag Innovation Funding Rose This Year, but Still Lags

According to the latest United Nations IPCC report on mitigating climate change, improvements in agriculture and forestry could deliver up... Read More

According to the latest United Nations IPCC report on mitigating climate change, improvements in agriculture and forestry could deliver up to 30% of the cuts in greenhouse gas emissions needed to meet global climate targets. This represents a huge opportunity to meet our climate goals, but... Read More

One Thing This WaPo Op-ed on Nuclear Safety Wasn't Built to Survive: Scrutiny

A rebuttal to a Washington Post op-ed on wartime nuclear power plant safety. On March 18, the day after I... Read More

A rebuttal to a Washington Post op-ed on wartime nuclear power plant safety. On March 18, the day after I rebutted hyped media coverage of impending atomic catastrophe in Ukraine, yet another alarmist article surfaced in The Washington Post. Kate Brown, a professor of history in... Read More

Russian Invasion of Ukraine Triggers Global Hunger Crisis

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is bad. It’s bad for a multiplicity of reasons. Not least among them, as Western... Read More

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is bad. It’s bad for a multiplicity of reasons. Not least among them, as Western media has recently caught on, are the global impacts that a Russian war in Ukraine has on wheat, corn, and global food prices.  As I wrote... Read More

February 11, 2022
by The Breakthrough Institute
The Farm Bill is Key to Accelerating Innovation and Protecting the Climate

With Democrats’ hopes of passing the Build Back Better bill fading, environmental activists’ dreams of immediate climate action are dwindling... Read More

With Democrats’ hopes of passing the Build Back Better bill fading, environmental activists’ dreams of immediate climate action are dwindling as well. Many are lamenting this missed opportunity to tackle the climate crisis — and rightfully so. But it’s important that we not lose sight of... Read More

CRISPR, GMOs, and the Future of Farming

One of the biggest challenges facing agriculture in the U.S. and around the world is how to make farming more... Read More

One of the biggest challenges facing agriculture in the U.S. and around the world is how to make farming more efficient and limit greenhouse gas emissions in the process. Among the most promising tools for doing so are CRISPR and GMOs. Scientists are now using CRISPR... Read More

December 10, 2021
by The Breakthrough Institute
To Meet Methane Pledge, Biden Will Need Reduced Emissions From Cows — and Congress’ Help

The agricultural portion of Biden’s methane reduction plan, announced alongside the COP26 global methane pledge, proposes a reduction in U.S.... Read More

The agricultural portion of Biden’s methane reduction plan, announced alongside the COP26 global methane pledge, proposes a reduction in U.S. cattle emissions by facilitating the development and adoption of climate-friendly livestock innovations. It’s a notable inclusion, since, despite being overshadowed by the oil and gas industries... Read More

Conservation Funding in Build Back Better a Boon for Climate-Smart Agriculture

The most recent Build Back Better (BBB) proposal contains $27 billion in funding for agricultural conservation projects — that would... Read More

The most recent Build Back Better (BBB) proposal contains $27 billion in funding for agricultural conservation projects — that would be in addition to existing program spending — spread out over the next five years. To put this number into perspective, the Natural Resources Conservation Service,... Read More

Loud Climate Policy

Let me set the stage: There’s a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress and a Democrat in the White... Read More

Let me set the stage: There’s a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress and a Democrat in the White House. Climate advocates have spent the last few years in the exile of a Republican Administration, one quarter drawing more and more attention to hurricanes and... Read More

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February 6, 2023
by TWN Staff
118th Congress New Senate Comms Directors

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As new members of the Senate build their teams, one of the most important decisions they make is the appointment of a communications director. The Well News is tracking all of these top hires. View the House list here. StateU.S.... Read More

February 6, 2023
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118th Congress New House Comms Directors

As new members of the House of Representatives build their teams, one of the most important decisions they make is... Read More

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February 6, 2023
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Firms Fear Proposed Waste Rule Would Duplicate Existing Regs

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February 6, 2023
by Kate Michael
Tech Activists Say Computer Code Changed Human Behavior 

WASHINGTON — From the algorithm that delivers your next TikTok video to the AI that powers ChatGPT, computer code learning... Read More

WASHINGTON — From the algorithm that delivers your next TikTok video to the AI that powers ChatGPT, computer code learning isn’t a one-way operation. Of course, the program gleans information from user engagement, but experts warn that computer coding technologies... Read More

February 6, 2023
by Dan McCue
BP in Bid to Build Offshore Wind Facility in NY

ALBANY, N.Y. — BP and partner Equinor have jointly entered a bid in New York’s third offshore wind solicitation, vying... Read More

ALBANY, N.Y. — BP and partner Equinor have jointly entered a bid in New York’s third offshore wind solicitation, vying to provide the state with renewable energy from the Beacon Wind 2 lease area located roughly 60 miles off the... Read More

February 6, 2023
by Dan McCue
Patent Activity Surges at National Renewable Energy Lab

WASHINGTON — The number of patents received by researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory surged last year, with the... Read More

WASHINGTON — The number of patents received by researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory surged last year, with the lab receiving a total of 57 during the just concluded 2022 fiscal year, 10 more than awarded in 2021. In... Read More

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