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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April 15, 2024
by Dan McCue
House Freedom Caucus Doubles Down on Ukraine Aid Opposition

WASHINGTON — The House Freedom Caucus on Monday warned House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and other GOP leaders in the... Read More

WASHINGTON — The House Freedom Caucus on Monday warned House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and other GOP leaders in the chamber not to try to use Iran’s attack on Israel this past weekend as “bogus justification” for sending additional military aid... Read More

April 15, 2024
by Tom Ramstack
Judge Dismisses Most Prospective Jurors on First Day of Trump’s Hush Money Trial

NEW YORK — Dozens of prospective jurors were dismissed Monday on the first day of jury selection for the hush... Read More

NEW YORK — Dozens of prospective jurors were dismissed Monday on the first day of jury selection for the hush money trial of former President Donald Trump in New York City. He faces felony charges for allegedly paying $130,000 in... Read More

April 15, 2024
by Dan McCue
Attorneys General, State Legislature Seek Stay of EPA Methane Rule

WASHINGTON — Attorneys general from 24 states and one state legislature have asked a federal appeals court to stay a... Read More

WASHINGTON — Attorneys general from 24 states and one state legislature have asked a federal appeals court to stay a new methane emissions rule rolled out by the Environmental Protection Agency. Unveiled in December and finalized on March 8, the... Read More

April 15, 2024
by Dan McCue
EPA Finalizes Permit for Largest Offshore Wind Farm in US

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week issued a key air quality permit to Dominion Energy’s planned offshore... Read More

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week issued a key air quality permit to Dominion Energy’s planned offshore wind project off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The agency issued the project’s final Clean Air Act Outer Continental... Read More

Back Bipartisan Legislation to Curb Mexican Steel Imports and Protect American Jobs

Foreign competition, tariffs and soaring production costs have U.S. steel mills teetering on the brink of failure. New legislation introduced in March... Read More

Foreign competition, tariffs and soaring production costs have U.S. steel mills teetering on the brink of failure. New legislation introduced in March will prevent illegal steel imports from Mexico from coming into the United States, and it needs support.  Losing our domestic... Read More

Oil and Gas Companies Must Pay More to Drill on Federal Lands

WASHINGTON (AP) — Oil and gas companies will have to pay more to drill on federal lands and satisfy stronger... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Oil and gas companies will have to pay more to drill on federal lands and satisfy stronger requirements to clean up old or abandoned wells under a final rule issued Friday by the Biden administration. The Interior... Read More

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