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Climate Policy 101

I have a piece—with charts and pictures and everything—in this month's Audubon magazine explaining the whole concept of feed-in tariffs, a little-discussed policy measure to promote renewable power that seems to have turbocharged the wind and solar industries in places like Germany and Denmark (though not, alas, without controversy). A number of U.S. states are now looking closely at feed-in tariffs, so it's worth getting a handle on what they are and how they work. (Short version: Utilities hand out long-term contracts at above-market rates for renewable power generated anywhere—even from a home solar panel—though there are ways to design them well and poorly.)

And speaking of climate-policy primers, Kevin Drum wrote a remarkably clear and useful overview of carbon cap-and-trade systems in this month's Mother Jones. Very much worth bookmarking as the debate over this heats up in Congress.

--Bradford Plumer