January 9th: Lou and Dr. Michael Hanemann

Lou welcomes special guest Doctor Michael Hanemann. He is considered the single most successful environmental and resource economist of our time. He was a Chancellor’s professor of environmental and resource economics at UC Berkeley for 35 years. He’s currently a Wrigley Professor in the Department of Economics & the School of Sustainability at Arizona State where he’s taught for the past 12 years.

He is currently writing a textbook on the ‘economics of water.’ He was elected as a member of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2011.He served on the California water rights agency’s economic staff & designed the water rates that LA used very successfully for 25 years.

He has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D in economics from Harvard.

Lou and Doctor Hanemann discuss:

Why hasn’t California built reservoirs to trap the water after it rains?

Is there a way to harness the rain? Instead of having it wash out towns, why can’t we direct the water to other areas that can help us? Doctor Hanemann explains how this is possible by using groundwater aquifers.

How gold mining in the 1860s consisted of flushing away mountain sides which raised the bed of the Sacramento river by almost 6 feet which in turn made it more prone to flood. 

How climate change has affected water throughout the world? Can we fix it or are we at a point of no return? Will we see positive change in climate in our lifetime? 

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