10 Items

President Barack Obama gets direction from his science advisor John P. Holdren during an event on the South Lawn of the White House to explore the stars with middle school students.

Reuters

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Spotlight on John P. Holdren

| Fall/Winter 2016-2017

As assistant to the president for science and technology, director of the White House Office for Science and Technology Policy, and co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), Holdren has worked closely with Obama to reinvigorate America’s scientific capabilities on a range of policy fronts, from climate change and renewable energy to health care and nanotechnology.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Belfer Center Newsletter Winter 2010-11

| Winter 2010-11

The Winter 2010/11 issue of the Belfer Center newsletter features recent and upcoming activities, research, and analysis by members of the Center community on critical global issues. This issue highlights a major Belfer Center conference on technology and governance, the Center's involvement in the nuclear threat documentary Countdown to Zero, and a celebration of Belfer Center founder Paul Doty.

 

President Barack Obama signs the Iran Sanctions Bill imposing tough new sanctions against Iran as further punishment for the country's continuing nuclear program, July 1, 2010, in the East Room of the White House.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Sanctions to Spur Negotiations: Mostly a Bad Strategy

| July 22, 2010

"...[S]ince sanctions and economic constraints will directly impact ordinary Iranians, they will intensify the current sense of distrust towards the West and especially the United States in all political trends and people, subsequently resulting in national mobilization and unity, thereby strengthening the hand of the Iranian government to resist the sanctions. This is the complete opposite of the result desired by the West."

Book - Brookings Institution Press

Acting in Time on Energy Policy

| May 2009

Energy policy is on everyone's mind these days. The U.S. presidential campaign focused on energy independence and exploration ("Drill, baby, drill!"), climate change, alternative fuels, even nuclear energy. But there is a serious problem endemic to America's energy challenges. Policymakers tend to do just enough to satisfy political demands but not enough to solve the real problems, and they wait too long to act. The resulting policies are overly reactive, enacted once damage is already done, and they are too often incomplete, incoherent, and ineffectual. Given the gravity of current economic, geopolitical, and environmental concerns, this is more unacceptable than ever. This important volume details this problem, making clear the unfortunate results of such short-sighted thinking, and it proposes measures to overcome this counterproductive tendency.

Book Chapter

Policy for Energy Technology Innovation

| May 2009

"The United States ought to be the leader of the world in the energy technology innovation that is needed. It has the largest economy, uses the most energy (and within that total the most oil), has made the largest cumulative contribution to the atmospheric buildup of fossil carbon dioxide that is the dominant driver of global climate change, has a large balance of payments stake in competitiveness in the global energy technology market as well as a large stake in the worldwide economic and security benefits of meeting global energy needs in affordable and sustainable ways, and possesses by many measures the most capable scientific and engineering workforce in the world. The actual performance of this country in energy-technology innovation, however, has been falling short by almost every measure...."

Book Chapter

Oil Security and the Transportation Sector

| May 2009

"This chapter proposes to answer five fundamental questions: What exactly is the oil security problem, and how serious is it going forward? Why has it emerged at this point in time, and why has it been so difficult for the U.S. government to take the actions needed to mitigate it? Finally, what alternative policies are likely to be effective as the United States attempts to improve its oil security in the future?"

Book Chapter

Acting in Time on Energy Policy

| May 2009

"The book's title—Acting in Time—refers to the persistent problem in U.S. energy policy that typically just enough is done to satisfy the short-term political imperatives, but not enough is done to actually solve the underlying problems themselves. As a result, many of the fundamental economic, environmental, and security-related challenges arising from patterns of U.S. energy production and consumption have become more intractable. Some now approach a point of crisis."

Analysis & Opinions

Stephen M. Walt on the U.S., Iran, and the New Balance of Power in the Persian Gulf

| August 5, 2008

Walt: “…..by maintaining a (new) balance you don’t get conflict breaking out and you tilt in favour whichever side seems to be falling behind. At the same time, you do try to discourage conflict whenever possible. You certainly don’t try to control the region yourselves and if the balance breaks down as it did in 1991 and you have to intervene you go in, you get out as quickly as possible. But you don’t try to organize these societies. You don’t try to tell them how to live. You don’t try to tell them how their governments should be organized and you don’t try to transform them at the point of a rifle barrel. This is not disengagement, but it is also not trying to control the region or dictate its political evolution.”

“…we are not going to have a stable long-term situation in the Persian Gulf until the United States and other countries in the region—including Iran—do come to some understanding about the various issues that concern them.  Achieving that goal will require genuine diplomacy…The United States will also have to recognize that Iran’s size, potential power, large population, and its geo-strategic location inevitably make it a major player in the security environment in the Persian Gulf, and ignoring that fact is unrealistic…”

Motorists drive along Interstate 435 in Leawood, Kansas.

AP Photo

Discussion Paper - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Analysis of Policies to Reduce Oil Consumption and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions from the U.S. Transportation Sector

This study examines different policy scenarios for reducing GHG emissions and oil consumption in the U.S. transportation sector using a variant of the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS).