By Leonardo Maugeri, Roy Family Fellow, Geopolitics of Energy Project
A new study by Belfer Center Geopolitics of Energy researcher Leonardo Maugeri finds that oil production capacity is surging in the United States and several other countries at such a fast pace that global oil output capacity is likely to grow by nearly 20 percent by 2020. This could prompt a plunge or even a collapse in oil prices. The findings by Maugeri, a former oil industry executive who is now a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, are based on an original field-by-field analysis of the world’s major oil formations and exploration projects.
By Annie Tracy Samuel, Research Fellow, International Security Program
This policy brief seeks to contribute to and inform the debate concerning a possible attack by the United States and/or Israel on Iranian nuclear and military facilities. The presumed aim of such an attack would be to weaken the Islamic Republic, particularly by hindering its ability to build a nuclear weapon. However, the history of the Iraqi invasion of Iran in September 1980 calls into question the contention that an attack will weaken the regime in Tehran. This policy brief examines Iran's reactions to the Iraqi invasion in order to shed light on Iran's possible reactions to a U.S. or Israeli attack.
By Michael Beckley, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2011–2012
"China narrowed the gap in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) and will likely overtake the United States as the world's largest economy sometime between 2015 and 2040. What matters for national power, however, is not gross wealth, but net wealth—the wealth left over after people are clothed and fed. China's 1.3 billion people produce a large volume of output, but they also consume most of it immediately, leaving little left over for national purposes."
December 14, 2011
By Risa Brooks
"...[I]nflating the terrorist threat could alienate Muslim communities in the United States. This would be a worrisome development, because those communities’ widespread rejection of terrorism and their ongoing willingness to expose suspected militants are two reasons why the homegrown threat remains small."
By Laura Diaz Anadon, Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Director, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group; Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Matthew Bunn, Associate Professor of Public Policy; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Gabe Chan, Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Melissa Chan, Former Research Fellow, Energy Research, Development, Demonstration & Deployment Policy Project, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, January 2009–December 2010, Charles Jones, Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Ruud Kempener, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2009–2011, Audrey Lee, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2009–2011, Nathaniel Logar, Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group and Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group
The United States needs a revolution in energy technology innovation to meet the profound economic, environmental, and national security challenges that energy poses in the 21st century. Researchers at Harvard Kennedy School undertook a three-year project to develop actionable recommendations for transforming the U.S. energy innovation system. This research has led to five key recommendations for accelerating U.S. energy innovation.
By Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
In this policy brief, Harvard Project Director Robert Stavins focuses on how subnational policies will interact with a federal climate policy. It turns out that some of the interactions will be problematic, others will be benign, and still others could be positive. He also examines the role that could be played by subnational policies in the absence of a meaningful federal policy, with the conclusion that—like it or not—we may find that Sacramento, California comes to take the place of Washington as the center of national climate policy. This case study might provide insight for COP 17 delegates in designing the next steps toward a flexible international agreement.
By Robert Ross
China's carrier program reflects the Chinese Communist Party leadership's surrender to the forces of nationalism....As Chinese domestic instability has grown, the increasingly insecure Communist Party leadership has used the carrier program to bolster its nationalist legitimacy—just as it used the 2008 Olympics, the 2009 Shanghai Expo, high-speed rail, the 'world largest airport,' and other high-profile projects for this purpose."
...[A]fter adopting a policy, decisionmakers should resist the temptation to marginalize any skeptics. Indeed, it may be advisable for someone to deliberately play the role of "devil's advocate" and question optimistic appraisals of likely outcomes. Following the 2002–03 decision to invade Iraq, U.S. war planners were extremely overconfident about the prospects for stabilizing the country. Skeptical voices were sidelined or excluded. If senior officials had anticipated the shift to implemental mind-sets and the associated overconfidence, a "devil's advocate" would have helped to challenge shaky assumptions behind the strategy.
The Kyoto Protocol establishes a very complex and ambitious regime, in architecture if not stringency. The problem is that relatively few states, representing only about a quarter of the world's emissions, have been willing to assume emission targets under Kyoto....The future of the Protocol thus seems doubtful at best. Even in the most optimistic scenario, a new round of emissions targets couldn't be agreed in time to prevent a legal gap between the first and second commitment periods. A possible middle ground would be to establish a transitional regime that would be political in nature, but that could evolve over time into a legally-binding regime.
By Laura Diaz Anadon, Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Director, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group; Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Valentina Bosetti, Matthew Bunn, Associate Professor of Public Policy; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Michela Catenacci and Audrey Lee, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2009–2011
Dramatic growth in nuclear energy would be required for nuclear power to provide a significant part of the carbon-free energy the world is likely to need in the 21st century, or a major part in meeting other energy challenges. This would require increased support from governments, utilities, and publics around the world. Achieving that support is likely to require improved economics and major progress toward resolving issues of nuclear safety, proliferation-resistance, and nuclear waste management. This is likely to require both research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of improved technologies and new policy approaches.