Bill Chameides

of Duke University

Dr. Bill Chameides, Dean of Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment since 2007, has combined more than 30 years in academia as a professor, researcher, teacher, and mentor with a 3-year stint in the nonprofit world as the chief scientist of Environmental Defense Fund. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and a recipient of the American Geophysical Union’s MacElwane Award.  

Bill has served on numerous national and international committees and task forces and was named a National Associate of the National Academies in recognition of "extraordinary service." In November, 2008, he was appointed the Vice Chair of the Committee on America’s Climate Choices, commissioned by Congress to develop a multidecadal road map for America’s response to climate change.

Bill’s research focuses on the atmospheric sciences, elucidating the causes of and remedies for global, regional, and urban environmental change and identifying pathways towards a more sustainable future. Specifically, his research helped lay the groundwork for our understanding of the photochemistry of the lower atmosphere, elucidated the importance of nitrogen oxides emission controls in the mitigation of urban and regional photochemical smog, and the impact of regional environmental change on global food production. He earned his B.A. from SUNY Binghamton and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Yale University.

Bill blogs regularly at www.TheGreenGrok.com. You can follow him on Twitter @thegreengrok.

Read his full bio on the Nicholas School's website.

Can good economic times roll while carbon emissions decline? Maybe so. Last week the Obama administration proposed new rules to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants under the auspices of the Clean Air Act. Once EPA officially publishes the rule in the Federal Register (most likely in a week or two), a…

Is the alternative energy industry losing the influence-peddling war to fossil fuels? Perhaps you caught the editorial in Sunday’s New York Times taking “the Koch Brothers and their conservative allies” to task for “spending heavily to fight incentives for renewable energy.” The editorial noted that such efforts are being spearheaded by the American Legislative Exchange Council…

Environmental winner documents the impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on the ecosystem — the human ecosystem. Full Frame Festival: A Springtime Cornucopia of Documentaries With the first weekend of April in the rearview mirror, so is, for Durhamites and aficionados of documentary film, the 2014 edition of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, reportedly the…

Accidental pollution? Sure, stuff happens. But what about intentional pollution? When we think of electric power plants and pollution, we often think of air pollution and climate change, and especially when it comes to coal-fired power plants. But power plants are also huge polluters of our waterways — our streams, rivers and lakes. In fact the…

Yes, failing … just like the coal ash ponds along the Dan River. What Put the Stuff on the Map Despite being a political football [pdf] that had been tossed around Capitol Hill, the coal industry and EPA headquarters throughout the ‘90s and early aughts, coal ash was rarely a topic of dinner conversation around most American supper tables I suspect.…

The Obama administration gave environmentalists little to cheer about last week, but the game is hardly over. When it comes to climate change, Obama’s rhetoric has been striking and unequivocal (for example here), but with congressional deadlock, his ability to enact climate legislation has been … well, nonexistent. He has been able to make some…

Coal is down but not out thanks in part to a pro-coal rider passed in the omnibus spending bill [pdf]. Are we looking at pro-export policy or just a little mutual back-scratching?

We may be witnessing a historic change in our driving habits.

New study concludes that biofuels can be part of climate-energy solution.

Which is more important: Meeting energy demand, lowering carbon emissions, or conserving water? How about all three? The Three Big Challenges Facing the Electric Power Industry The U.S. electric power industry has huge challenges to meet in the coming decades. First and foremost it has to meet growing demand for electricity. By 2050 it is…

In late September more than 865,000 gallons of Bakken oil spewed from a pipeline onto a North Dakota farmer’s wheat fields.

Another crack in the “fracking is safe” story for the industry to address.

OK, with the government shutdown that kicked in at midnight this morning, it should come as no surprise that we have a highly dysfunctional Congress. Still, when Congressional gridlock derails a good, sensible, popular bill on energy efficiency in a country that harnesses less than half of the energy we produce and loses almost 30 percent due to inefficiencies, at least some attention should be paid.

Long-awaited research results suggest methane leakage small.

… in three regions. When it comes to climate change, coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels, is a definite baddie — BTU for BTU, burning it puts out almost 30 percent more carbon dioxide (CO2) than burning petroleum and about 78 percent more CO2 than natural gas. Want to fight climate change? Then you…

Was lack of government regulation at fault?

Could your neighborhood be next? Neighborhoods can be turned upside down by shale oil and shale gas drilling (see here and here), by pipelines dug through backyards, and by pipeline spills that send crude oil across entire neighborhoods. All of it gives me the willies, but it’s always been theoretical willies as the prospects of something like…

The United States and China are talking different languages when it comes to reducing carbon emissions.

The story of coal ash keeps going nowhere. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about coal ash.

Global greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever. What’s to be done? “Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map,” a special report [pdf] by the International Energy Agency (IEA), was released on Monday, and the findings are sobering. (See related story: “What’s Behind the New Warning on Global Carbon Emissions?“) In 2012 energy-related, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions…

In the Amazon you don’t need to burn wood for a forest to contribute to energy production. Once Upon a Time… People thought the worth of a forest was determined by the value of its timber. We now know that leads to a gross undervaluation. Forests, like most ecosystems, provide a host of services whose…

U.S. Representative Lamar Smith’s strutting his science cred. Smith, a Republican, represents the 21st District of Texas, which includes his hometown of San Antonio, and chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. I met him a few weeks ago at a hearing on climate held by the Subcommittee on the Environment. He was the consummate…

A natural gas pipeline from New Jersey to New York: sane or insane? Bottleneck to the Northeast It could be a marriage made in economic heaven. Standing on one side of the altar is the northeastern United States, hungry for more natural gas, a fuel whose prices in the region are projected to reach five-year…

Two news items surrounding greenhouse gas emissions moved over the past week. One on the trajectory of said emissions from government number-crunching. The other on what the proposed Keystone pipeline might mean for emissions.

Peak Oil Flip-Flop

There’s a new twist in the “peak oil” debate. Is it good news for the climate? Peak Oil Question Remains, Debate Continues Ever since M. King Hubbert advanced the theory of peak oil in 1956, experts and non-experts alike have been debating about timing and relevance. (See here, here, here and here.) Hubbert’s argument seems like a…