Author Archives: M. Granger Morgan

Nuclear Power Needs Leadership, but Not from the Military

This article is in Is Innovation China's Next Great Leap Forward?, Summer 2018

Proponents of today’s beleaguered nuclear power industry want the US Department of Defense to lead in commercial reactor development and deployment. Bad idea. Here’s a modest alternative. For much of the atomic age, the United States led the world in developing and deploying nuclear technologies. Despite building the world’s largest fleet of reactors—99 of which […]

Rethinking the Social Cost of Carbon Dioxide

This article is in Climate and Energy, Summer 2017

The standard benefit-cost methodology that is used to calculate marginal costs of environmental regulations should not be used for long-lasting greenhouse gases. There is a very big difference between carbon dioxide and conventional air pollutants. Many of the health and ecological effects of conventional pollutants become apparent in days or a few years. Once emissions […]


This article is in The Criminalization of Immigration, Fall 2016

Manufacturing’s loss, Trump’s gain Most people in the Washington, DC, trade establishment see the current political backlash driving Donald Trump’s presidential campaign as a result of nativism, ignorance, or simply the whining of those hurt by trade. For them to consider the alternative—that these citizens may be on to something legitimate—is to challenge the core […]

Promoting Low-Carbon Electricity Production

This article is in Seeing Through Preconceptions: A Deeper Look at China and India, Spring 2007

To encourage utilities to emit less carbon dioxide, the government should implement—soon—a carbon portfolio standard with predictable requirements and guarantee loans for building advanced generating facilities. The electric power industry is the single largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the United States, accounting for 40% of CO2 emissions in 2006, up from 36% in 1990 […]

Needed: Research Guidelines for Solar Radiation Management

This article is in Health Care That's Not for Dummies, Spring 2013

As this approach to geoengineering gains attention, a coordinated plan for research will make it possible to understand how it might work and what dangers it could present. Emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) continue to rise. The effects of climate change are becoming ever more apparent. Yet prospects for reducing […]

Nuclear Power for the Developing World

This article is in Has NIH Lost Its Halo?, Winter 2015

Small modular reactors may be attractive in many developing nations. Here is a blueprint for how to build them efficiently and ensure maximum safety. In the United States and much of the developed world, nuclear power raises deep misgivings among many decisionmakers and ordinary people. Concerns about safety have been rekindled by […]

Research Support for the Power Industry

This article is in An Informed Approach to Substance Abuse, Fall 1998

New technology may bring great changes but the market alone is unlikely to support the needed research. A revolution is sweeping the electric power industry. Vertically integrated monopoly suppliers and tight regulation are being replaced with a diversified industry structure and competition in the generation and supply of electricity. Although these changes are often termed […]

Using Safety Labels to Make Cars Safer

This article is in Transportation Safety, Winter 2000-2001

Providing buyers with an overall assessment of a vehicle’s crashworthiness would prod manufacturers to make better cars. What is the best way to make cars safer? As in the case of reducing environmental risks, the traditional strategy has been government regulation. Design standards have been used to require certain features that are implemented in certain […]

Everyday Threats to Aircraft Safety

This article is in Standardized Testing Takes Center Stage, Winter 2002-2003

Several actions are needed to reduce the small–but persistent and increasing–danger that electronic devices carried aboard by passengers pose to commercial aircraft. On the morning of February 9, 1998, an American Airlines 727 on final instrument approach to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport suddenly pitched downward. Despite the pilot’s corrective actions, the aircraft hit the ground […]


This article is in Flaws In Forensic Science, Fall 2003

Federal R&D: More balanced support needed Thomas Kalil (“A Broader Vision for Government Research,” Issues, Spring 2003) is correct that the missions of agencies with limited capacities to support research could be advanced significantly if Jeffersonian research programs were properly designed and implemented for those agencies. However, certain goals and objectives, such as winning the […]

Electrical Blackouts: A Systemic Problem

This article is in U.S. Forests: Facing New Global Market, Summer 2004

Although human error can be the proximate cause of a blackout, the real causes are found much deeper in the power system. About every four months, the United States experiences a blackout large enough to darken half a million homes. As long ago as 1965, a massive blackout in New York captured the nation’s attention […]


This article is in U.S. Forests: Facing New Global Market, Summer 2004

Preventing nuclear proliferation Michael May and Tom Isaacs’ “Stronger Measures Needed To Prevent Proliferation” (Issues, Spring 2004) is a significant contribution to the ongoing discussion on how best to strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Regime, the centerpiece of international security. The authors’ suggestion to develop a protocol to improve the physical security of weapons-usable […]

Protecting Public Anonymity

This article is in Ocean Policy: Time to Act, Fall 2004

The option to preserve anonymity will erode unless designers of new technologies and government policymakers act now. People in the United States have long enjoyed an expectation of anonymity when traveling or performing everyday activities in most public places. For example, they expect not to be recognized, or to have their presence noted and recorded, […]

Energy Conundrums: Power Play: A More Reliable U.S. Electric System

This article is in Energy Conundrums, Summer 2006

U.S. utilities have a lot to learn about avoiding power outages. They can benefit from the experience of foreign utilities, other U.S. industries, and even their own nuclear power plants. The United States ranks toward the bottom among developed nations in terms of the reliability of its electricity service. Catastrophic events, such as the August […]