melting glacier iceberg

Skip Laitner

Impact Earth: Climate Reality, Episode 1 John A. “Skip” Laitner is an international resource economist who leads a team of consultants, the Economic and Human Dimensions Research Associates based in Tucson, Arizona. He is the Past President of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS), an independent interdisciplinary professional association in higher education. He is also a Senior Economic Research Fellow for Russia’s largest university system, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).

Skip is the former Director of Economic and Social Analysis for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). He previously served almost 10 years as a Senior Economist for Technology Policy for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He left the federal service in June 2006 to focus his research on developing a more robust technology and behavioral characterization of energy efficiency resources for use in energy and climate policy analyses and within economic policy models. He also provides technical support for a variety of local governments in the development of energy and climate profiles, especially as they positively shape and enhance long-term sustainable development goals. Among his most recent efforts include work for the World Bank, IMPLAN Group LLC, Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy, International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC), International Energy Agency (IEA), San Diego County, California and the Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam and Den Haag (MRDH) in Netherlands.

In 1998 Skip was awarded EPA’s Gold Medal for his work with a team of economists to evaluate the impact of different strategies that might assist in the implementation of smart climate policies. In 2003 the US Combined Heat and Power Association gave him an award to acknowledge his contributions to the policy development of that industry. In 2004 his paper, “How Far Energy Efficiency?” catalyzed new research into the proper the characterization of efficiency as a long-term resource.

Author of more than 360 book chapters, journal articles, and reports, Skip has 48 years of involvement in the economic, environmental and energy policy arenas. He has provided technical seminars in diverse places as Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, and Spain. He has a master’s degree in Resource Economics from Antioch University



  • If you take a step back and look at the current state of the United States economy from a true macro perspective – our economy is slipping out from under us.
  • Why aren’t more people talking about this big picture/big economic impacts of climate change? Skip shares important insights into how we can start asking the right questions and igniting dynamic dialogue to get beyond what we are doing in the moment.
  • Good example of what Skip is trying to illustrate: consider this…when we look at waste per person, we are at 4 pounds per person per day in the United States. But, if you take into account air quality, animal waste, carbon output – that waste picture jumps to 260 pounds per person per day. We don’t track things in the same way, and we don’t look at the long term or big picture – this needs to change.
  • What will it take to get us to a place where we are asking the right questions, engaging in the needed dialogue and taking action? It will take trust – listen to this podcast to understand how we can build this…. how we must build it.
  • What can you do today to take action? Skip shares personal insights as to what we all can do to make things happen starting now.
  • What is community home economics? What does it take to sustain/maintain a community in terms of public infrastructure, services offered, etc? It is about awakening to the connection that we all have to each other and our environment.


Music used in this podcast is copyrighted and licensed through Turtle Island Records/Libby Roderick Music