For a realistic vision and opinion on climate change legislation, check out the post today on the Atlantic by David Roberts.
He describes how “cap-and-trade’s defeat owes less to policy—the particular balance of penalties and incentives in the legislation—than to the simple fact that climate hawks lack the social, political clout wielded by those who benefit from the fossil fuel status quo.” So what went wrong? Roberts describes that in retrospect, it is “painfully clear, that given the manifold dysfunctions of America politics (filibuster abuse, unrestricted corporate money), the energy status quo is too powerful to take down in direct conflict.”
His proposition for the climate hawks, “heed the lesson America’s revolutionary militias learned after they took a few drubbings at the hands of the British Redcoats: disperse. Take to the hills. Run and gun.”
This militaristic strategy comes from understanding that to change the status quo of the energy industry is more complex than financial figures:
“It’s true that the world’s energy systems are shaped by the relative costs of different technologies. But it’s equally true that those costs are shaped by the distribution of economic and political power. Cost is a cultural artifact–the result of a contingent set of economic models, market regulations, political connections, and consumer habits–as much as an objective feature of technology. Dirty-energy incumbents have spent the last century rigging the rules in their favor. Efforts to change costs must attend to sociopolitical and economic reform as well as technological development.”
Read “Time for Climate Hawks to Take to the Hills?” here.
As we look to the options for addressing these energy and climate challenges, it is important to consider nuclear and renewables energy need to play a part in this dialogue. A combination of nuclear and renewables is probably the best path forward to beat the Redcoats.
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