These are very smart guys. The puzzle for me, then, is why they believe what they’ve written. I can’t help but think that there’s a case of climate change myopia at work. A big slice of the political spectrum has been so invested in identifying climate change as the ur-energy problem that whenever another energy problem arises, they look to climate policy for a solution. High gas prices? Carbon tax. Oil revenues flowing to Iran? Cap-and-trade. People driving gas guzzlers? More wind and solar. No one is stopping to ask a pretty basic question: are these policies well suited to the problems they’re being newly touted for? Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for strong climate policy. But if people who invoke climate policies as answers to our other energy woes really take those other energy problems seriously, they’ll start proposing solutions that actually do something about them, rather than trying to sell climate policy as something it’s not.
This is good that The Breakthrough Institute (TBI) is calling out the Heritage Foundation. Even better would be if TBI’s Post-Partisan Power collaborator, the American Enterprise Institute, pushed back, too. Or is this a fight that Steven Hayward would rather avoid?
I guess it depends on how strongly he feels about that part in the Post-Partisan Power report that
argues that the federal government should invest roughly $25 billion per year in military procurement, R&D, and a new network of university-private sector innovation hubs to create an energy revolution.
AEI can’t sit on the sidelines after endorsing a bipartisan report on energy and still expect people to take them at their word.
Over at Dot Earth, Andy Revkin engages in some hippie punching. (I’m being facetious–that’s David Roberts’ favorite term for anyone who criticizes progressives on climate politics and policy.) Here’s Revkin making an equivalence between “Birthers” and a segment of the climate community that remains stuck in its own echo chamber:
It’s easy to forget that there’s been plenty of climate denial to go around. It took a decade for those seeking a rising price on carbon dioxide emissions as a means to transform American and global energy norms to realize that a price sufficient to drive the change was a political impossibility.
As a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found, even when greenhouse-gas emissions caps were put in place, trade with unregulated countries simply shifted the brunt of the emissions elsewhere.
You mean political progressives can be in denial about inconvenient facts, too? C’mon Andy, how is that being helpful to the cause?
Jane Poynter and seven compatriots agreed to spend two years sealed inside a 3-acre terrarium in the Sonoran Desert. Their mission back in the 1990s: To see whether humans might someday be able to create self-sustaining colonies in outer space.
during the first two-year mission that began in 1991, the Biosphere was beset by one problem after another: Oxygen dwindled, and the sea became acidic. Crops failed, causing the bionauts to lose weight rapidly, while ants and other insects thrived.
But enough about the humans. What happened to the actual Biosphere? In his AP story, Breed writes:
Two decades later, the only creatures inhabiting Biosphere 2 are cockroaches, nematodes, snails, crazy ants and assorted fish. Scientists are still using the 7.2-million-square-foot facility, only now the focus is figuring out how we’ll survive on our own warming planet.
The new reconstituted plans for the enclosed Biosphere will not simulate reality again, though, and involve humans as part of the experiment.
Here’s a nice talk by Poynter about both the original scientific goals and the personal ordeal.