Tuesday, May 4, 2010

the need for a new energy debate

USN&WR's Brian Kelly had a helpful introduction to a recent issue of his magazine, which focused on energy, pollution, and global warming. (I can't find it on-line; this is the closest I could get.)

Here's an excerpt:

It can fairly be said that in the past decade, the climate debate has dominated all discussions of energy policy-- and not necessarily in a good way. A cadre of scientists and their political allies were certain about catastrophic global warming and unyielding in their demands for draconian action. Now, we're seeing a backlash that, while uncovering some major mistakes in the theory, may also be sweeping away legitimate concerns....Whatever happened to plain old air pollution?...The goal, it seems, is to find energy that is clean and secure and economical. But can we have all three? [And] Is 'climate change' the wrong way to frame the energy debate?

Good stuff-- and (surprisingly) some relatively obvious angles I had not considered:

1.) what about pollution?!
2.) global warming has dominated the energy policy debate (and shouldn't)
3.) the need to frame the question in terms of our multiple goals and acknowledging potential trade-offs between those goals


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