Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Climate Change

I don't follow the climate change stuff closely.  Perhaps I am just too pessimistic, or just overwhelmed by everything else (ethnic conflict, civil-military relations, Zombies).

Anyhow, here is a link to Gore on the recent stuff.

Some thoughts on the former VP's responses:
  • That the Senate is the big challenge--where interest groups/lobbyists hold sway, but that the House of Rep is actually ok.  This is very interesting, and makes sense since the rules of the Senate empower individuals far more, creating far more vetopoints, making any kind of significant reform hard.  And we have seen this with health care.
  • "We need to create a lot of jobs that can't be outsource."  This is an incredibly interesting claim--that much of the greening of the economy would require local work, not just importing wind turbines, but retrofitting buildings and so forth.
  • On the recent scandal that has raised questions about the data: "To paraphrase Shakespeare, it's sound and fury signifying nothing."  I wish he had been strong enough to be himself in 2000--he might have won decisively.  
  • Al is super-frustrated: "If the people that believed the moon landing was staged on a movie lot had access to unlimited money from large carbon polluters or some other special interest who wanted to confuse people into thinking that the moon landing didn't take place, I'm sure we'd have a robust debate about it right now"
The challenge is that the people who know they are going to be hurt by change are powerful and certain, and the people who would be helped by change are not so power and very much uncertain.  As always, Machiavelli is right.

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