The President went to Alaska to highlight the issue of climate change. The region is warming faster than lower latitudes, and is a hint of where we are all going. In addition to being a tragedy in its own right, the warming of the Arctic opens new and dangerous space for international competition. Finally, was Obama hypocritical or pragmatic in his disconcerting support for Arctic drilling while warning of the apocalypse? We discuss.
The reading list:
- "Polar Amplification" makes the arctic vulnerable.
- Obama's speech in Alaska
- International competition in a melting Arctic
- Denali's name change, and Obama's support for Native Americans
WaPo says “focus on oil consumption, not production.”
- The key to meaningful climate action is not to haphazardly reject oil projects in the vain hope that people elsewhere will decline to produce oil, too. It is to reduce demand for fossil fuels, either by mandating reductions in their use, which Obama has done, or by slapping a fee on carbon dioxide emissions, which is the economically rational way to tackle climate change,
McKibben says " Can't negotiate with physics!"
- But climate change isn’t like that. Balton — and Obama, and almost everyone else in power — makes the same simple-but-deadly category mistake. They think the relevant negotiation is between the people who want to drill and the people who don’t. But actually, this negotiation is between people and physics. And therefore it’s not really a negotiation.
Who’s right on that one??
Because we recognize the necessity of personal accountability for our actions, because we accept responsibility for building a durable future and because we believe it is our patriotic duty as citizens to speak out, we must insist that the United States put a price on carbon.
Thanks for listening.