Thursday, February 2, 2012

Roger Pielke Speaks at Crawford School

Roger Pielke spoke today at the Crawford School about his book The Climate Fix. He mainly focused on how the only real solution to the climate change problem is decarbonization of the energy supply. Energy efficiency will have less effect and population control or reducing GDP are non-starters and will have a relatively small effect. He spent a lot of time on how the required rates of decarbonization to reach climate change targets like reducing emissions by 80% by 2050 are much more rapid than any historical changes. This is true, but doesn't mean it is impossible as we haven't really tried to do it yet. The question is more about political feasibility. His answer is we need to make climate policy a positive about innovation and green jobs rather than a negative about cutting back and being dictated to by science which just ends up with backlash from the public and vested interests. He is in favor of a low carbon tax with the proceeds being earmarked for innovation. I don't really disagree with these conclusions but I think he plays up the unfeasibility thing too much. And he didn't really discuss the political aspects much or really focus on his policy options. In fact some audience members told me afterwards that they didn't think he talked about policy at all.


Following an exchange on Roger's blog he pointed to an article he wrote that expands more on the proposed policy than he did in his talk.

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