There is a nice article by DM at Planet3.0 on the Keystone XL pipeline. I almost didn’t bother read it, ‘cos I’m a bit bored by all that, but I’m glad I did because he gets it quite right in an illuminating way:
The anti-keystone movement, or more generally the entire anti-tar-sands movement, is trying to reduce our GHG emissions by attacking the supply side of the equation. Essentially the strategy boils down to getting governments and corporations to turn their backs and walk away from huge sums of money…
So what is the alternative?
What if instead fighting a never-ending battle against a specific project (like the Keystone XL pipeline) we could focus on reducing demand for fossil fuels. What if instead of asking governments and corporations to walk away from profits we made it so there simply was no demand (or at least reduced demand) for their products and thus no profits to be made in digging up and selling the bitumen buried under the forest in Northern Alberta….
There are many ways to go about achieving this goal, perhaps the two most obvious being some form carbon pricing (a carbon tax or cap-and-trade) and efficiency regulations.
I’m all in favour of Carbon Taxes as you know, against cap-n-trade, and not keen on efficiency regulations.
In other news: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/International Climate Science Coalition closed as redirect to Tom Harris, which is moderately funny.
Eli is talking about some bloke called Gallileo (probably a relative of Galileo Galilei) and his troubles with the Church. He misses the point, which is an interesting angle I think you’ll find, that the Church at the time was quite receptive to GG’s ideas; but GG tried to push them too fast. Vague, possibly not entirely historically accurate summary: the Church was uneasily aware of, say, Copernicus’ work (the Church had some of the best astronomers around, and certainly weren’t ignorant). They were aware they might have to reassess their geocentrism. What they couldn’t do was flip-flop. Because they claim to possess Eternal Truth. So it was OK to have gone from “the Earth is flat / square” (not feeling bound by biblical verses about the four corners of the Earth. “Oh yes, those were just metaphorical you know”.) And heliocentrism could have come in too (the few verses that implied geocentrism were weak, and could have been waved away, as they ultimately were). But they couldn’t afford to switch to heliocentrism before they were sure of it, because switching back again if wrong would have been intolerable.
* Keystone XL decision will define Barack Obama’s legacy on climate change – John Abraham in the Graun.