May 9, 2014
Earlier this week, I asked whether Americans would ever come around to understanding the dangers of climate disruption, as the latest report calls it.
Over at On Science Blogs, Tabitha M. Powledge claims to have the answer:
Learn from the Koch brothers. Learn from the Supreme Court rulings on unlimited and anonymous political funding. And then take action. Get rich guys to bankroll a foundation that will underwrite torrential ad campaigns in places where electing candidates committed to new climate-change policies can make a difference.
She mentions a few rich people who should understand this: Bill and Melinda Gates, maybe even Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul who might not survive water shortages at his Las Vegas properties, if it comes to that. It's not a bad idea, unless no rich people want to do it.
Powledge elsewhere rounds up a lot of good reading on the latest National Climate Assessment. I leave you in her hands.
May 7, 2014
[Editor's note: Please see the comments below, which note that the Washington Post and the New York Times played the story more prominently on Tuesday than what I saw today. -PR.]
What will it take to get the American people to understand the dangers of climate change? Is there anything that can awaken them?
Many Americans and others understand what's happening and what's at stake, but the disturbing and puzzling reality is that many do not. And even as scientists strengthen their consensus view of the risks, the U.S. government seems nowhere near a consensus view of its own.
November 15, 2012
The idea of taxing carbon emissions to address climate change is once again in the air in Washington. But it could prove no more popular this time than it did in 2009 when President Obama tried to get a climate-change bill through Congress, and failed.
Seth Borenstein at The AP has written a nice scene-setter, which refers to recent reports on the subject (but doesn't link to them!) and surveys the political landscape. (Ouch; the mixed metaphors are mine, not Borenstein's.) To get a sense of the depth of feeling on this issue, note that Borenstein reports that the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking access to Treasury Department emails on the subject.
Before you place your bets for or against a carbon tax, read Borenstein.