The beginning of the end, for inaction on climate change? I hope so, though it certainly wont be easy.
With economic activity down, anything that can be portrayed as raising energy costs could face big hurdles in Congress. And Mr. Obama’s broader call for an energy revolution also could require him to overcome what he called America’s “shock and trance” cycle as oil prices spike and collapse.
The challenges that must be faced will continue to seem insurmountable as long as the economy is pitted against the environment. Thankfully more and more people are beginning to realize that that is the wrong way of looking at the problem.
Here is the good news: the bold steps that are needed to solve the climate crisis are exactly the same steps that ought to be taken in order to solve the economic crisis and the energy security crisis.
Economists across the spectrum — including Martin Feldstein and Lawrence Summers — agree that large and rapid investments in a jobs-intensive infrastructure initiative is the best way to revive our economy in a quick and sustainable way. Many also agree that our economy will fall behind if we continue spending hundreds of billions of dollars on foreign oil every year. Moreover, national security experts in both parties agree that we face a dangerous strategic vulnerability if the world suddenly loses access to Middle Eastern oil…
Here’s what we can do — now: we can make an immediate and large strategic investment to put people to work replacing 19th-century energy technologies that depend on dangerous and expensive carbon-based fuels with 21st-century technologies that use fuel that is free forever: the sun, the wind and the natural heat of the earth.
After decades of inaction, the signs that the Obama administration is going to tackle this problem are certainly promising.