James Hansen Rebuffs Environmental Groups

I have had harsh words previously for Jim Hansen, former NASA scientist and climate change alarmist who called for oil executives to be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature, but here we are in complete agreement.  Well worth the viewing.

Unfortunately, many environmental groups and one very powerful political figure, Harry Reid, continue to stand in the way of viable alternatives to fossil fuels, such as nuclear energy.

New Big Thinking on Wicked Problems

Roger Pielke Jr. has a thoughtful piece over at The Breakthrough Institute titled The Irrelevance of Climate Skeptics.  Himself, having long been labeled by some as a climate skeptic, Pielke’s seemingly self-effacing perspective is that public opinion on climate change is over and the battle for the plebeian mind has been won by those professing man-made climate change.  But before wicket problemsdelving into Pielke’s intriguing idea, I first offer a comment about the Institute, lead by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus – not household names to those outside the wacky world of environmentalism – whose 2004 essay The Death of Environmentalism featured prominently on the front page of the NYT.

The Institute represents an encouraging paradigm shift, free of the reflexive “us v. them” environmentalism and stodgy party politics and usual partisan divide, with a bevy of new generation, smart research academics and free-thinking policy wonks who care about the human condition and finding practical solutions to some of civilization’s most pressing environmental challenges – or “wicked” problems as David Ropeik likes to call them  – on water, energy, climate, and sustainability.  In 2011, Nordhaus and Shellenberger started the Breakthrough Journal, which The New Republic called “among the most complete answers” to the question of how to modernize liberal thought, and the National Review called “The most promising effort at self-criticism by our liberal cousins in a long time.”  Pretty remarkable collision of liberal and conservative praise.  Check out their website – it’s worth your time, as the Institute’s big think approach is changing the way the next generation will analyze, debate, and govern in a world filled with wicked problems. Continue reading

My new year’s wish – for less politics and more credible voices!

My friend, Larry Schwieger of National Wildlife Federation, tweeted out his new year’s wish, “for a 2013 that ushers in a deeper understanding of how important it is for all to come together to solve the climate crisis.  We owe it to our children and all those who may follow after us.”   It’s a noble wish, and a conservative wish I might add, but one that has about as much chance of happening as hell freezing over.  I have no doubt that Larry genuinely believes that climate change is the most serious threat facing the planet – but Larry’s problem, from my perspective, is that far too many don’t believe what he believes.   It’s not because the object of his wish isn’t important and worthy of discussion or action.  No, it’s because the issue of climate change has become so politicized that there is a paucity of credible, authoritative voices on the matter. Continue reading