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Americans and Climate Change: Incentives: Scientists

"Americans and Climate Change: Closing the Gap Between Science and Action" (PDF) is a report synthesizing the insights of 110 leading thinkers on how to educate and motivate the American public on the subject of global warming. Background on the report here. I'll be posting a series of excerpts (citations have been removed; see original report). If you'd like to be involved in implementing the report's recommendations, or learn more, visit the Yale Project on Climate Change website. Today, we take a look at the kind of professional incentives that discourage academic scientists from communicating with the public more clearly and forcefully about global warming.

Let’s all buy a bicycle and break our leg

Words fail me: Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, said gas wouldn't be so high today if ANWR was in production now. He scoffed at the notion that America should kick its fossil fuel habit. "Let's everybody buy a bicycle," Young said. "Let's all buy a bicycle and break our leg, and let's go back to being China. And by the way, who's the largest consumer of automobiles today? It's China, not us, China. They also -- and some may take me to task -- they say (the Chinese) don't burn much fuel. They burn over 7 billion barrels of oil a year." China, according the U.S. Energy Information Administration, burns 7 million barrels of oil a day, which comes to 2.6 billion barrels a year. China was the world's third largest automobile market last year, Businessweek reported in March, after the United States and Japan. Can someone explain to me why Alaska keeps electing these people?

Gore! Gore! You can’t make me stop!

Atrios says: On Wednesday an inconvenient truth was the #11 movie in the country despite being in only 4 theaters, earning $78,994 ($19,749/theater). The #10 movie was showing at 1,265 theaters, earning 117,000, or $92/theater. Paul Krugman says that substantially reducing greenhouse-gas emissions would do little more than shave a few fractions of a point off our GDP growth, and Matt Yglesias approves. Krugman also says that Gore's re-emergence is a test of our character ($). "Are we -- by which I mean both the public and the press -- ready for political leaders who don't pander, who are willing to talk about complicated issues and call for responsible policies?" Eric Boehlert says the national media, at least, is most definitely not ready, and seems geared up to pull the same crap on Gore they pulled on him in 2000. MediaMatters fact checks Easterbrook's ass. That's gonna leave a mark.

Repopulating the Midwest

Brian Depew at The Rural Populist drew my attention to this story about TAB Funkenwerks, an audio-electronics outfit. They needed a new home for their business. A 30K sq. ft. space in Seattle would have run them, oh, probably $3 million or so. Instead, they bought an abandoned school in Gaylord, Kansas. Off Ebay. For $25,000.

Dope

Environmentalists are all pot-smoking hippies, right? So I assume this news will be of some interest. Since Ezra stole my "martian" conceit, I'll just steal his whole post:

Salon on climate change

Salon has a mini-package of stories today on climate change. The first thing that drew my eye was "Play Paul Revere," which promised "five simple ways individuals can fight global warming." I braced myself for the insipid boilerplate "change a light bulb!" chipperness. But to my immense surprise and gratification, three of the five have to do with engaging your community and your culture. Vote. Donate your time and money. And talk about it with people you know. Official Gristmill Kudos to author Tracy Clark-Flory for keeping it real. Also of interest, Katharine Mieszkowski takes a long, careful look at carbon offsets:

Military focuses on energy

Over at the DefenseTech blog, Noah Shachtman muses on the military's need to wean itself off oil, reacting to comments by Jim Woolsey (PDF). Among other things, he flags the new issue of Defense Technology International (interesting website, though horrendous usability-wise), which is titled "The Military and the End of Oil." It's got pieces on hybrid diesel-electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells, solid-waste lasers (?!), and the DoD's new strategic approach to energy and conservation. Interesting stuff. It's a little depressing to contemplate, but I suspect that 50 years from now we'll look back and realize that, as with so many previous technologies, it was military application that really accelerated clean tech deployment. (ht: reader JH) Update [2006-5-26 12:31:29 by David Roberts]: Ah, I see there's related news over on CleanTechBlog, mainly about the shift to hydrogen.

Americans and Climate Change: Incentives

"Americans and Climate Change: Closing the Gap Between Science and Action" (PDF) is a report synthesizing the insights of 110 leading thinkers on how to educate and motivate the American public on the subject of global warming. Background on the report here. I'll be posting a series of excerpts (citations have been removed; see original report). If you'd like to be involved in implementing the report's recommendations, or learn more, visit the Yale Project on Climate Change website. All right, I realize that nobody is reading this, but dammit, I started posting it and I'm going to finish. It's a shame, really -- this is one of the most interesting chapters. It looks at a variety of professions -- scientists, journalists, educators, politicians, businessfolk, and environmentalists -- and examines the kind of career incentives that discourage active engagement on climate change. It's quite eye-opening. Today I'll just post the intro (super-short!).

Them’s the Breaks

Grist takes Memorial Day off In a burst of spontaneity and goodwill, Grist‘s tall, smolderingly handsome, delightfully witty, dazzlingly intelligent Maximum Leader is giving all …