Andy Revkin’s Dot Earth blog on the New York Times site has moved from the science section to the opinion section, to reflect Revkin’s shift from a veteran staff reporter to a freelancer. He kicks things off at his new digs by explaining why he prefers to think about a collective “energy quest” rather than a “climate crisis.”

“This doesn’t mean I reject the idea that we face a climate crisis. I just don’t think that phrase is a productive way to frame this challenge, particularly as defined over the last few years in the heated policy debate,” he writes.

Climate change might be the reason for the trek, he seems to be arguing, but we complete that journey by watching the ground at our feet and the path ahead (by developing and implementing smart energy solutions), not by fixating on the starting point.

We’re not even close to investing what we should be, he points out. U.S. R&D funding for energy is a pittance compared to other areas. Here’s a sobering graph Revkin borrows from Kei Koizumi, formerly of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy:

Nondefense R$D spendingAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science via Dot Earth

 

That doesn’t even count military spending, shown here:

Defense research spendingAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science via Dot Earth