I’ve been swamped, blah blah blah, here’s some more good stuff to read:
* Engineer-Poet yells at the American people about high gas prices. It’s for their own good.
* RealClimate reviews the three big climate-change books of the past year. It picks Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe as its favorite. (Denis Hayes reviewed the book for Grist; I interviewed Kolbert.)
* Watthead brings news of a new bill just introduced by a bipartisan (through mostly Democrat) group of senators: the Enhanced Energy Security Act of 2006 (press release here). It is focused on long-term reduction of American oil use. Amazingly, it does more than subsidize ethanol. There are real conservation targets in there, as well as some stuff with light-weight and electric cars. It almost seems like — dare I speak the words — a good bill. Naturally it will die in committee.
* Bill Clinton gives good speech:
You may see $100 a barrel oil in the next two or three years, but what still is driving this globalization is the idea that is you cannot possibly get rich, stay rich and get richer; if you don’t release more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. That was true in the industrial era; it is simply factually not true. What is true is that the old energy economy is well organized, financed and connected politically. The new energy economy is underfinanced, under organized, entrepreneurial and in need of the type of research and development work that we routinely did when we were trying to sequence the human genome or go into space. But just with existing technologies for conservation and clean energy, we can more than meet the Kyoto protocols if we were remotely serious about the targets and in the process create jobs in the developed and developing world on a scale that is otherwise unimaginable to me.
* This short interview with economist Philip Verleger will tell you more about why gas prices are high than anything you’ve heard from Washington in the last several months. And the solution proposed by this TIME editorial — namely, Drive Less! — would do more to address the problem than the year’s federal legislation combined. (both via EB)
* Organic cotton may finally be overcoming the resistance of Big Ag, says Joel Makower.