I’ve had words with Nicholas Kristof before, but I suppose it’s to his credit that he’s finally discovered — and publicized, in a way a lil’ rag like Grist never could — the fact that reducing greenhouse emissions is a profitable enterprise (via Gil Friend). It does not hurt the economy. It helps. Cities that do it save money and make themselves more desirable places to live and work. See: Portland.

"Portland’s efforts refute the thesis that you can’t make progress without huge economic harm," says Erik Sten, a city commissioner. "It actually goes all the other way – to the extent Portland has been successful, the things that we were doing that happened to reduce emissions were the things that made our city livable and hence desirable."

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Putting caps on CO2 emissions would help the overall economy and the public, but it would hurt a few select industries. That’s what Bush means when he says Kyoto would "destroy the economy" — he means, "hurt my campaign contributors." Serving favored business interests is the driving principle of this administration, and Bush is willing to do anything — even publicly snub Tony Blair, his closest and staunchest ally — to serve that principle.

See also Matt Yglesias on the same subject.

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