I’ve had my issues with NYT columnist Nic Kristof in the past, but he’s knocking them out of the park on climate change. His latest hits exactly the right notes. Check it out:

Concern about greenhouse gases and reliance on imported oil usually leads to a focus on the supply side of the energy equation, particularly exotic sources such as wind, solar, waves and hydrogen. … but the low-hanging fruit on the energy front is curbing demand — meaning more energy conservation. And it’s appalling that our government isn’t leading us on that.

This is, as far as I’m concerned, the baseline understanding that separates those with a clue about climate change from those without one: efficiency is the gimme, the biggest, fastest, cheapest step forward. As James Woolsey says, "People have radically overestimated the sacrifice and dramatically underestimated the opportunity."

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.