Next up, H. Jeffrey Leonard, president of the Global Environment Fund. He wants America to "get real."

1. Aggregate global use of fossil fuels will not fall in the next two decades.

2. American "energy independence" is an unrealistic pipe dream driving bad policy.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

3. The Biofuels Initiative won’t achieve anything environmentally speaking, and is a grotesque example of pork barrel politics.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

4. Consumer and lifestyle steps being taken by Americans are all but irrelevant.


One interesting point: China has no domestic access to natural gas. No nation has ever cleaned up its pollution or dealt with its environmental problems without natural gas. China’s going to fight for LNG.

Another: our energy R&D peaked in ’79-’80 and has declined ever since. Renewables were 2% of that spending back then; now they’re 0.2%.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Another: energy prices are the third rail of American politics. We know we need much higher energy prices, but it’s death for any politician.

Another: we need to set priorities for energy policy. We’re all over the place. 30% of new electricity supply in the last few decades have come from energy efficiency. Why aren’t we focusing on that?