The torpor with which we here in the U.S. are responding to strong, clear, and persistent signals that the old era — of abundant cheap energy in a stable climate — is ending is nothing short of astonishing.

The fact that supposedly serious people could have a debate about tourism vs. offshore wind turbines is astounding.

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Implicit in such a discussion is the premise that tourism is going to continue even if we don’t build a lot of ways to attain a lot of non-fossil energy.

Perhaps the best best way to understand stories like that is to consult a book outside the “environmental” section — an oldie about what happens when people in power ignore strong, clear, and persistent signals that what they’re doing isn’t making it: The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman.

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