Here is an excerpt:
. . . if I had to choose one of two bumper stickers for our car — CLIMATE CRISIS or ENERGY QUEST — I’d choose the latter. This doesn’t mean I reject the idea that we face a climate crisis. I just don’t think that phrase is a productive way to frame this challenge, particularly as defined over the last few years in the heated policy debate. . .Check it out.
The world is not remotely engaged in the kind of energy quest that would be required to fill the gaps defined above. I’m talking about a sustained quest, from the household light socket to the boardroom, the laboratory to the classroom, the smart post-industrial American city to the struggling, (literally) powerless sub-Saharan village. This is not some onerous task, but an active, positive assertion that the ways we harvest and use energy — an asset long taken for granted and priced in ways that mask its broader costs — really do matter. Dry places do this with water all the time. In Israel, there is no toilet without two flush options. It’s not some goofball green concept; it’s just the way things are done.
You’ve heard a lot about an energy revolution of late, involving a (temporary) burst of spending from the stimulus legislation. But it’s building from a paltry base of both public and private investment in the energy arenas where breakthroughs could really expand the menu of energy options required to sustain a prospering, healthy planet as the human growth spurt crests. I’m not saying that a sustained investment in scientific research is remotely sufficient, on its own, to drive an energy transformation. But I do see levels of investment in such inquiry as a proxy for our overall interest in this issue.