06 October 2010

Interview with Houston Chronicle

Eric Berger, the SciGuy at the Houston Chronicle has the transcript up on his blog of an interview he did with me earlier this week on The Climate Fix.

Here is Eric's introduction to the interview:
Roger Pielke Jr., a climate policy analyst, has a new book out called The Climate Fix in which he argues several points:

1) Science has sufficiently made the case that climate change is a significant threat that requires action.

2) Neither the public nor politicians will accept economic contraction for the purpose of reducing carbon emissions.

This he calls the "iron law of climate policy," and from my reading the book supports this notion pretty well.

3) Cap-and-trade increases the cost of energy and therefore violates the iron law. Furthermore the cap-and-trade-style program envisioned by the Kyoto Protocol has not worked to accelerate carbon emission reductions in Europe.

4) There simply aren't good policy options now available to address climate change, and there haven't been since the problem was identified.

5) Modern energy technology falls far short of what's needed to address climate change.

6) The best potential solution is a slight tax on carbon that would be all but unnoticeable to the public but would generate billions of dollars for much-needed research into alternative energy resources, technologies such as batteries and carbon sequestration.

Overall the book provides a good explanation of why cap-and-trade policies probably will fail on a global scale, and does an very nice job of outlining the magnitude of the challenge of decarbonization. It is enormous in the face of rising energy demand.
Have a look, and let me know if you have any questions!