17 October 2010

Obstacles to Communication

I have just been engaging in a dialogue with a reviewer of The Climate Fix at Amazon.com who is telling people that the book's main policy recommendation is advocacy of carbon capture and sequestration (!), which is pretty far from the mark, to be polite.

I have responded to the reviewer as follows, but somehow I think that a fair representation of the book may not be this reviewer's priority -- an occupational hazard I suppose;-)
Sorry, but you are dramatically misrepresenting my book.

In it I call for a carbon tax and investment in a wide range of activities related to technological innovation and expanding energy access especially in the parts of the world presently without. My focus on innovation includes a focus on nuclear, as I explicitly recommend a stance of "technological agnosticism" in pursuing energy innovation (and as I say in the book, expressing the magnitude of the decarbonization challenge in terms of equivalent nuclear power plants is not a statement about nuclear power plants -- you can substitute coal plants with 100% CCS if you'd prefer, or wind turbines or solar thermal plants -- it does not alter the conclusions). Chapter 9 outlines a wide range of such policies, none of which include advocating CCS. Virtually all of the reviews and discussion of the book emphasize it's emphasis on a technology-led policy funded by a low-but-rising price on carbon. My discussion of CCS is very limited (as it should be given that it is not a focus on the book or its recommendations), but you can find a brief discussion of the significant technological obstacles on p.133.