Can Grist Widen the Climate Debate?

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorOct 15, 2010 8:15 PM


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Ryan Lizza, a reporter for The New Yorker, stopped by the Grist office yesterday to chat about his widely read article on

How the Senate and White House missed their best chance to deal with climate change

Today, David Roberts provides the highlights of the chat, in which he notes at the end of his post:

These are grim days for climate watchers, to be sure, but I appreciate him [Lizza] dropping by and telling it straight.

Well, no argument there. But if they're looking for someone else to chat with about a bigger set of uncomfortable truths, they should consider asking this guy to drop by the office on Monday, after his Town Hall Seattle talk, which is advertised as thus:

Why can't the world successfully address global warming? Science-policy expert Roger Pielke says it's not the fault of those who reject the Kyoto Protocol, but those who support it and the magical thinking it represents. Pielke, author of The Climate Fix, says that to repair climate policy, we need to shift the debate from meaningless targets toward a revolution in how the world's economy is powered, neutralizing the venomous politics surrounding the crisis.

I make this suggestion to Grist because several days ago a "white paper" outlining this paradigm shift was released to much fanfare and criticism. Roberts, in particular, laid out his opposition to this proposed shift in climate policy. Roger Pielke Jr. argues just as forcefully that such an alternative framework represents the only chance to meaningfully address carbon dioxide emissions on a global level. I'd like to see Roberts and Pielke, two very smart guys, go head to head on this. So Grist, either send someone over to the Town Hall to challenge Pielke on his argument, or have him over for a chat. Given that "these are grim days for climate watchers," I would think that having a debate on alternative solutions to global warming would be a healthy thing to do at one of the premier environmental journalism outlets.

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