Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Environment

My Critique of Nordhaus and Shellenberger

DeathofEnviroGuys.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

My latest DeSmogBlog entry is up--it's a reaction to the recent Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger piece in the New Republic, which in turn is an excerpt/adaptation from their new book Break Through. You'll recall that these guys are the stylish authors of the famed "Death of Environmentalism" essay (PDF). Anyways, I think Nordhaus and Shellenberger are largely right, but also not really as revolutionary as you (or they) might think. As I put it:

Not only do Nordhaus and Shellenberger get the central global warming message right--they go farther with detailed policy prescriptions. The bulk of their New Republic article explains why we must invest massively in new clean energy innovations, instead of just emphasizing caps on pollution all the time. After all, the latter strategy quickly and inevitably leads to counter-charges about wrecking the economy and keeping people poor--and suddenly we find economics cutting against environmental interests, rather than working in their favor. My main problem with this line of argument is that I don't disagree with it--which is precisely the point. I mean, does anyone deny that global warming is fundamentally an energy problem, and that solving it will necessitate bringing online innovative new technologies that let us power our societies in a way that's both cheaper and cleaner?

Michael Shellenberger responded to my DeSmogBlog piece in the comments. Nordhaus and Shellenberger also have a lengthy Grist essay responding to critics.

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In