In the Footsteps of Richard Alley: Mark Hertsgaard's "Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth"

So today’s NY Times Sunday Book Review has a review of what sounds like a good book in the climate change library, HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth, by Mark Hertsgaard, here:

I asked Richard Alley, in our parking lot climate change conversation, if there was any good news, and he said yes. After describing how ranchers/farmers were warming to the idea of wind farms, we agreed that the entrenched business interests of the old energy economy were inhibiting research/adaptation toward the new, and he had a good quote: “The people who will lose money from this shift know who they are, but the people who will gain money from this don’t, yet.”
And the reviewer wisely identifies a significant problem lies in our own country’s and culture’s dim-sighted refusal to believe in the urgency of climate change: “In fact, Hertsgaard’s reporting makes me wonder if there isn’t more hope for the Sahel than for the vulnerable South and Southwest of the United States. After all, why prepare for something — much less try to halt it — if you refuse to believe it’s happening? The American social context too often remains the largest obstacle, Hertsgaard observes, not only to adaptation at home but to cutting emissions globally. It’s not clear how to change this, but an honest, urgent, grown-up national conversation — beginning in Washington — would be a start.”
Obama’s bold (and very difficult) vision and plan for renewable energy is a shift in tone, shooting for a more politically feasible way to approach the problem—convince the culture that jobs will not be only be lost off of a foreign-oil-based economy to one based on local renewables. It’s a start.

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