There is a Lesson Here

January 26th, 2005

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.

From Robert Bryce, writing in Slate yesterday,

“… a curious transformation is occurring in Washington, D.C., a split of foreign policy and energy policy: Many of the leading neoconservatives who pushed hard for the Iraq war are going green. James Woolsey, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and staunch backer of the Iraq war, now drives a 58-miles-per-gallon Toyota Prius and has two more hybrid vehicles on order. Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy and another neocon who championed the war, has been speaking regularly in Washington about fuel efficiency and plant-based bio-fuels. The alliance of hawks and environmentalists is new but not entirely surprising. The environmentalists are worried about global warming and air pollution. But Woolsey and Gaffney—both members of the Project for the New American Century, which began advocating military action against Saddam Hussein back in 1998—are going green for geopolitical reasons, not environmental ones.”

Here is what Dan Sarewitz and I wrote on this two years ago,

“We believe that progress on developing cost-effective carbon-free energy sources will be more quickly stimulated through direct investments in energy research and technology justified for their own sake. If nothing else, the focus on climate uncertainty has distracted us from the fact that there are plenty of reasons to improve energy policy, not least of which are the national security benefits gained from energy independence, the environmental and health benefits of cleaner fuels, and the long-term economic efficiencies that can be delivered by renewable energy sources.”

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