The nothingness that is the new energy bill

June 27th, 2007

Posted by: admin

First, as an aside, my favorite quote on the new web in a long time: ‘This is what happens, he suggests, “when ignorance meets egoism meets bad taste meets mob rule.”‘ From this review of Andrew Keen’s The Cult of the Amateur. I suspect Roger will agree with that sentiment as applied to blogs (the review specifically singles out blogs as fitting that mold). I actually don’t. I think it takes some combing, but some blogs provide just as much insight and detailed intellectual analysis on our societal issues as the best full-time “professional” commentators.

Second, you’ve probably realized that Prometheus is now in the midst of its normal summerly slowdown. We are academics after all, and we like to take the summers off. I (and probably Roger, despite his telling y’all that he was done) will be throwing posts up here and there throughout the summer, but it’s going to be slow until late August or early September.

Finally, to the subject of this post. For now I’ll let Thomas Friedman say it for me about the “new” energy bill that the Senate passed last week:

The whole Senate energy effort only reinforced my feelings that we’re in a green bubble — a festival of hot air by the news media, corporate America and presidential candidates about green this and green that, but, when it comes to actually doing something hard to bring about a green revolution at scale — and if you don’t have scale on this you have nothing — we wimp out. Climate change is not a hoax. The hoax is that we are really doing something about it.

Then again, the debate on this energy bill was a lot less about climate than about energy independence. Watching how hard it was to get even this pidly little bill passed, that Congress will address energy independence and climate simultaneously now seems as remote as ever. It really makes you wonder who is talking to the editorial page writers of the major papers, some of whom ate the bait and ponied up that this was a significant new change in energy policy. The weakness of this bill tells me more than ever that we better start thinking a lot harder about adaptation to anthropogenic climate change, lest we follow the fate of Jared Diamond’s not-so-shining examples.

One Response to “The nothingness that is the new energy bill”

  1. Russell Seitz Says:

    Sequels to Big Theories tend to disappoint, and Diamond’s current examples are less than shining.

    Just as Mr. Gore has lately been invoking Venus to distract us from the tendentiousness of his terrestrial policy agenda, Diamond has been literally driven to the ends of the Earth in pursuit of evidence for his grand design.

    Invoking ecosystem collapse on utterly isolated Easter Island is a singularly underwhelming stratagem , when in both North America and Australia, indigenous cultures continued to prosper for eons despite driving whole genera of megafauna to extinction without benefit of guns , germs, or steel.