Saturday, August 03, 2013

Improving (Or At Least Not Worsening) The Environment

As a conservationist (not an environmentalist) I can easily get on board with this:
We need a deep rethinking on the policy front. The problems of climate science need to be disaggregated. How do we help China and India move from coal to less carbon-intensive forms of energy use. How do we accelerate the US shift from coal to cleaner natural gas? How can we accelerate the shift from an industrial economy to an information economy in ways that allow the economy to grow and living standards to rise without making the environment worse off.

Environmental policy thinkers almost always begin with statist, top-down fixes, and quickly embrace crony capitalist ideas that involve subsidies for certain types of energy production, such as the ethanol abomination. Powerful economic lobbies then run with these ideas, perverting them until their environmental benefits take a back seat to their usefulness as tools of wealth capture.
The problem is that for many so-called environmentalists, improving the environment isn't what they're really after.  That's why so many of them are against relatively cheap electricity provided by safe, clean, mature nuclear technology.

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