Fallows' cover story is rightly getting attention. Kevin Drum has questions about Chinese clean coal technologies. Dave Roberts, on the other hand, draws a line between what he terms "Dirty F*ckin' Hippies (DFHs)", who don't believe that coal is a necessary part of our energy future, and "Powers That Be (PTBs)", who don't believe coal does enormous environmental damage and don't think that carbon reduction is necessary. Roberts chastises Fallows for framing his article as a rebuke of the former:
If you believe, as Fallows does, that climate change is an urgent, enormous challenge, then it's hard to see the value in worrying that some idealistic green somewhere thinks we can tackle it without coal. Being contrarian toward DFHs is a little ... safe. If "clean coal" development isn't happening in the U.S., it's not because DFHs are against it, it's because nothing is happening in the U.S. A piece focused on that corrupt, criminal inaction might rattle a few cages. A piece reassuring Big Coal and its many backers that they'll always be in the driver's seat won't.
What Jim is doing, I suspect, is framing this argument in a way that cannot be dismissed as DFH-y by the PTBs. But DFHs should get past their coal WTFs ASAP anyhoo.