Don't Miss This Story

I'm crashing on a big magazine piece this week that is due sooner than I'd like it to be, so blogging will be light. But I do want to direct everyone's attention to James Fallows's cover story in the new December issue of The Atlantic (best read in print, so please subscribe!) on the promise, and necessity, of developing clean coal technology--it's a must-read story. Several of us at The Atlantic's website, here, here, and here, paid tribute yesterday to our colleague Marc Ambinder, who has wrapped up his pioneering blog and decamped for the National Journal. Jim's story is a more traditional kind of journalism that The Atlantic has been practicing for 153 years, "pioneering" in the sense that it introduces you do a new idea or a new way of looking at an old idea that changes your perspective entirely. To my mind, his story on coal is a classic of the genre. Before reading it, I thought I knew what I needed to know about coal and especially the possibility that it could serve as a "clean" source of energy: I thought it was bunk, an expensive fiction propagated to buy the support of coal-state lawmakers for true clean energy programs. After reading the story, I don't think that anymore. So be sure not to miss it.

*Bonus reason to read it: In the vastly narrower universe of what the next Congress might act on, coal is a real possibility.