Welcome to the Climate Next discussion.
We're tapping half a dozen innovative thinkers to move the climate debate beyond global treaties and cap-and-trade bills and to the wide world of policy options that haven't yet gotten their due.
It's time to break new ground. In a series of essays published over the next three days, we'll try to build a set of solutions that I think will look less like a climate fix and more like a statement of what industrial policy should look like in America. Outside the magic of a price on carbon, there have to be strategies for meeting the climate challenge.
So taking into account the political realities of our time, what can be done--particularly by US policymakers--to start solving the dual problems of energy poverty in developing nations and global climate change?
Perhaps the most radical suggestion is to move energy research into the national security realm, with the Department of Defense pushing for breakthroughs in wind power, carbon capture, and so forth. But other ideas abound. In the near-term, as many as one-third of the nation's aging fleet of coal plants could go (or be pushed) offline. This period of transition could be a key moment for the nation's energy system.
- • Brainstorming a New Approach to Climate Policy
- • Innovate First, Regulate Later
- • Time for Climate Hawks to Take to the Hills?
- • Tech Will Solve the Climate Crisis Faster Than Laws
- • Don't Screw Up Natural Gas
- • A Clean-Tech Revolution in Four Easy Steps
- • The Other Good Thing About Fighting Climate Change
But new policies are going to be messier than cap-and-trade's easy fix for the market; the hands of people and industries will be visible in their creation. The questions of who pays what and how will be complex. The mechanisms will be many. But, really, did anyone think you could transform the world's most important system with a little tweak far upstream?