Skip to main content

Resolved: I Will Write More About Climate

David Roberts was quoted the other day by Harold Pollack:
For climate change, there are very few Jonathan Cohns, Ezra Kleins, and Merrill Goozners – very few in that non-government, non-NGO middle tier who combine serious knowledge of policy with the ability to write for the general public. The level of policy knowledge on cap-and-trade is abysmal. That goes for the journalists, pundits, and pols just as much as the public.
Something clicked when I read this. I've been feeling recently that I'm sort meandering in my purpose here, that I need to find a bit of a specialty and settle down some. Not that I won't keep publishing lots of random crap, but that I should focus a bit more.

Energy and climate make a lot of sense to me. I've got the science background. I'm a committed environmentalist--Edward Abbey is probably my favorite writer, even today. I know a bit about the policy, and the basic economic logic of externalities, but I don't have the policy depth, particularly on how greenhouse gases are regulated worldwide. 

So, I'm going to start studying. Any reading suggestions would be highly appreciated.


  1. I know it's tangential, but I think you'd enjoy reading some snippets from Dr. Brereton's Hollywood Utopia: Ecology in Comtemporary American Cinema.

    ...And before you ask, yes, I sent a digital copy to your e-mail address. Enjoy, :)

    - B


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Why Did Reality Winner Leak to the Intercept?

So Reality Winner, former NSA contractor, is in federal prison for leaking classified information — for five years and three months, the longest sentence of any whistleblower in history. She gave documents on how Russia had attempted to hack vendors of election machinery and software to The Intercept , which completely bungled basic security procedures (according to a recent New York Times piece from Ben Smith, the main fault lay with Matthew Cole and Richard Esposito ), leading to her capture within hours. Winner recently contracted COVID-19 in prison, and is reportedly suffering some lingering aftereffects. Glenn Greenwald has been furiously denying that he had anything at all to do with the Winner clusterfuck, and I recently got in an argument with him about it on Twitter. I read a New York story about Winner, which clearly implies that she was listening to the Intercepted podcast of March 22, 2017 , where Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill expressed skepticism about Russia actually b

The Basic Instinct of Socialism

This year I finally decided to stop beating around the bush and start calling myself a democratic socialist. I think the reason for the long hesitation is the very long record of horrifying atrocities carried out by self-described socialist countries. Of course, there is no social system that doesn't have a long, bloody rap sheet, capitalism very much included . But I've never described myself as a capitalist either, and the whole point of socialism is that it's supposed to be better than that. So of course I cannot be a tankie — Stalin and Mao were evil, terrible butchers, some of the worst people who ever lived. There are two basic lessons to be learned from the failures of Soviet and Chinese Communism, I think. One is that Marxism-Leninism is not a just or workable system. One cannot simply skip over capitalist development, and any socialist project must be democratic and preserve basic liberal freedoms. The second, perhaps more profound lesson, is that there is no s

Varanus albigularis albigularis

That is the Latin name for the white-throated monitor lizard , a large reptile native to southern Africa that can grow up to two meters long (see pictures of one at the Oakland Zoo here ). In Setswana, it's called a "gopane." I saw one of these in my village yesterday on the way back from my run. Some kids from school found it in the riverbed and tortured it to death, stabbing out its eyes, cutting off its tail, and gutting it which finally killed it. It seemed to be a female as there were a bunch of round white things I can only imagine were eggs amongst the guts. I only arrived after it was already dead, but they described what had happened with much hilarity and re-enactment. When I asked why they killed it, they said it was because it would eat their chickens and eggs, which is probably true, and because it sucks blood from people, which is completely ridiculous. It might bite a person, but not unless threatened. It seems roughly the same as killing wolves that