Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Denial "no longer an acceptable response"

Churchill said that the night after Pearl Harbor he slept like a baby, because he knew that the US and Britain were finally united against Germany and Japan.

I've been sleeping a lot better lately. I still occasionally wake up thinking about arctic methane and methane hydrate. But months ago I realized that, although an Obama presidency wasn't inevitable then, action on climate change was.

This is just the seal on that promise.

Now what do we need to do?

Other than cap and trade, the speech is short on means. What we could use now is a massive national education effort on stabilization wedges. There are several versions of the wedge theory, each with different emphasis.

I like John Holdren's (of the Kennedy School and Woods Hole) version because it's more universal and embodies a better understanding of feedbacks from soils and forests:

Seven stabilization wedges:

Energy efficiency
Methane management
Decarbonized electricity
Decarbonized fuels
Decarbonized transportation (electric cars, etc)
Forests and soils

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