Monday, January 26, 2009

First move, knights pawn to G3

The first Obama administration move in the tactical and strategic chess game of US climate policy has been made. And it's a interesting tactical choice. The administration told the EPA to reconsider its denial of California's request to begin to control climate emissions from cars.

Why is this interesting tactics?

Because everyone who knows anything about climate policy knows that California is a sideshow and that we need federal-level policy. The outcome of the EPA process in California may be mooted in as little as six months to a year. (Or it could be nationalised.)

But the US public has not been prepared for climate policies. Few actually understand even the basics of the science. California is further down the public awareness road, is a bi-partisan playing field, with popular Republican governor, one of few who supports climate emissions reductions, and is thus a relatively safe pool in which to dip one's toe.

I'm not a great chess player, but I do admire good tactics in public debate.

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