The Greening of the South

Here’s something interesting — a well-informed and honest article from a significant British magazine (Prospect) that looks hard at the core political challenges of global climate stabilization and then draws some actual conclusions. And it’s written by Simon Retallack, who knows his way around both the climate policy debate and the climate movement.

Retallack, now head of Climate Change at the UK’s Institute for Public Policy Research, did not come blithely to the Greenhouse Development Rights perspective, which he here recommends. He’s way too much of a realist for that. But Retallack, as it happens, is an honest realist, one who rejects most of the goods currently being sold under that label as being long, long past their use-by dates. Continue reading “The Greening of the South”

A Critical Appraisal of the Vattenfall Proposal for a Fair Climate Regime

In this report, we expanded our analysis of the Vattenfall Proposal. It wasan interesting exercise, because, with this proposal, Vattenfallstepped beyond generalities and (a first for the business sector, as far as we know) and made a specific, quantitative proposal for a global burden sharing framework that it quite explicitly claimed to be fair.
It turned out that we did not agree. But the proposalstill merits a bit of attention.

Read and download this report from the Heinrich Boell website (external link)

Toward a Defensible Climate Realism

There is change coming to Washington. The question is if it will bechange enough, and when it will arrive. And right now, well let’s just say that reasonable men and women can differ about the demands of climate realism, and its relationship to the logic of Beltway politics. As opposed to, say, the science. Or the demands of justice.

Which is why we wrote [this brief essay]. Continue reading “Toward a Defensible Climate Realism”

The Debt of Nations

The notion of “ecological debt” has been tossed around for a long time, but until the publication of The Depth of Nations and the distribution of ecological impacts from human activities, which, we hasten to note, was published in the Proceedings of the American National Academy of Sciences (here) has such a convincing attempt been made to quantify it.

For interesting reviews, see here and here. And note well the bottom line: “At least to some extent, the rich nations have developed at the expense of the poor and, in effect, there is a debt to the poor.” Thus spoke coauthor Richard B. Norgaard, an ecological economist and UC Berkeley professor of energy and resources. “That, perhaps, is one reason that they are poor. You don’t see it until you do the kind of accounting that we do here.” Continue reading “The Debt of Nations”