Thursday, August 11, 2011

Might as well disagree with Andrew Dessler too

From my previous post about the To the Point radio show on climate change, Andrew Dessler also showed up on the show to discuss why climate legislation failed. He said that Obama had one bullet and two targets, and for understandable reasons chose to take aim at the target of health care reform.

The way I'd rephrase that is Obama and the Congressional Democrats chose to take a year and a half to fire one bullet, and that killed the chance to push for a second target. There were legitimate reasons for the strategy, but the shared mistake was in failing to simply get the exact same health care reform done quickly in six months and pronounce it the victory that it was, not just the best compromise they could get through Congress. I agree with Andrew that health care was the key to climate action failing, but there's more to it than that.

I'm making this pronouncement having just bought Eric Pooley's book on this subject, The Climate War. I can proudly say the first three or so pages don't expressly disagree with my thesis. Maybe I'll have more to say when I've finished it.


John said...

I can hardly wait to hear the report on the book by Mr Pooley--deputy editor of Bloomberg BusinessWeek. (according to amazon review).

I'd suggest the scientific community, rather than reading "how we got FUBARed again," would better spend its time, a là ALEC, writing the legislation it wants to see enacted and electing representatives who will pass it.

We already clearly KNOW "the key to climate action failing." Big business has become massively rich and powerful selling resources and products at far below their true costs. It doesn't want to consider the loss of that control and privilege that must occur if we are to deal sanely with the future of our species.

John Puma

Brian said...

You're right John that the bad actors doing the wrong thing are the key problem. Beyond that though we have to look at the actors who have the right goals and see how well they worked to get those goals.

Anonymous said...

"would better spend its time, a là ALEC, writing the legislation it wants to see enacted "

I've spent the past couple of years next door to the legislative sausage factory, with several friends on the inside, and this is in fact a decent approach - but harder than one might think. I think a lot of legislation submitted by Congressmen ends up drawing heavily from stuff submitted by lobbyists (NGOs, industry folks, etc.) because they just don't have enough staff with technical expertise to handle all the legislation writing (remember, most staffers are in their mid-20s, working for peanuts because they get a thrill for being on the Hill).

The problem is that for legislation to work, there is a lot that needs to go into it - both political log-rolling type stuff but also just understanding how it interacts with other legislation, how it needs to be written so as to be constitutional, how much flex-room to give the Executive Branch for implementation and how much to write up strict requirements, how not to create perverse incentives, how to minimize required paperwork (which everyone hates) while including enough paperwork to make sure that stuff can actually be tracked so it will actually happen... it just isn't that easy...


Luboš Motl said...

One bullet is really a rather small number. A creative solution is necessary. For example, collect all climate alarmists, place them near a big tank of explosives, and use the single bullet to activate the explosive.

If you think that this is violent, well, don't blame me for that, it's just an idea invented by the alarmists under the "No Pressure" trademark.

willard said...

No Pressure is Making Lubos Do It

Capcha is pogonumb.

EliRabett said...

Ooo the Troll game, Lubos in the barrel. Kind of an obscure middle european specialty.

Like Wiley said the pack sometimes plays a game in which, during the middle of our discussion of say, Ms Prof. Dr. Curry's nervous breakdown, one member will interject a statement such as "Gee what would happen if we blew up some Greenies " or "Why don't Czechs evolve resistance to right wing nonsense" or Lumo's best yet, "Anders Brevik made a lot of sense!", while one member with a stopwatch times how long it is before we get back to whatever of Ms. Dr. Prof. Curry's points we had been discussing. You would be surprised how entertaining this can be, and how difficult it sometimes is to return to the discussion at hand.

Adam said...

Banishment is the proper disposition for trolls, particularly the wartier sort who enjoy violent rhetoric.
Adam R.