Saturday, July 19, 2008

Petrol-funded US thinktank says 100% green energy possible in 10 yrs

from the FT

Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington thinktank, said: "Mr Gore has moved a long way from the solutions recommended in An Inconvenient Truth : replace your light bulbs with compact fluorescents, buy a hybrid car, and telecommute from home.

"We couldn't come close to [his] goal of producing all our electricity from solar, wind, and geothermal energy in 10 years without coercive, even authoritarian government."

It's not always easy getting the "other side" of a story, journalistically speaking. Especially when one side is Al Gore speaking about global warming. Invariably, protesters will either be energy companies or -- as in this case -- the organizations funded by them.

This is a good example of how even high-end reporting can be undermined by the twin perils of time-constraint and a lack of willing takers.

The paradox in this case is that Mr. Ebell is right: confronting global warming will require governmental "coercion" of the interests he represents, as prescribed by an overwhelming majority of Americans -- in other words, a fairly straightforward democratic process. That he has chosen to label this authoritarian is more than likely because the outcome does not benefit his employers.

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