Politics The Conservatives are Right. Sorta.
posted by April 7 at 8:33 AMon
An op/ed in Sunday’s NYT makes an obvious, but overlooked point:
Our current technologies cannot support both a decline in carbon dioxide emissions and an expanding global economy. If we try to restrain emissions without a fundamentally new set of technologies, we will end up stifling economic growth, including the development prospects for billions of people.
In other words, going cold turkey on emissions will in fact destroy our economy unless we figure out new ways of doing business.
Creating new technologies needs to become a loud and central part of the liberal agenda. Otherwise, when we scream for caps, the business lobby is going to correctly tell us hard caps are bad for the economy. And then it becomes our goody-goody righteousness vs. their practical reality (and their practical reality is compelling given that it fires up the economy.)
That debate distracts from where liberals should be putting their energy. The debate shouldn’t be framed by caps, it should be framed by liberals coming in with a pro-business pitch, pushing for massive investments in the transition to green technologies, like rapid mass transit for one.