Tuesday, May 01, 2018
Climate Change activists warn of draconian measures against consumers in the future, sooner rather than later; "The Matrix"
David Roberts of Vox has published (April 28) a draconian paper on climate change, “It’s time to think seriously about cutting off the supply of fossil fuels”, link.
Roberts goes into a discussion of “Restrictive Supply Side” (“RSS”) policies, and comes to the support of activists who have used vigorous demonstrations and the use of force or sitdowns to obstruct energy projects like the oil pipelines.
There is not enough attention in the essay, however, to the problem of what this should mean to individual Americans. I still haven’t bought a hybrid car, although I could have in 2015 when another car was totaled in an accident (caused by the other party). Moreover, I’ve insisted that any car I buy have long distance range because my own “business model” has always required some long trips alone. Is there something wrong with this?
We saw previews of the implication of this kind of debate in the 1970s with gasoline rationing, prompted at the time by oil supply crises.
Roberts has a 2x2 matrix describing the four quadrants of climate policy: Restrictive and supportive (of substitutes) as rows, supply-side and demand-side as columns.
Roberts has a more recent paper, May 1, “The world’s bleak climate situation, in 3 Parts”, here . Right now, we’re headed to 3 degrees C (5 F) by 2100, but it could be as bad as 5 C (8 degrees). Instead of “climate science denial”, you could have a debate on how to live with it, from a policy perspective, if it happens. But you would have tremendous displacement of coastal populations, and much stronger storms, floods and droughts.