Highest Rated Comments

BillWeihl41 karma

  1. Bitcoin: way too much energy consumption - and powered too much by fossil fuels today
  2. Nuclear: too expensive today. It makes sense to keep existing plants running. And to do R&D on new safer/cheaper nuclear technologies.
  3. Carbon tax: one potentially useful policy. It's not a silver bullet, however. It's unlikely, for example, to drive rapid decarbonization of transportation or buildings at the pace we need it. There are also serious equity concerns that aren't simple to address.

BillWeihl35 karma


If we stay on our current path, we're in for a lot of pain - potentially devastating extreme weather, lots of human suffering, and massive ecosystem losses.

But we don't have to do that. The IPCC says we need to cut emissions approximately in half by 2030. We have the technology to do that today. But it requires moving much faster than we're moving now. And that takes policies - standards and investment - to move at the speed and scale required.

And we have the creativity to develop solutions for the "hard to decarbonize" sectors (e.g., cement, steel, aviation, marine transport) - we just need to invest in the R&D.

BillWeihl22 karma

  1. Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation, and others are “all in” on climate and the environment. Most companies, if they are doing anything, are focused on their own operations (and maybe their supply chain). We need companies to treat climate like any other issue that could be existential for their business - including in their advocacy.

BillWeihl21 karma

People often point to a carbon tax as something that will drive innovation. The most effective policies that have driven innovation are

  1. Direct investment in R&D (usually by the federal government).
  2. Standards that drive deployment - and the resulting scale drives technologies down the cost curve. State RPSs (Renewable Portfolio Standards) are a great example of this - they helped drive the massive cost reductions for wind and solar over the last 15-20 years.

A modest carbon tax is unlikely to have the same impact on innovation, cost reduction, etc. A very high carbon tax might, but is politically very unlikely to happen. (And the equity concerns get even bigger with a high carbon tax.)

BillWeihl19 karma

But we're not moving quickly enough to enact the kinds of policies we need.

Mostly because the fossil fuel industry is very good at using its influence to stymie useful climate policy.

We need other companies - especially the big tech companies - to step up and advocate. They have tons of influence - they're just not using it much on climate today.

Sign our petition to add your voice calling on Big Tech to lobby for the climate policies we all need: https://1in5for1point5.org/sign-the-petition/