Essential Summer Reading, Environmental Issues
I am taking a couple of weeks off. But while I’m away, I thought I’d share with you some of the what I consider to be this year’s essential readings on politics. Today, I want to look at the oil spill and climate change legislation.
The first place to start is "Building a Green Economy" (The New York Times, April 5), Paul Krugman’s even-handed primer on the economics of climate change.
There’s no real question that the earth is warming as a result of human activity, with potentially serious or even catastrophic consequences. The real debate is over what we should be doing about it. In "Why the Decision to Tackle Climate Isn’t as Simple as Al Gore Says" (The New Republic, June 22), Jim Manzi argues that full-scale efforts to slow climate change could cost more than they’re worth.
"Is Climate Change Worth Tackling?" (The New Republic, July 5) is Bradford Plumer’s response to Manzi. Plumer argues that Manzi underestimates both the risk of catastrophic disaster and the overall impact of climate change.
In "The Spill, the Scandal and the President" (Rolling Stone, June 8), Tim Dickinson recounts the fascinating and appalling story of what went wrong at the Deepwater Horizon rig, and how BP and the Obama administration tried to minimize the spill rather take the necessary efforts to deal seriously with it.
Finally, if you haven’t seen them already, it’s worth looking at Charlie Riedel’s powerful photos of animals caught in an oil slick off Louisiana’s East Grand Terre Island.
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