LTE from Bill Mittlefehldt

Action on Carbon Reduction

By Bill Mittlefehldt

Venus is too hot, and Mars is too cool. Most of us think Earth is just right. This is why we have begun to change our thinking and behaving. The recent policy leadership from the EPA on carbon reduction is a small step in the right direction. Markets have pushed us into this difficult situation. They have impacts on our natural system that are external to the exchange. The Invisible Hand often ignores nature. But markets will need to get us out of our clear and present danger. Jim Hansen, American leader in climate dynamics, indicates that we have 10 years to change course. This will require changes in identity, culture, institutions and technology. 

Our DNA is roughly 150,000 years old, and it is the focus of this wager. We are betting that we, the bright species, can learn our way out of this labyrinth. Or we end up more like Venus. A growing number of political economists have described how saving energy is like saving money. And harnessing local clean energies is like adding value for generations. It will cost less to address this global risk than it will to continue policies and practices of ignorance and arrogance. Energy markets are driven by our culture which is why it is time to clarify our priorities. Our market mechanism takes direction from our highest commitments. Our kids and grandkids are watching.