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America's Denial Damages Climate Change Efforts

By Editorial Dept | Sat, 15 December 2012 00:00 | 0

Given safe haven from the impact of climate change by their privilege and wealth, the decision-making elite of the US has no intention of making the sacrifices that could lessen the impact of that change on the rest of the world. That is just as dangerous a form of denialism as refusing to admit climate change is happening at all.

That the decision makers are in denial is clear from the stated opinions of many energy experts, as well as future trend predictions both by energy companies and by the US intelligence community.  They still see climate change as a largely political issue, rather than as a disaster-in-process, and are reacting as if to a political movement instead of realizing that action must be radical and prompt simply to reduce the scale of that disaster, for there is no stopping it now.

Recently my friends at Oilprice.com published an interview with energy security expert Michael Levi, the David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council on Foreign Relations. He had some things to say on the current, accelerating, US energy production boom, on the Keystone pipeline and on climate change.

Levi sees the main problem about the glut of US natural gas production as being that producers haven’t done enough to stimulate demand for their gas – that the low price is more of a problem than the amount of gas, in other words. He is happy about the current shale oil boom and while warning about over-hyping the strategic consequences of that boom says that “in this case, reality is pretty radical itself”. He worries that opposition to the Keystone pipeline will lead to “ blocking pipelines all over the place, then that becomes a larger economic problem”, and describes the pipeline as something that is “non-essential to US energy security; it is also not disastrous to climate change”.

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