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Going green is way of the future

October 05, 2008

Re "The green bubble bursts," Opinion, Sept. 30

It's puzzling that two of the original advocates of a clean-energy investment strategy, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, are now complaining that clean energy -- the one investment the federal government can make to jump-start the economy that pays for itself -- is getting lost in the inside-the-Beltway chatter about exactly where to allow drilling.

The drilling debate, to quote T. Boone Pickens, "misses the point."

Why don't Shellenberger and Nordhaus note that Barack Obama has, in fact, made a $150-billion investment in clean energy the centerpiece of his economic and environmental platforms? Surveys show that this kind of investment in clean energy is what the American people believe will cut the cost of driving, restore our economic vitality and protect our climate and security.

Green energy is no longer alternative energy. It's the future.

Carl Pope

Washington

The writer is executive director of the Sierra Club.

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Greens and Democrats are toast, say Nordhaus and Shellenberger, because we didn't argue for cheaper energy through new technology. Instead, we expected things to move via more expensive gasoline and emissions caps.

Did I hear anyone green or Democrat arguing against cheaper alternative energy? Thought not. And since when did scientific evidence become a reason to shy away from ecological action just because it wasn't popular?

Nordhaus and Shellenberger claim that we shouldn't have moved on ecological policy because "people" were less into global warming than "we" thought.

Imagine them writing an Op-Ed article just before slavery was abolished. Slavery shouldn't be abolished, they'd write, because people are less interested in abolition than the Washington elites think.

Our ecological emergency demands proactive choices, not reactive sideswipes.

Timothy Morton

Davis

The writer is a professor of literature and the environment at UC Davis.

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