Roger Pielke Jr – The Climate Fix (2010)
We don’t currently have the technology we need to decarbonize the world, ie to have continued economic growth for less CO2 emissions. But we do have the political will, and should stop pretending that it’s the climate skeptics that stand in the way of a solution. The real problem is the iron law of climate policy: That when people are asked to choose between preventing climate change and having economic growth, they choose growth. Ambitious CO2 targets, like the 80% by 2050 goal the UK has adopted, are irrelevant, because nobody have a practical solution to this problem. Instead of trying to price carbon out of the market, we should tax it just enough, perhaps $5 per ton CO2, to finance an investment in alternative energy technologies, so that an actual decarbonization can become easier in the future.
Recommended: Weakly. The ideas are interesting, but the book is unfocused. Pielke spends so much time on topics that by themselves could be interesting, but have little relevance to the theme, that by the time he gets around to explaining what his “climate fix” is, the book is almost over. A better title would have been “various thoughts I have that are more or less related to climate change”. Also, I disagree that we have the political will to prevent climate change. People say they want to do something, but political will is also the willingness to choose away something else. That willingness is small, hence the iron law of climate policy.