So even if we find the resolve to mitigate climate challenge, the responses we adopt are likely to be just as contentious as the fights over dams and nuclear. Ironically, the two major policy carrots the Obama White House offered to U.S. legislators in seeking to pass a climate bill were increased support for offshore drilling and nuclear power. Both have literally blown up in the administration’s face over the last year. Even seemingly innocuous initiatives in support of energy efficiency, transportation alternatives and renewable energy have been coming under attack, either from the right (spurning compact fluorescent lights and high-speed rail) or the left (fighting bike lanes and wind farms).
What does it all mean? Whether for policymakers or the press, coming to grips with energy and environment—not energy vs. environment—is getting harder all the time. The vast resources of the web allow dedicated netizens to explore all the interlocking issues, but it’s rare to find a journalist who provides it all in one place.