Sábado, 6 de febrero de 2016
Joe Romm at Climate Progress has the story. The backdrop is the remarkable improvements of recent years in renewable-energy technologies, which have put solar and wind power in striking distance of matching the costs of electricity generation using fossil fuels.
But besides the costs, there’s one remaining hurdle: Renewables have a hard time matching fluctuations in demand.
Enter three policy changes. First, the last congressional budget deal retained tax incentives for renewable energy, which will have a huge impact – maybe even a “yuge” impact, as Donald Trump would say – on its deployment over the next decade. Second, in January the Supreme Court rejected a challenge by power companies to Environmental Protection Agency rules leading to “demand response” pricing – which is, basically, paying people not to consume electricity during peak periods, a program that really helps renewables.
Finally, if Democrats hold the White House next year, we’ll see the Obama administration’s plan to limit carbon go into effect, which will create a big incentive to switch to renewables.
Nothing in this should lead to complacency. We’re still facing a huge climate challenge, and President Trump (or for that matter any of the other seven dwarfs) could and would destroy the whole thing. But we’re now achingly close to making rapid progress on emissions – much more rapid than I think anyone imagined was possible just a few years ago.
Bernie, Hillary and Change
Quoting President Obama’s interview with Politico last month, Greg Sargent at The Washington Post recently noted that Mr. Obama essentially supports the Hillary Clinton theory of change over the Bernie Sanders theory.
Here’s the president talking to Politico: “I think that what Hillary presents is a recognition that translating values into governance and delivering the goods is ultimately the job of politics – making a real-life difference to people in their day-to-day lives. I don’t want to exaggerate those differences, though, because Hillary is really idealistic and progressive. You’d have to be to be in, you know, the position she’s in now, having fought all the battles she’s fought and, you know, taken so many, you know, slings and arrows from the other side.”
Mr. Sargent could be wrong, of course. But if you’re a progressive who not only supports Mr. Sanders, but is furious with anyone who is skeptical about his insurgency – someone who considers the economist Mike Konczal to be a minion and me to be a corrupt crook, for example – you might want to ask why Mr. Obama is saying essentially the same things that progressive Bernie skeptics are.
And you might want to think hard about why you’re not just sure that you’re right, but sure that anyone who disagrees with you must be evil