WHERE CAN CLIMATE ACTIVISTS FIND COMMON GROUND?

WIRED | 7/9/2018 | Nathanael Johnson
This story originally appeared on Grist and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Sometimes the most vicious fights occur over the smallest differences. Brutal battles have pitted Catholics that kneel in prayer against Protestant sects that stood before the same God. There’s a (possibly apocryphal) story from the US House of Representatives about a senior politician explaining that internal conflict between Congressional chambers was more important than fights between Republicans and Democrats. “Republicans aren’t the enemy,” the Democratic old timer says in one version of the story. “Republicans are the opposition. The Senate is the enemy.”

Scientists - Activists - Climate - Change - Infighting

The scientists and activists working to reverse climate change are no different. The infighting can be savage.

It may be a tautology, but “at the most basic level, anyone interested in addressing climate change knows we have to limit greenhouse gas emissions,” said Noah Kaufman, an economist at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. The problem is, those who share that goal disagree about the best way to pursue it.

Head-knocking - Energy - Wonks - Power - Sources

The roughest head-knocking has been between the energy wonks who think we should use whatever power sources necessary to eliminate emissions—nuclear, biofuels, carbon-capture—and those who think renewable energy is the only answer.

The science historian Naomi Oreskes accused James Hansen, the well-known NASA climate scientist, of engaging in “a new form of climate denialism” for saying the world needs nuclear power. Tisha Schuller, an environmentalist who came to think fracking could help reduce emissions, received regular death threats. Activists even distributed pictures of her children. The fights rage on social media, and recently they spilled into the courts.

People - Agree - Goals - Means—if - Something

“People tend to either agree on the goals, or on the means—if you want to get something dramatic done you have to agree on both,” said Jane Long, a senior consulting scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund and one of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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