I write about energy and climate change.
|Mitigation and adaptation spending are not equivalent. Mitigation spending will go to new energy systems, new public transit systems, new agricultural systems. It will yield innovation, higher productivity, new jobs, and improved quality of life. It’s like paying for your kid to go to college or building a factory for your business — the high upfront costs yield substantial long-term returns, paying themselves back many times over. Mitigation spending is investment. Adaptation spending isn’t like that. It goes to maintaining the value of existing investments. It’s as though the maintenance costs on your factory doubled. You’re not getting any additional value out of the factory, you’re just putting more money in. Adaptation spending is pure cost, a net loss that displaces other productive investments.||Development & Growth ;Environment & Environmentalism|
|The US coal industry is in terminal decline. Though it is flailing about desperately for subsidies, and regulatory loopholes — the kinds of political favors that have kept it afloat for so long — at this point it is merely delaying the inevitable.... Loyalty to coal is declining even where it most concentrated: Between 2016 and 2017, strong support for a phaseout rose by 13 percent, and overall support by 9 percent, in states with active coal mines. Strong opposition among Republicans fell by 14 percent. Meanwhile, strong support among Democrats rose by the same amount. Majorities of Democrats (56 percent) and independents (54 percent) now support a coal phaseout. While Americans still seem lukewarm on reducing fossil fuel production in general, and they are ambivalent and uncertain about natural gas, they are rapidly turning against coal....||Energy ;Environment & Environmentalism|