Obama's decision to open up vast swaths of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans to oil and gas exploration sets a very bad precedent for other countries when it comes to dealing with climate change, argues the Economist's "Democracy in America" blog:
"Some of those who object to Barack Obama's decision to open up America's south-central Atlantic coast to oil drilling say it makes neither environmental nor political sense. I disagree with the last part; the political logic is reasonable enough.
"As energy or environmental policy [though ...], the fundamental problem is this: there is a finite amount of fossil fuel. The more of it we find and burn, the more carbon we put into the atmosphere, and the more severe the greenhouse effect becomes. [...] If we want to limit climate change, what we have to do, one way or another, is to leave fuels in the ground wherever possible, not find and burn them. [...]
"The world's richest country should have the easiest time of shifting to alternative energy sources and leaving some of that carbon lying in the ground. It's very discouraging that political considerations would push it to do otherwise."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- The forgotten victims of the war in Ukraine
- The psychology of video game addiction
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week