David Victor Quoted On Politics of Climate Change
Attention climate wonks: you can’t take the politics out of politics
David Roberts, Grist
In 2004, Princeton scholars Steve Pacala and Rob Socolow published a paper [PDF] in the journal Science that has since become one of the most cited, celebrated, vilified, and contested papers in the history of climate wonkery. The famous "wedges" analysis purports to show how greenhouse-gas emissions can be reduced to safe levels via a mix -- a nuclear wedge, a wind wedge, an efficiency wedge, a couple deforestation wedges, etc. It didn't make a solution to climate change look easy, but it made one look possible. It offered a conceptual model for a solution. It's a great example of climate wonks doing what climate wonks do best.
Socolow recently penned a follow-up essay about the wedges analysis. It's a great example of what climate wonks do worst.
One part is a discussion of wedges as a means of understanding climate solutions. That is a somewhat technical issue that I'm just going to bracket for now. The other thread has to do with a familiar question: why, given increasingly dire warnings from scientists and increasingly strong arguments for action, is the world (particularly the U.S.) doing so little to address climate change? And how can that be changed?
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David Victor is Director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation (ILAR). Looking across a wide array of issues from environment and energy to human rights, trade and security, the Laboratory explores when (and why) international laws actually work.