When Problems Begin to Resolve Without Our Involvement


Glenn Reynolds sure does summarize the impression many of us have when we come across information like the United States’ having hit a seven-decade low, per capita, in carbon dioxide emissions, falling in absolute terms even as the rest of the world increases.  Writes Reynolds:

It doesn’t count if you get this result without expanding governmental power.

But it should.  Two problems arise, though.  The first is that, obviously, people who want to seize power through centralized government will look for reasons to do so, whether a foreign adversary, moral decay, or a changing environment.  A second is less blameworthy:  We tend to feel as if a problem has not been addressed unless somebody has addressed it.  If the problem seems to improve naturally, then that’s just the way it happened.

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A challenge for conservative generally is that our proposed solutions most often have an element of letting problems fix themselves with a minimal nudge from us.

  • Freddie K

    For the sake of the Republic, wouldn’t it be in all of our interests for the Koch’s to purchase the pee-pee tape before it’s too late?

  • BasicCaruso

    Uh, I take it by “our” you mean without the fringe-right bought and paid for…

    More than a decade of government mandates and economic incentives have helped the renewable-energy industry to take root. Thanks to a combination of technological advances and economies of scale, prices have fallen dramatically for wind and solar (see ‘Seeds of a revolution’). Meanwhile, improvements in lithium-ion batteries have made electric vehicles the clean technology to beat in the transport sector…

    The impact of the renewables boom can be readily seen in the United States and China, the world’s two largest greenhouse-gas emitters. In the United States, where annual carbon emissions have decreased more than 13% since 2005, renewable sources have become an increasingly important part of the story, contributing more than half of the energy-generating capacity added in 2017 — the equivalent of about 46 average-sized coal plants.