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99 Foreign Aff. 176 (2020)
The Case for Climate Pragmatism: Saving the Earth Requires Realism, Not Revolution

handle is hein.journals/fora99 and id is 806 raw text is: 




The Case for
Climate


Pragmatism

Saving the Earth Requires
Realism, Not Revolution

[al Harvey



M'e Utshabitab/e .arch: L , Aer

BY DAVID WALA C       -WELLS. TA,
Duggan Books,201 .. 384 pp.

fhhtr; .:ar the t ,..ana e ...n to
Py ij  Out?
B Y B II. ..(: M EKB  N, Henry Holt,
2019, 304 pp.

Te Green .New.ea: Why the ossil     e!
Civilization W]I! Colse by 2028, and the
Bold iEcnone Plan to Save ife on Larch
BY I EEMY RIF KIN. Sr. Martin
Press. 2019, 256 pp.
Sliniate change is often decribed
        . s a wicked pronlet meaning
        that it resists easy definition and
debes conventional           Itrta-
scends political boundaries and cannot
be solved by a single countr, but interna--
tional governance is a weak su sti tute.
It is a collective-action problem that
demands a collective solution, but i has
instead led t a great deal of finger-

HAL HARVEY is CEO of Energy Innovation and
a co-author, with Robbie Orvis and Jeffrey
Rissman, of Designing Climate Solutions: A
Policy Guide for Low-Carbon Energy


pointing. Its effects -. rising seas• intense
storms, desertibca ion. and sr on  are
felt most acutely in developing coun-
tries, far away from the industrialized
nations that are most responsible for
the problem. And government attempts
to address such negative externalities
(as economists call these nonmo-etized
costs for third parties) by forcing
producers to shoulder the burden caused
by their carbon emissions have fallen
flat. In shot-i, humanity uses ttie atmus
phere as a tree dumping ground fox
pollutants. and deeply vested interests
retchanging that.
   Clinate change also confounds
customary human tirnescales. The worst
effects of today's emissions won't he tbeit
for generar ions, which makes morallv
unsustainable behavior easier to ratioal-
we. And the harm done by buInans
induces natural systems to compound
their sins: the rising temperatures are
melting the Arctic's permafost, which in
turn unleashes further monstrous quanti-
ties of carbon and methane into the
atmosphere speeding warming. Mean-
while, thanks to the lass of ice in the
Arctic Ocean, that once shiny ice mirror.
which used to bou ..nce soxlar  energy' back
into space, is now transfbrming into a
dark heat absorber, itself leading to rising
temp-eratures. Rampaging tires in
Austraa driven in large part y highaer
ternperamures and drough ts-----have taken
t-rests that :absorbed carbon dioxide (br
aandmeds of years anti c onvened them
Lno huge sources of it.
   Because the global comnnurutv has
dawdled i- deca.lron i:rang tts energy
systens, t has, spet most of the carbon
budget---the quota of carbon ems-
sions, for all of civilization over all ime,
that must not be exceeded itf war-minn,


176    oxiu -z    t S Z

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