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Foreign Policy: "proliferation, climate change, and oil dependence"

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:23 PM
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Foreign Policy: "proliferation, climate change, and oil dependence"
This month's Foreign Policy
On Proliferation, Climate, and Oil: Solving for Pattern
BY AMORY LOVINS | JANUARY 21, 2010

The problems of proliferation, climate change, and oil dependence share both a nuclear non-solution that confounds U.S. policy goals and a non-nuclear solution that achieves them.

The first four months of 2010 offer a unique opportunity to align the United States' foreign-policy goals with domestic energy policy and new market developments, and thereby to stem what the Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Review will reportedly rank equally with great-power threats -- the spread of nuclear weapons.

Epistemologist Gregory Bateson and farmer-poet Wendell Berry counseled "solving for pattern" -- harnessing hidden commonalities to resolve complex challenges without making more. President Obama's speech at the recent U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen hinted at such an approach by linking an efficient, clean-energy, climate-safe economy with three other key issues: prosperity, oil displacement, and national security. Keeping proliferation, climate, and oil in separate policy boxes has in the past stalled progress on the first two issues over North/South splits that the third issue intensifies. Yet these three problems share profitable solutions, and seem tough only because of a wrong economic assumption.

One false assumption can distort and defeat policies vital to paramount national interests. The Copenhagen climate conference proved again how pricing carbon and winning international collaboration are hard if policymakers assume climate protection is costly, focusing debate on cost, burden, and sacrifice.

That assumption is backwards: Business experience proves climate protection is not costly but profitable, because saving fuel costs less than buying fuel. Changing the conversation to profits, jobs, and competitive advantage sweetens the politics, melting resistance faster than glaciers. Whether you care most about security, prosperity, or environment, and whatever you think about climate science, you'll favor exactly the same energy choices: focusing on outcomes, not motives, can forge broad consensus.

For instance, a ...

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/01/21/a_road...
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