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Proliferation, Oil, and Climate: Solving for Pattern [View All]

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:18 PM
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Proliferation, Oil, and Climate: Solving for Pattern
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Three of the most daunting foreign-policy tangles that threaten security, prosperity, environment,
and democracynuclear proliferation, climate change, and oil dependenceare normally
thought of in separate boxes, discussed in different fora, described in disparate language,
analyzed with unrelated tools, and dealt with by diverse communities schooled in dissimilar
disciplines. Yet these three problems hold in common three profound similarities.

All look intractable only because of a mistaken assumption about their economic fundamentals.

All share profitable, practical, proven solutions rooted in using energy in a way that saves
moneysolutions that simultaneously solve all three problems plus many more.

All have powerful establishmentsinformed more by economic theory than by empirical
experiencewhose immune systems reject those maverick solutions and default to familiar

To escape this dysfunction, we must, as epistemologist Gregory Bateson and farmer/poet
Wendell Berry put it, solve for pattern. President Obamas Copenhagen speech did this by
linking an efficient clean-energy economy not just to climate protection but also to economic
gain, oil displacement, and national security. That was not a rhetorical flourish but a refreshing
expression of solving multiple problems simultaneously without creating more.

Within that context, this essay emphasizes...

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