Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The End of the Road to Paris (and a New Road Out?)

Dear Readers,

I started this blog as a year-long project to chart the run-up to the Paris conference, and in the process to learn more about the climate change problem and its potential solutions. I imagined that the COP 21 meeting would be one of the more momentous events of our time, and it did not disappoint me. For all its shortfalls, it was, I think, both a fascinating milestone in international diplomacy and a significant though preliminary step toward creating a new global energy system.

The blog worked for me, and I hope it was useful to some dozens of readers who consulted it (at the end I may even have broken through to a hundred views or more). What did NOT work was my hope that the blog would be a forum for discussion. I remain disappointed that not a single reader posted a comment or responded in any way. I have seen and contributed to blogs that became lively corners for discussion, and I think it's a great use of the medium. I'm not sure why this one didn't work out, but MAYBE IT STILL CAN (see below).

Moving forward, I have three intentions:

1) Locally: I'm looking to work for a specific and important climate project. I think the failure of the Mass legislature to pass enabling legislation to encourage solar installations ('net metering') may offer the biggest opportunity for citizens to intervene here in Massachusetts, and I hope to get involved in the new year.

2) Globally: strengthening climate awareness and support for renewable energy in the US, and electing a President and Congress that will press ahead with renewable research, funding, and overseas support (massive funds for the Green Fund and similar projects), is one of the most crucial ways to build on COP 21 and 'ratchet up' that agreement. Expanding carbon taxes and exchanges would be another biggie. These large-scale interventions are hard to do much with, but we can try.

3) IN THIS SPACE: the blog will stay up, and I would still love to see it blossom into a discussion forum. Just click on "comments"and tell us what you think: about Paris, climate change, nuclear power as a solution, China's reliability as a partner, the tragedy of low-lying coastal regions ... there's lots to talk about. If people respond, I will moderate, and open up new posts/threads as needed. It's your turn now so don't be shy ...

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