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Nothing without providence

26 May 2005
Climate change is classic challenge for good old American can do, says Tim Wirth today on openDemocracy:

"A nation-state that can seize the opportunities of an energy policy that addresses global climate change will create a double benefit: it will enhance its own national security and it will afford the world’s poorest people a chance to participate in the modern global economy. As an American, this is what I would like to see the United States do".

Tim Wirth, who is co-chairman of the Energy Future Coalition and president of the United Nations Foundation, has five key recommendations:

* develop cost-effective, clean alternatives to gasoline;

* modernise the electric power grid

* modernise the US auto industry

* modernise the coal industry

* expand renewable energy resources

(full text here)

Fine in theory (athough what about energy efficiency?); but how does one turn all this into practical politics?

Wirth's appeal to (the enlightened side of) American nationalism, for one thing, may be astute. At a more nuts and bolts level, his UN Foundation have been supporters of the Institutional Investors Summit on Climate Change (see earlier post here).

(By the way, Tim Wirth is a former US Senator for Colarado, for which the state motto is "nothing without providence". A dictionary defines providence as "care or preparation in advance; foresight; prudent management; economy". That does sound like a good place to start).

Caspar Henderson

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