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I think most people in the relevant classes can sympathize: nearly
everyone who understands what is at stake and can afford to travel really
can't imagine renouncing the convenience of flying. Let's not point fin-
gers at those other idiots; with few exceptions, we're idiots, too. Blair's
reluctance to give up his vacation in Barbados demonstrates quite clearly
that political inaction only expresses a reluctance that all of us feel to
transform our lives fundamentally. However much our minds may be
persuaded of the need to act, on a gut level we just can't do it—or can't
do it nearly as quickly and thoroughly as the occasion demands. Our
experts have long since outlined what we could do to face the present
challenge. Slowly and with infinite reluctance, we may be starting to take
up the task. But do we have time to spare?
37. Some of the best examples include Al Gore, Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the
Climate Crisis (Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale, 2009); George Monbiot,
Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning (initially published 2007;
Cambridge, Massachusets: South End Press, 2009); and David J. C.
MacK ay, Sustainable Energy—Without the Hot Air (Cambridge, England: UIT
Cambridge, 2009).
38. Joe Romm, “Bridge to Nowhere? NOA A Confirms High Methane Leakage
Rate Up To 9% From Gas Fields, Guting Climate Beneit,” Climate Progress,
January 2, 2013, htp://
39. See the map in Gore, Our Choice , 103.
40. Mathew L. Wald, “With Natural Gas Plentiful and Cheap, Carbon Capture
Projects Stumble,” New York Times , May 18, 2012, htp://www.nytimes.
41. Anne Eisenberg, “Pulling Carbon Dioxide Out of Thin Air,” New York Times ,
January 5, 2013, htp://
42. David MacKay, Sustainable Energy , differs; in his thought experiment,
Britain would not need to rely on power plants of this kind at all. But his
suggestions would require a huge increase in the energy-driven footprint on
the land and sea.
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