Nocera re McKibben: Politics of Keystone, Take 2

Joe Nocera, NY Times columnist, responds to critics of his earlier essay in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline, today. He assesses Bill McKibben and other opponents as naive in thinking stopping the pipeline, will lead to renewable energy:

“Somewhat to my surprise, the most reasoned Keystone opponent I spoke to this week wasBill McKibben, who led the protests against it. Although the tar sands ranks as “the second biggest pool of carbon in the world,” he told me, “Keystone, by itself, won’t make or break the environment.” Rather, he said, he and other environmentalists had decided to draw this particular line in the sand because stopping Keystone would help accelerate what he described as the difficult transition from a fossil fuel economy to a new, brighter world based on renewable sources of energy. “The most sensible way to go about dealing with global warming is one pipeline at a time,” he said. “These kinds of fights are extremely important because they are the way the message gets out that we need to change.”

Maybe — just maybe — stopping the Keystone pipeline would be worth it if it really was going to change our behavior and help usher in the age of renewable energy. It would, indeed, be worth turning our backs on oil that we badly need and that is already making our country more secure and prosperous.

But let’s be honest. It’s not going to change anyone’s behavior. If Keystone is ultimately blocked, the far more likely result is that everyone who opposed it will get to feel good about themselves while still commuting to work, alone, in their S.U.V.’s.”

For the entire article:  Politics of Keystone, Take 2

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