Tuesday, July 27, 2010
An interesting lecture by a toxicologist on the trade-offs between cleaning the oil from the beaches and inland marshes -- which are visible and politically important -- and actually protecting the ecosystem. And a useful reminder of the price we pay for our oil.*
*No, I have not suddenly turned in to an anti-development environmentalist or a post-industrial Luddite. I love living in an energy-intensive world. It's awesome! But neither do I think we should deny the high negative externalities that come from pumping oil out of the ground, paying disgusting people for the privilege, shipping crude across huge distances, and burning the refined products to power the global economy. If you cannot drive your car and run your air conditioner and enjoy your imported tropical fruit without acknowledging that your choices come at a heavy price, you are just a different version of the Gulfstream liberals who bleat about global warming in luxury resorts all over the world.