Why We Can Do It

By Michael Shellenberger

Don’t believe the hype: the future is bright. The success of Environmental Progress in winning hearts and changing minds proves it. Now watch what happens next.

Not that long ago ago it appeared that most of the trends relating to the issues that Environmental Progress and I care about were headed in the wrong direction. Congress was poised to pour more subsidies into renewables at the expense of nuclear energy. San Francisco and other big cities were locked into progressive dogma around drugs, crime, and homelessness. And many journalists were repeating outmoded and debunked orthodoxies about everything from energy and the environment to drugs and homelessness.

All of that has changed dramatically over the last few weeks. Senator Joe Manchin killed Build Back Better legislation citing the risk of the United States becoming overly dependent on renewables. San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced a crackdown on open air drug use and drug dealing. And mainstream news media are increasingly acknowledging the essential role of nuclear energy, the limits of weather-dependent energies, and rising crime and violence.

Not everything is going our way. Many progressives argue that Manchin’s concern has been more about protecting the coal industry from competition than protecting cheap and reliable electricity from price spikes and blackouts. Progressives on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors weakened Breed’s crackdown by preventing expanded police funding. And mainstream news media refuse to accurately cover rising resilience to climate change, or acknowledge the need for a Shelter First policy to dealing with homelessness.


Categories: Environment

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