US Energy Secretary Steven Chu says the US will not be able to cut greenhouse emissions as much as it should due to domestic political opposition.
Basically, the worry is that if they do the minimum that is required, the public will object and turn away completely from any changes that are required to mitigate climate change. A bit like Neville Chamberlain and peace in our time, Climate Change is Czechoslovakia, that small uninteresting place far away.
Its just that by appeasing Hitler then we reaped the whirlwind.
By constantly putting off real action on Climate Change, there will be no whirlwind, more a perfect storm.
Even where the USA is waking up to the need to make change, its only the big and manly projects they want to take on. When US policy advisers suggest that we would only need to put solar PV on just 5% of the worlds deserts, it shows how totally out of touch from reality they are. Meanwhile they miss the utterly outrageous waste of energy that goes on in the US. While we are adding a third or fourth layer of loft insulation, in the USA, most houses do not have insulation which is relevant both in the air conditioned South and the heated North!
If the USA were to take Climate Change seriously, surely they, as the remaining superpower has an real chance of working towards a way of having a technical populous civilisation while preserving the climate that we know.
What about a Manhattan Project with Fusion power as the goal? Okay we have had JET and now ITER, but these are long drawn out projects that are more akin to basic research, Physicists playing! There is little desperation to take ideas through to the point where they are products.
JET at Culham was a project of the 1980s. That was 30 years ago! The Manhattan Project went from Nuclear energy as a theory to the bomb in 5 years, then little more than another 10 years to Britain’s 1st Nuclear power station!
Perhaps we are too focused on Solar Energy?