Steve Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute and author of the Age of Reagan joins us again for something completely different. In addition to being a political historian, Hayward has also produced for 14 years the Index of Leading Environmental Indicators. (Soon to receive a J.J. Abramsian reboot, as Steve reveals.) So Steve agreed to doff his green cap to talk about the politics of climate change, cap-and-trade, and other enviro-follies. As a bonus, Hayward discusses some of the implications of the Supreme Court's decision in Citizen's United v. FEC.
(We recorded this a week ago, but some technical hurdles prevented us from posting it until now. Apologies. But it turns out that our timing may be better than we thought, especially with new revelations and questions about the International Panel on Climate Change.)
Among the questions we explore:
• What's the matter with Al Gore?
• What is the true significance of the "Climategate" controversy?
• Does Scott Brown's election in Massachusetts spell the end of cap-and-trade?
• Will California back away from its ambitious carbon-capping plans, too?
• How can casual observers make smart judgments in the climate change debate?
• What is the most important environmental challenge facing the world today? (Hint: It isn't warming, but it is real.)
• Why do corporations have free speech?
• Will the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United lead to more openness and transparency or much less of both?
Music heard in this podcast:
• "Warmer Than Hell," Spinal Tap
• "Al for All (and All for Al)," The Political Ice Caps
• "Acid Rain," Timbuk 3
• "Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)," Marvin Gaye
• "Hungry Planet," The Byrds
• "Free Speech in America," Blusion
• "Swarfiga," Kasabian
The podcast returns after a summer of discontent. Joining Ben for this edition is Ted Nordhaus, chairman and co-founder with Michael Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute, "a paradigm-shifting think tank" founded in Oakland in 2003 with the goal of "modernizing liberal thought for the 21st Century."
Nordhaus and Shellenberger are co-authors of "Break through: Why We Can't Leave Saving the Planet to Environmentalists," published 2007 and winner of the 2008 Green Book Award.
And most recently, Nordhaus and Shellenberger have launched the Breakthrough Journal, a new quarterly founded shortly after the death of Daniel Bell. The journal embraces Bell's view that, "A new public philosophy will have to be created in order that something we recognize as a liberal society may survive."
(Also... "breakthroughing"? Obviously, it should be "breaking through." That's what a lousy two cups of coffee at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday gets you!)
Among the questions we discuss:
• What does a 21st century liberalism look like?
• Should liberals rethink the "entitlement state"?
• Why do some environmentalists say one thing about renewable energy and do another?
• Can $500 billion buy a green economy?
• What sort of innovation should the United States pursue?
• What's the matter with cap and trade?
• Do conservatives and liberals have anything to talk about?
• And more!
Music heard in this podcast:
• "Break On Through," DJ Disse
• "Bein' Green," Andrew Bird
• "Electric Uncle Sam," Primus
• "To the Left, To the Right," T Model Ford
• "Riders On The Storm / Pink Solidism," Yonderboi
Programming note: We've changed the way we identify the episodes. This episode of "The Ben and Joel Podcast" is Vol. 4, No. 5. You might be wondering, whatever happened with Vol. 4, No. 1? It's a mystery, not unlike Stonehenge or double rainbows.