Business, Finance & Economics

The climate and the economy

(McCain and Obama have similar approaches to fighting global warming. Discuss their proposals, starting with the cap and trade systems.) They both support it, McCain has been a long time advocate. This approach is an efficient regulatory one, and it's one of the best out there. (What about renewable energy sources�which ones would feel the impact of this economic crisis?) The U.S. is going to pass some mandatory greenhouse gas cap and that'll advantage renewable energy while hurting fossil fuels businesses. But renewable energy needs capital investment and that's tough right now in this economic climate. If that lasts for a long time, then investment in renewable energy will be slow. (What are the prospects for clean coal?) They're less: we're looking towards the U.S. to provide funds for the commercialization of clean coal and the budget is under stress; also the private sector will eventually have to take that over and they're also under stress. (Does the financial crisis put the U.S. even further behind Europe, where some commitment to renewable energy already exists?) the U.S. is deploying renewable energy at a rapid rate, so the U.S. isn't that far behind, but the rate will be slowed until the economic system is back on its feet. (What about nuclear power?) Nuclear now suffers two problem: it's expensive to start a nuclear power plant, and when you layer on the financing problems, that's a double layer of hurt.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the audio to hear it.)