Corn is already the most subsidized crop in America, raking in a total of $51 billion in federal handouts between 1995 and 2005 - twice as much as wheat subsidies and four times as much as soybeans. Ethanol itself is propped up by hefty subsidies, including a fifty-one-cent-per-gallon tax allowance for refiners.
In any crass political calculation, drilling for oil will always win more votes than putting a price on carbon. But if I recall what I was taught in fifth-grade American government class, we elect presidents to do more than crass political calculations.
If we drill the hell out of everything, including protected public lands and fragile regions like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, America can emerge as an 'energy superpower.'
In the Arctic, things are already getting freaky. Temperatures have warmed three times faster than the global average.
Some studies suggest that the Arctic Ocean may be ice-free by the end of the century.
The idea that human beings have taken a few steps closer toward asserting control over the Earth's climate is likely to strike you as a really bad idea.
The floods and fires and storms and droughts that Australia has suffered in the last few years have left no doubt in many Australians' minds about just how much is a stake in a super-heated world.
Is it in our national interest to overheat the planet? That's the question Obama faces in deciding whether to approve Keystone XL, a 2,000-mile-long pipeline that will bring 500,000 barrels of tar-sand oil from Canada to oil refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.
In reality, Republicans have long been at war with clean energy. They have ridiculed investments in solar and wind power, bashed energy-efficiency standards, attacked state moves to promote renewable energy and championed laws that would enshrine taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuels while stripping them from wind and solar.
In recent years, America's wealthiest man has begun to tackle energy issues in a major way, investing millions in everything from high-capacity batteries to machines that can scrub carbon dioxide out of the air. With a personal fortune of $50 billion, Gates has the resources to give his favorite solutions a major boost.
Have we failed to slow global warming pollution in part because climate and environmental activists have been too polite and well behaved?
President Obama is in no danger of being judged by history as an eco-radical.
But Big Oil and Big Coal have always been as skilled at propaganda as they are at mining and drilling. Like the tobacco industry before them, their success depends on keeping Americans stupid.
If you think Wall Street firms have it good, you haven't looked closely at Big Oil.
One of the big questions in the climate change debate: Are humans any smarter than frogs in a pot? If you put a frog in a pot and slowly turn up the heat, it won't jump out. Instead, it will enjoy the nice warm bath until it is cooked to death. We humans seem to be doing pretty much the same thing.
Bill Gates is a relative newcomer to the fight against global warming, but he's already shifting the debate over climate change.
For better or worse, the bulk of coal industry jobs are in Appalachia - and when that coal is gone, so are the jobs.
One of the pillars of backward thinking in America is the idea that you can have jobs or you can have clean air and water, but you can't have both. That myth has been busted a thousand times, but still it lives on.
Ever since the collapse of cap and trade legislation and the realization that President Obama is unlikely to ever utter the words 'climate change' in public again, much less use the bully pulpit to prepare the nation for the catastrophic risks of inaction, the movement has been in a funk.
When it comes to climate and energy, Gates is a radical consumerist. In his view, energy consumption is good - it just needs to be clean energy.