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Money > facts

Dave - as always, great post. One caveat to the point about policymakers. As someone still currently working in the environmental community, I know first-hand the errors that this field makes when dealing with policymakers. While I agree that facts alone are not enough to persuade, there is more at work here (which you are already likely aware).

The real problem with the lack of climate change, energy policy, etc. is that those policy decisions - and in fact, any policy decision where there is a significant vested economic interest - are generally based on: (1) towing the party line, which often is a direct result of who contributes the most money; (2) who are the in-district economic elite (usually not renewable energy companies); and (3) the elected official's personal preference.

Numbers 1 and 2 generally supersede #3, because although not completely rational (like all humans), elected officials generally like their jobs, want to get re-elected, and aren't particularly worried about anything other than that next election.

Fun fact from the Sunlight Foundation: .001 percent of this country (about 31k people) contributed 28 percent of the total campaign donations in 2012. There is zero hope for reform of any industry in the public interest, or maintaining anything other than benefits for that uber-elite unless there is a fairly radical alteration of the current political incentives.

Happy birthday, and hope you keep writing.

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