Killer Bs. In an unprecedented move, two prominent Virginia blogs, Bacon’s Rebellion and BlueVirginia, have agreed to cooperate in a structured debate over a series of possible programs designed to combat global climate change. The programs were selected based on two major criteria – they had to be applicable to Virginia and they had to encompass actions that could conceivably start in 2014. The blogmasters from both blogs have agreed to post the articles verbatim on their blogs. This introductory article is designed to explain the “rules of the road”.
Picking sides. A few regular contributors from both blogs have been divided up into “conservative” and “progressive” teams. The division into teams was based on political outlook not “home blog”. Here are the teams:
Conservative – Jim Bacon (BaconsRebellion) and Don Rippert (Bacon’s Rebellion)
Progressive – Lowell Feld (Blue Virginia), kindler (Blue Virginia) and Peter Galuszka (Bacon’s Rebellion)
No hitting below the belt. In order to foster a constructive debate all participants have stipulated certain things. They are:
- The Earth is warming. All participants accept the consensus of leading scientists that the Earth is warming.
- Humans cause a substantial amount of the warming. While there may be disagreement on the relative role of humanity in causing global warming there is agreement that humans are a cause of global warming.
- The speed with which the Earth will warm is not known with precision.
- The impact of the warming Earth on human civilization is not known with precision.
Marquess of Queensberry. The rules are simple. A series of policies that may, or may not, be effective in combating global climate change have been selected. Each potential policy is applicable to Virginia. Each policy could conceivably be part of a law enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia in the upcoming 2014 session. A blog article will be written for each possible policy. The blog article will have the following three sections:
- Factual description. A neutral party has written a description of the potential policy with relevant facts. Both the conservative team and the progressive team have reviewed and accepted the factual description of the possible policy.
- Conservative viewpoint(s). A conservative perspective on the policy written by one or more authors from the conservative team.
- Progressive viewpoint(s). A progressive perspective on the policy written by one or more of the authors from the progressive team.
Just some facts, ma’am. All authors have been encouraged to document their assumed costs and benefits of the potential policy in as quantitative terms as possible. However, it must be recognized that a strict quantitative cost or benefit may not be possible in all circumstances.
Let the games begin. The first potential policy initiative is … Virginia should adopt a strong (mandatory) Renewal Portfolio Standards as opposed to the weak (voluntary) Renewal Portfolio Standards currently in place.
See you at the next blog posting for the first policy debate!