Here is another prime example of conventional thinking regarding the contradictions of capitalist fossil fuel policies and ecological imperatives. The author outlines the contradictions very well, but is unable to think beyond the requirements of the capitalist system. It's clear that he believes "there is no alternative".
...we want to have our cake and eat it too. How do we break out of this vicious circle? One way we could have escaped would been to have a coherent, universally agreed upon energy policy in place over the last 3 decades after the energy dislocations of the 1970s and early 1980s. That policy could have been amended as circumstances changed. But it was way too much for us to expect such a wise policy in Cowboy America. No can do—we'll just make it up as we go along.So, like most liberals, he makes cynical comments that merely distracts our attention away from the elephant in the room, the system of capitalism, which blocks all attempts at sound environmental policies. What we can't have is capitalism AND a healthy environment.