25 Jul In-the-News Update [Issue: Environment]
The Los Angeles Times recently published a controversial piece that sparked social media criticism. The article questioned whether accepting occasional electrical grid blackouts could make tackling climate change easier and more cost-effective.
The debate arose in the context of a legal battle over a gas-fired power plant in California, with the city of Glendale arguing that the plant is necessary to prevent blackouts and disasters for its residents. The article delved into the broader issue of determining the acceptable level of “blackout risk” in society and whether people should adjust their expectations to avert a climate catastrophe.
As part of the research a Twitter poll was conducted asking if society could tolerate more blackouts to accelerate the transition away from gas and save money. The response was largely negative, with many emphasizing the serious consequences of power outages on people’s lives.
Despite the opposition, writer Roth contended that solving climate change might necessitate certain sacrifices for the greater good, including potential power outages. However, critics condemned the article as “climate idiocy” and accused it of pushing a propaganda campaign to condition people into accepting frequent blackouts as part of the solution to climate change. The piece has ignited a fierce debate on social media about the trade-offs involved in climate change mitigation strategies.