I’m sitting in on a very enjoyable panel on Climate Change and Energy Security hosted by Reid Detchon from the UN Foundation and featuring J. Michael Davis, former Assistant Secretary of Energy under Bush 41; Robert McFarlane, former National Security Advisor to President Reagan; George Pataki; and R. James Woolsey, former CIA director under Clinton.
Piece of advice, if you get a chance to catch a panel hosted by Detchon (excellent dry wit) or featuring the others, particularly Woolsey or Davis, you should.
My battery’s dying, so I’ll have to upload some more thoughts later, but the first thing that struck me was how the ideas of those on the panel very closely match what I have heard being said about or by Obama recently. Both Davis and Pataki mentioned right off the bat that we must rely on markets, but that those markets, because they are imperfect, must be tweaked by the government. This tacks closely to thisNew York Times magazine article on Obama’s economic philosophy. Granted, this is not, at all, a rarely held opinion, but it is interesting that the even the phrasing is very similar.
Second, despite the fact that the panel’s focus is “climate change and energy security,” the most often used phrased early on is “decreasing dependence on foreign oil,” which loyal UN Dispatch readers will remember was a central pillar of Obama’s acceptance speech.
*Update – Reid Detchon pointed out to me that Obama’s speech referenced independence from “Middle East” oil not “foreign” oil, something that I should have caught. Dependence from Middle East oil (roughly 20% of U.S. consumption) is a pretty weak measure and not nearly enough.