The Economist Debate Series: Global Energy Crisis

The bad news is we can’t wait for breakthroughs to solve our energy problems. The good news is we don’t have to.

"If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment."1

Those are the words of Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last November after the release of the IPCC’s definitive scientific synthesis report on the state of the site of the understanding of climate change.

And Mr Pachauri is no alarmist. Indeed, the Bush administration successfully lobbied to install the engineer and economist as IPCC chair in 2002 after forcing out the outspoken Mr Robert Watson. But IPCC chairs aren’t born alarmists—a sober study of the facts makes them that way.

Read more here.