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Decarbonization In Democracy, Shelley Welton Apr 2020

Decarbonization In Democracy, Shelley Welton

Faculty Publications

Conventional wisdom holds that democracy is structurally ill-equipped to confront climate change. As the story goes, because each of us tends to dismiss consequences that befall people in other places and in future times, “the people” cannot be trusted to craft adequate decarbonization policies, designed to reduce present-day, domestic carbon emissions. Accordingly, U.S. climate change policy has focused on technocratic fixes that operate predominantly through executive action to escape democratic politics — with vanishingly little to show for it after a change in presidential administration.

To help craft a more durable U.S. climate change strategy, this Article scrutinizes the purported …