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In recent talks, Andy Revkin, the New York Times Dot Earth blogger, has been proposing that the adaptive value in ecosystems of "response diversity" -- varied responses to an environmental shift -- could also hold for societies.
Think about this in the context of humanity's energy choices and climate challenge, with some pursuing fossil fuel divestment, others clean-energy innovation and others new generation of nuclear power plants. Rather than looking at these preferences as right or wrong, why not look at them as all part of a broadening commitment to new energy norms? More soon on Dot Earth.
My long essay on 30 years of climate learning explores this: http://j.mp/revkin30yearsclimate
An older post that gets at this: Is There Room for Varied Approaches to Energy and Climate Progress? http://nyti.ms/WJ0Sad
The original 2003 ecology paper: