The Climate War: True Believers, Power Brokers, and the Fight to Save the Earth
By Eric Pooley Hyperion; 479 pages
Before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, climate legislation seemed as doomed as a polar bear on a melting iceberg. But the Gulf spill changed the country's energy politics: witness President Obama's June 2 announcement that the only way to get off oil is to "finally [put] a price on carbon." If he ends up doing that, it will be thanks to an often quixotic campaign waged by a band of environmentalists and surprisingly green businessmen--a battle Eric Pooley describes masterfully in The Climate War. The deputy editor of Bloomberg Businessweek and a former TIME staffer, Pooley had in-depth access to all the players in climate politics. That includes greens like Fred Krupp, the smooth head of the Environmental Defense Fund, and corporate chieftains like Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, whose allegiance to a carbon cap is always in doubt. The political horse trading here is odious, but to Pooley, cap and trade resembles Churchill's definition of democracy: the worst option on climate except for all the others.