People often ask me how I decide what to cover in this noisy and disparate energy and climate change beat. My answer: I stay focused on the puzzle.
The big picture: I look at the various factors that go into reducing greenhouse gases in a world that depends upon the energy resources that emit them. That's a simple deduction of what is a complex dynamic. Like puzzle pieces, these numerous forces work in tandem, not in isolation.
Tangible climate change: As the impacts of a warmer world become more tangible to people through extreme weather and more convincing science, awareness of the issue grows.
Social movement: As I wrote in a recent column, over the past year a concrete social movement has formed that’s far more global, persistent and sweeping than any other like-minded efforts in the past.
Media coverage: Companies in both TV and print are covering this issue far more than in the past — including myself.
Technology costs: Wind and solar costs have plummeted in the last decade, and the same thing is happening now in battery technologies that will enable those variable energy resources to last longer whenever the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining.
Corporate and investor concerns: Investors are increasingly investing in energy resources that aren’t the current dominant ones — oil, natural gas and coal. Meanwhile, they’re putting pressure on those companies to do more to ready themselves for a warmer world that is drastically reducing emissions.
Lobbying shifts: Corporate America is calling on Congress to pass ambitious climate policy in the most aggressive and united way since 2009.
Republican positioning: After a decade of ignoring or outright dismissing climate change as a problem, a small contingent of congressional Republicans are acknowledging it as an issue and discussing policies to address it.
Washington compromise: Many experts believe that ultimately environmentalists must be willing, for example, to trade at least some environmental regulations for a legislative solution like a carbon price. That policy, meanwhile, marks the beginning of the end for fossil fuel companies as we know them today.
Go deeper: Read how the pieces fit together in the puzzle by clicking here.