Team Climate No-Urgency 

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Why are we starting with Team No-Urgency? For three reasons:

  • First, Team No-Urgency is in many respects much easier to characterize and explore. Although it is the larger Team, it relies on far fewer Chess Pieces and Moves than Team Urgency.

  • Second, Team No-Urgency is winning the game of Climate Chess. This is partially because what it has to do to win is simpler, partially because of the powerful pieces at its disposal (even if they are fewer in number), and arguably at least in part because it's playing a better game of Climate Chess.

  • Third, the idea of Team No-Urgency as a coordinated and strategically thinking collection of interest groups is likely to be more intuitive to readers. There is a large literature describing how key Team No-Urgency players have deployed the equivalent of Chess Pieces with the intent or effect of impeding climate change progress. The literature has not used chess terminology to describe the situation, but the shoe fits.


So who is part of Team No-Urgency? Basically, everyone who isn't part of Team Urgency, including many:

  • Fossil Fuel Interests
  • Libertarian (Small Government) Interests
  • Traditional (Cost Benefit) Economists
  • Technology Optimists
  • Climate Doubters/Skeptics/Deniers

Many members of Team No-Urgency may not actively oppose action on climate change, but they are not promoting urgent action either.

What Chess Pieces and Moves does Team No-Urgency utilize? As already noted, there are far fewer Chess Pieces on the Team No-Urgency side of the Board, but in many cases those Pieces are relatively powerful. A few of the pieces and moves identified in the Climate Web are listed here. You’ll recognize many of them.

  • Challenge Campaign Finance Reform
  • Challenge Climate Policy as a Push for Big Government
  • Challenge Efforts to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies
  • Challenge Efforts to Mandate the Social Cost of Carbon
  • Challenge Efforts to Revise Business Performance Indicators
  • Challenge Gerrymandering Reform
  • Defend Cost-Benefit Analysis as Economic Frame
  • Defend the Profit Motive as a Measure of Societal Benefit
  • Emphasize Climate Uncertainties in Planning and Decision-Making
  • Encourage "Fair and Balanced" Education and Textbooks
  • Encourage NIMBY Responses to a Low Carbon Transition
  • Encourage Use of Adaptation Frame as Response to Uncertainty
  • Fight Carbon Pricing Policy as Costly and Unfair
  • Flood the Conversation with "Economic Cost" Messaging
  • Flood the Public Conversation with Scientific Uncertainties
  • Focus on "Expected" Rather Than Long-Tailed Risk Outcomes
  • Fund Climate Skepticism and Misinformation
  • Maintain Current Corporate Performance Indicators
  • Portray Individual Behaviors as Crucial to Climate Change Outcomes
  • Promote as Much Climate Change Cognitive Dissonance as Possible
  • Promote Continued Political Polarization
  • Promote voluntary carbon markets that convince people they've done their part for climate change
  • Push for the End of Renewable Energy and EV Subsidies
  • Support International Trade Liberalization
  • Weaponize definitions of the "Green New Deal" to disrupt potential climate constituencies