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Vaclav Smil’s reality check on the fight against climate change is refreshing (“Energy transitions, renewables and rational energy use” in No 304 November 2015, see http://oe.cd/1gu). Renewable energy sources have come on in leaps and bounds, but as Mr Smil warns, there is work to do, so in the meantime, the environmentally least damaging course is to make do with less. If only his phrase, “less is more”, became an election winner!

R Delucenay, Oise, France


Thanks for pointing out that, to give renewable energy a chance, policy makers must stop protecting old-world polluters (“Business innovation and climate change: Policy makers must favour dynamism” in No 304 November 2015, http://oe.cd/1gx). I presume you would add fracking to this thinking? The activity is new, but rushing to issue licences for it only binds us more tightly to old fossil fuels.

E Maria, NYC, US


I agree that effective policies will unleash transformational capacities. Just wonder if we’ve really escaped the historical delusion of always underestimating the scale of the problem and overestimating our response?

James Greyson, commenting on oecdinsights.org, “COP21 agreement: A decisive turning point”, December 2015  

©OECD Observer No 305, Q1 2016