Hedgehogs and Foxes:
Toward Climate Pragmatism
Armond Cohen – Rose-Walters Prize for Environmental Activism Recipient
Clean Air Task Force (CATF)
Climate change is the consequence of the uncontrolled use of fossil fuels, providing 80% of our energy, burned in billions of machines. It took us two centuries to create this complex global industrial system. Now we must replace it in a few decades with zero carbon machines while providing much more energy for the world’s poor. The philosopher Isaiah Berlin once cited a fable about two kinds of thinkers: “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Hedgehog thinkers embrace single solutions to problems, while foxes see complexity, contingency, and risk. Climate pragmatism embraces multiple strategies and technologies, and a variety of market and policy approaches, to find what works. This is the moment for foxes, not hedgehogs.
This event is sponsored by the The Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism and co-sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Center for Sustainability Education.
Biography (provided by the speaker)
Armond Cohen is executive director of the Clean Air Task Force (CATF), which he founded in 1996. Under Cohen’s direction, CATF has been a leading force in reducing air pollution and climate pollutants from the nation’s power plants, industries and cars and trucks.
Cohen began his environmental law career in 1984 as the founder and first director of the energy project at the Conservation Law Foundation of New England, where he led efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in the power industry of that region. Before that work, Cohen served as a law clerk for a federal appeals judge in Chicago after graduating with honors from Harvard Law School (1982) and from Brown University (1979).
Cohen serves on numerous boards and panels, including the Keystone Energy Board, the Bank of America Community Advisory Council, Nuclear Innovation Alliance, the Center for Responsible Shale Development, and the US Department of Energy Electricity Advisory Committee. He is also the former Chair of the Electric Power Research Institute’s Advisory Council.
Cohen writes and speak frequently on the topic of climate and energy, and is a frequent witness before Congress, state legislatures, and regulatory bodies.
About the Rose-Walters Prize
The Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism awards $100,000 each year at Commencement to its recipient who returns to campus for a short residency during the academic year. Learn more.
Video of the Presentation