Daily Archives: January 16, 2015

Jan 16, 1919: Bootleggers and Baptists get it onnnnn.

On January 16th, 1919 the 18th Amendment of the US Constitution was passed. The largest experiment in behaviour change EVER would start a year on.

jan16wcfieldsWhat on earth has Prohibition got to do with climate change? Well, it’s just a warning that crude blanket bans can (not “will”, but definitely “can”) lead to all manner of mayhem.

One of those pieces of (occasionally faux) world-weary wisdom that gets trotted out is that behind every piece of state regulation there is an unholy and superficially unlikely coalition of “Baptists and Bootleggers”.

In the climate example the “Baptists” would be the scientists and social movements with a “moral fervour” to remove the “sin” of “carbon pollution” and the bootleggers, hoping that the State would make a market for them, would be the renewables industry and the energy efficiency industry.

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.