July 1, 2022

EVEN GREENS SEE THE LIGHT SOMETIMES: Chasing Utopian Energy: How I Wasted 20 Years of My Life.

I started to realize that I had accepted as true certain claims about energy and our environment. Now I began to see those claims were false. For example:

I used to think solar and wind power were the best ways to reduce CO2 emissions. But the biggest reduction in CO2 emissions during the past 15 years (over 60%) has come from switching from coal to natural gas.

I used to think that the world was transitioning to solar, wind, and batteries. This, too, was false. Trillions of dollars were spent on wind and solar projects over the last 20 years, yet the world’s dependence on fossil fuels declined only 3 percentage points, from 87% to 84%.

I used to believe nuclear energy was dangerous and nuclear waste was a big problem. In fact, nuclear is the safest and most reliable way to generate low-emission electricity, and it provides the best chance of reducing CO2 emissions.

It’s now clear I was chasing utopian energy. I was using green energy myths as moral camouflage, and I was able to believe those myths as long as I remained ignorant about the real costs and benefits of different energy sources.

Ignorance is the key to green policy. So is moral camouflage.

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