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The #energy and #climate discussion desperately needs some objectivity and moderation.
- Mar 31, 2023 10:05 pm GMT
The comment threads below these kinds of posts always gives me an odd sense of dejected amusement. Extremism rules, whether it is "a total #renewables disruption is right around the corner" or "renewables are useless and #nuclear is our only hope" or "#oilandgas subsidies are the only reason why they still compete" or "#climatechange is a hoax" or "the #climatecrisis is already killing us" etc. etc.
Of course, the truth lies somewhere between all these painfully divisive extreme opinions.
- Renewables are genuinely competitive in some niches (e.g., low-to-moderate electricity market shares in regions with good resources and land availability), but, for fundamental reasons of energy density, temporal and spatial availability, and general versatility, they can never compete in most niches before fossil fuels actually start running out.
- Still, climate change is an important problem that demands a reasonable price on CO2 to deploy renewables (and a wide array of other badly neglected solutions) in niches where they will not be profitable without internalizing the climate change externality.
- However, the drastic green transformation of the energy-industrial foundation of our civilization demanded by 1.5 degree pathways is as impossible as it is dangerous. A bad case of "carbon tunnel vision" is doing the rounds among rich-world intellectuals commenting from their ivory towers of inherited fossil-fuelled luxury - a major folly in a time when only about 10% of the peak global population has reached decent living standards.
The #energy and #climate discussion desperately needs some objectivity and moderation. Let me recommend Adam Grant's "Think Again" and the noble practice of challenging your beliefs by seeking out and objectively studying opposing information.
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