Michael Mann: Will the USA Join the Green Energy Revolution or Fall Behind?

Michael Mann: Will the USA Join the Green Energy Revolution or Fall Behind?


This is Michael Mann, Distinguished University Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Geosciences, Penn State.
CREDIT Patrick Mansell, Penn State

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The part I don’t get – why is it important to greens not to “fall behind”?

Climate Change Impacts ‘No Longer Subtle,’ Scientist Says

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Michael Mann (@MichaelEMann), distinguished professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University.

“What we’re seeing right now across the Northern Hemisphere is extreme weather in the form of unprecedented heat waves, droughts, floods, wildfires. In isolation, it might seem like any one of these things could be dismissed as an anomaly, but it’s the interconnectedness of all these events and their extreme nature that tells us that we are now seeing the face of climate change. The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle.

“That’s a huge lost opportunity when the media does not connect those dots for the people, because this is the face of climate change, and we have to understand it’s not just about polar bears up in the Arctic. It’s about extreme damaging weather events that we’re experiencing now in real time.”

“So the world is moving on, and the question now is, simply, is the United States going to join the rest of the world in what is the great economic revolution of this century, the green energy revolution, or are we going to fall behind the rest of the world? That’s the decision that we have to make, and if we don’t like the path that we’re on right now with the Trump administration and Republican leadership in Congress, we’ve got a midterm election in less than 100 days, where we can speak out and say, ‘We want a different path. We want to join the rest of the world, rather than be the last holdout towards progress.’ ”

Read more: http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2018/08/02/summer-weather-climate-change

Why is it so important to greens for the USA not to “fall behind” the alleged renewable energy revolution?

Back in 2014, an engineering team working for Google discovered to their horror that there is no economically viable path to 100% renewable energy. No matter what they tried, the cost of building all the green energy infrastructure which would be required to get anywhere close to 100% renewable energy was an insurmountable barrier.

Spending money on green energy R&D – I don’t have a problem with that. But spending money on green energy infrastructure is a high risk investment in an unready technology which currently has no chance of delivering. Even Google’s engineers couldn’t crack the problem.

My question – instead of risking national economic ruin by trying to jump to the front of the pack, why not continue with the status quo? Encourage US entrepreneurs servicing the technology needs of green states and other countries to solve the problems, without risking the national economy.

That way countries or states which are enthusiastic about solar and wind take the risks, while states which are less enthusiastic about green energy provide an economic safety net in case the green energy revolution doesn’t work out.

Superforest,Climate Change

via Watts Up With That? https://ift.tt/1Viafi3

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