Climate Progress debates the Heritage Foundation on clean energy and climate policy

The Thrilla in Vanilla:  Me vs. Heritage’s David Kreutzer on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show:

[This audio link and their website are having problems today.]

A ref would have stopped this one a few minutes into the “fight” …

… well, okay, maybe not.  But he or she would have thought about it.

Kreutzer is, nominally, Heritage’s Senior Policy Analyst in Energy Economics and Climate Change.  But he has little to say about climate change, and, as for, energy economics, he never met a clean energy technology or strategy he liked (see “The intellectual bankruptcy of conservatism: Heritage even opposes energy efficiency“).

If we keep listening to the anti-science conservatives who reject any strategy to price carbon pollution, then, as the top pro-science conservative has said, we have no chance of achieving energy independence, no chance of achieving cleaner air, no chance of achieving a livable climate and no chance of achieving a significant share of the 20 million clean energy jobs that are likely to be created by 2030:

14 Responses to Climate Progress debates the Heritage Foundation on clean energy and climate policy

  1. Prokaryote says:

    Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow. How did it come to this?

  2. espiritwater says:

    That was really good! You did excellent, Joe, and thank you! (Unfortunately, the “other side” got in a punch at the last minute (not your fault; ran out of time). :)

  3. Lore says:

    Very well presented Joe. You continued to cover a lot of ground while bringing it back to the moderators question. It really does seem that the opposition is intellectually devoid of much in the way of persuasive substance to their arguments.

  4. mike roddy says:

    Incredible. I don’t know if either Exxon or Peabody would have the nerve to oppose energy efficiency. Heritage is pining for their love by going even farther into the dark side.

    I liked the exchange about nuclear on the radio show. You’re right, Joe: nuclear does not pencil, so maybe Obama knew this rhetoric wouldn’t get him in trouble with giant USG insurance liability claims, since they won’t get built anyway.

    I recall reading that the other issue is that uranium may be just as finite as oil and coal. That means price spikes during the life of the plant, which would make it nonfeasible. This could happen on its own due to safety requirements for mining: many Navajo uranium miners are very sick.

    There is no ideological reason why Heritage wouldn’t support private sector development of clean energy such as solar thermal. The reason they don’t is that they are not political thinkers at all, but are employees of fossil fuel industries.

  5. Wes Rolley says:

    Mike_Roddy, Thank you for acknowledging that uranium mining operations make people sick. In fact, they kill people as mine tailings leach into ground water and the effects are still killing people many years after the mines closed.

    Until there is end to end liability for nuclear power, there should be no nuclear power. Unfortunately there are no politicians who have the guts to say that. I would have loved a Barbara Boxer – Chuck DeVore Senate race in CA… because both of the talk the nuclear future. Some ideas do not die easily.

  6. Wow... says:

    Kreutzer walked away with this based on articulating the common sense approach..

  7. ‘Wow’ – could you be bothered to justify your assertion?

  8. mike roddy says:

    excellent oped in Houston Chronicle about nuclear costs in San Antonio:

  9. Joe – you presented distilled, very clear message. Kudos and thanks.

    Whether or nor we set a price on carbon — carbon costs continue.

    [JR: Thanks. Yes, that last point is a good one. Here’s the soundbite. Carbon has a cost. Now it needs a price.]

  10. Over at WNYC I found this comment:

    ‘[5] HOWARD SUSS from NYC
    January 28, 2010 – 11:10AM
    Stewart Brand, the notorious ecologists’ new book “Whole Earth Discipline” makes and modern case for nuclear power. Must read on this subject.’

    with which I have to agree, although I am only a part way through Brand’s book. I have also been reading Lovelock’s books, ‘The Revenge of Gaia’ and ‘The Vanishing Face of Gaia’ are well worth a look.

    Nuclear is not the bogey man most people fear.

  11. Leif says:

    richard, #9: ” Carbon cost continue.” Exactly, and those costs are ultimately shouldered by the tax payer while the Corporations and share holders reap profits often with established tax shelters or even off shore accounts to ease the burden that much more. Wake up America! You are being taken for a ride by the very folks pro-porting to be your friends. Humanity First, Status quo, NO!

  12. David B. Benson says:

    So good I’ll repeat it.

    Carbon has a cost.
    Now it needs a price.

  13. Dan B says:

    David Benson;

    Your bumper sticker is concise – bravo. When I read it I flashed back to Lindsey Graham’s messaging. It was written as a personal narrative. Narrative / Storytelling trumps logic. This has been drilled into me since I was shocked and baffled by George ‘W’ Bush’s election in 2004. Everywhere I looked “progressives” were on target with the facts and opinions, and losing ground fast.

    Lindsey Graham said something like – ‘Six months ago I thought Cap and Trade would weaken the US economy. Now I believe the country that leads the green energy economy will lead the world..’ – or something like that. It’s a simple narrative. It describes the transformation of a concerned conservative into a leader, a leader of the world.

    The same technique can be applied to “Carbon has a cost. Now it needs a price.”

    Here are different versions:

    Carbon costs. Clean cars clean up.

    Carbon Pollution. Free or?

    Carbon price. Clean future.

    Charge for Carbon, for our Kids.

    Price Carbon, for our Kids!

    It’s easy to print bumper stickers these days – much more expensive for individuals to transition to the new clean lifestyle… unless you’re in China, India, or Germany.

  14. 13. Dan B, good point about narrative and story-telling; long before we humans became reasonsers and scientists we were sitting around camp-fires becoming human with our story-telling and the emregence of language.

    (I would cavil and qualify your “trumps” with something like “trumps psychologically;” but, of course, that is exactly the “trump” that is most needed by climate scientists and science advocates right now, and the one most aggressively played by the denialists.)