tv Debate on Climate Change CSPAN June 1, 2022 11:07am-12:11pm EDT
>> we had this compelling debate on should america rapidly eliminate fossil fuel use to prevent climate catastrophe and we want to give them all our . we did this debate at the university of miami in florida nd tand at cu boulder last week and in that case those two debates it was alex epstein debating general wesley clark and you can find both of those debates on steamboat institutes youtube channel. today we have alex epstein but a different debate opponent and let me briefly introduce. i will read their bios andi believe they're going to come up to the stage after i introduced them . we are .pleased to have with us this morning professor andrew dessler. he's professor ofatmospheric science at texas a and m university . professor dessler studies the scienceand politics of climate change . he is the chair of science at texas a&m and in n2022 he was
named director of texas and items center for climate studies. professor dessler served in the clinton administration during thelast year he served as senior policy analyst in the white house office of science and technology . his latest book introduction to modern climate change won the 2014 american meteorological society's louis j batten authors award. we are also pleased to have alex epstein. president and founder of the center for industrial progress, author of the moral case for fossil fuels. alex is a philosopher who argues them and flourishing to be the guiding principle of industrial and environmental progress. he is author of the new york times bestseller the moral case for fossil fuel and alex is known for his willingness to debate anyone anytime and has publicly debated leading environmentalist organizations such as greenpeace, the sierra club and 50-50.org over the
morality of fossil fuel use. and finally our moderator for this morning's today is dan njegomir. dan is a longtime journalist and more than 25 year veteran of the colorado political scene. he's been an award-winning newspaper reporter and editorial page editor, senior legislative staff at the state capital and political consultants. let's welcome professor dessler and alex epstein and dan njegomir to the stage. [applause] >> can everyone hear me?
good. let's get down to business now that you've had introductions from jennifer . [inaudible] not everyone can see me but you can hear my voice. goingto ask each of these gentlemen to offer an opening statement on his view of the proposition which you heard today . let me eat it forthe record . that is should america rapidly eliminate fossil fuel use to preventclimate catastrophe . what were going to do is have andrew go first and he's going, hopefully each one will do an openingstatement stating where there at . give them 10 and a half minutes each and andrew will go first followed by alex and we will give andrew a chance to rebut anything he feels needs to be addressed at any
point alex raised . >> slides. thanks. energy is the most important thing in the world. if you have energy you can do anything else you want to the question is what's the best way to generate energy ? we generate energy through fossil fuels right now but let me talk about the disadvantages of fossil fuels. talk about climate change explain why i am concerned about climatechange . let's go back to the last ice age. this is basically what north america looks like, it was half covered. there were different ecosystems, sea level was 300 feet lower . it was a different planet. if you want outside you would not recognize your planet. it was about 10 degrees ut fahrenheit colder at that time so think about it. 10 degrees fahrenheit global
average you pull the planet you get an ice age. call that an ice age, 10 degrees egegso let's think abou the future. on track for five degrees of warming at an ice age here. have the possibility of completely remaking the surface of the earth. we can try to adapt to this, but it is possible or plausible that if we do that our descendents are spending all of their money building a seawall and lwater infrastructure, things like that. they will be significantly impoverished. moving on, fossil fuelspoison the air. they kill millions every year around the world due to air pollution . in addition , there's obviously a national security risk to these are headlines that are not that far out of date but i feel like they're out of date c. texas gas prices could reach gallon as rs and a they fire us russia tensions. let me give you a headline that will never be written.
texas oil prices skyrocketed as energy sector responds to us russia tensions. as midterms loom, those headlines will not occur. we will never invade kuwait in order to rescue wind and sun . and fossil fuel is a s commodity so the price is there and these price variations which were experiencing right now. gases five dollars a gallon . i have an electric car, i fill up my tank for $10 and it's $10 last month and it will be $10 next month. it's always the same so this variability is extremely economically damaging when it's a small business owner what's the price of gasoline to be in a year, nobody knows . how do you make plans whenyou can't predict the price of energy ? so now let's be clear that we need energy and fossil fuels are the only way to go i would be the first person in
line saying let's stuff we dig out of theground but we have an alternative . the alternative is wind and solar those actually are the cheapest power sources now. when i show people this and i point this out people are often stunned. in fact don't get angry at me because they don't realize you're in the midst of an energy revolution . most people don't keep track of this. their knowledge of energy prices are a few years old of the people in texas who build energy, they know this so if you go to the website, runs the grid in texas and they published this at six on what people are connecting to the grid it is 90 percent solar, wind and batteries, 10 percent gas because they realized the cheapest energy is when and solar . that was my son beating. the cheapest energy is wind and solar and i put it? because people will say what
about subsidies ? i'm happy to argue with that if people want to talk about that tht. but let's talk about one thing that's not arguable let's look at the trend . this shows that energy in 2009 2019 this is solar and that's when going down from here to there. this is a trend and this trend is not going to stop . what that means is we can argue about what people do now wind andsolar are the cheapest energy of the future . there can beno debate about that . . people will tell you yeah, but wind and solar are intermittent and that of course is true so then the question becomes can you build a great that uses intermittent renewable energy that's still reliable and cheap. i'm not going to give you my opinion , i'm not just going to claim. there is an enormous amount of peer-reviewed research that's gone on this over the
last decade so we know the answer. we know the answer unless you can saywhere these people went wrong ., the your feelings don't matter. this is the math, the physics and engineering problem. let me talk about how you build a grid that runs mainly on intermittent energy that's still reliable. the first thing you have to do, there are two classes of energy. there's the fuel savers, that's wind and solar and then there's the firm power you can turn on and off anytime you want. for example the fuel savers are wind and solar batteries. they owbuild any battery. it could be nuclear, hydro, geothermal, gas with carbon capture and what you want to do for the cheapest grid is 'use as much renewables as you can anytime renewables don't give you enough power to turn on the captured power. you asked why not have grid
that's 100 percent onuclear? it's going to be a lot more expensive. if you want to pay the least amount of money this is the grid you want to look at and the grid will be, the numbers very different groups have different numbers but it's around that order of magnitude and 25 percent firm dispatch willpower. so let me wrap up . you know, we need power but we can get power from wind and solar. it's the cheapest energy source of the future. we can build based on a decade of peer-reviewed research a grid that does reliably provide energy at low-cost and i'm happy to talk more about that and that grid twill avoid the social costs of climate change. the fact that fossil fuels poison the air. economic cost of price fluctuation and that fossil fuels don't pull us into wars so i'll wrap it up there . >> you came in basically with
45 seconds to spare. >> i can't believe i didn't use those 45 seconds. >> alex, all yours. >> so when you have a debate like this particularly involving a respected climate scientist the usual assumption is that there's going to be a big difference in over climate science and for the most part i think that's not true. the key difference between not just me and professor s dessler but me and the whole net zero movement is methodology . my background is in methodology and i have a particular methodology for thinking about this issue . what's interesting about this methodology is nobody has ever disagreed with this methodology and yet i've never met one component of
fossil fuels who even remotely follows it. there are four key factors we have to consider when thinking about fossil fuels. we have to think about the harms of rising co2, benefits of rising the 02, we need to t think about climate masters, our ability to adapt to any kind of climate danger and the benefits of fossil fuel so my analysis is usuallywhat happens with the net zero movement is they do talk about rising co2 harm. they tend to overstate them , professor dessler does it less than n others but already he's donedistortion in that realm. benefits tend to be trivialized or denied . climate denial tends to not discuss at all and benefit denial is rampant and also that professor dessler is doing this despite seeming not to. explain my view and explain where professor dessler and then the net zero view goes very well so i generally find professor dessler reasonable,
one of the most honest commentators but what he and the ipcc say is nothing resembling what we hear in the media. you're talking like three feet by the year w2100 in extreme scenarios not like 20 feet in several decades . and on joe rogan you said specifically we have no idea in terms of what three degrees will do and i cannot tell you it's going egto be bad but i think itcould be bad so that's a measured thing. when we talk about degrees fahrenheit it's important to recognize we are already up two degrees fahrenheit . i think we need nto be more honest about that so talking about five degrees, it really means three degrees from now . that brings us to rising co2 benefits which even if you think the harms are vague the benefits are demonstrably huge departicularly if you are cold related deaths. we have his chart which has beenvetted many times . there's also global greening in terms of crop benefits.
which is very significant. the fact that this is not mentioned or acknowledged as significant by the net zero movement shows the bias that we will see much more apparently with climate mass and here's where we get into a problem with that . it is a fact that climate related disaster deaths from extreme temperatures, storms, floods are down 98 percent over the last century and it is demonstrable that fossil fuels whichprovide 80 percent of the low cost reliable energy we use to master climate they are et cost. using fossil fuels to power irrigation andtransport can make us far safer from threats . our mastery is so great 100 million people in the world with below sea level . so in terms of sea level cd d million people they are beloit and are totally fine.
here's what i find totally objectionable. this is never mentioned. it's got thousands of pages and this is not mentioned. professor dessler i never see him mention it. this is why discussing polio and the effects of polio without the discussing that we have a polio vaccine. we are mastering climate. do not discuss this is denial pureand simple . i want to emphasize this. nothing climate denier projects about future arms of co2 can be trustedbecause they deny our climate mastery ability . it certainly applies to professor dessler. so the final factor which is it an even more egregious denial is denying the benefits of fossil fuel. fossil fuels are scalable and versatile sources of energy . they're able to provide energy for billions of people . versatile means all types of machines.el professor dessler only kept
about better electricity but electricity is 20 percent of global use. fossil fuels are growing in china and other parts of the world that one of the lower-cost most reliable energy. it's curious why china is not going all in given that it's so allegedly cheap andif we look at solar and wind , it's very clear. they're only used in places large enough and they had cost so when you see more solar and wind electricity prices go up. why is this? it's very simple. you look at this graph and you see some types of solar here. you need 100 percent backup you have to pay for the e hireliable grid and all the unreliable infrastructure including transmission lines but most importantly the reliable powerplant . when you try to cut costs for resiliency measures which is what happened in texas then
you have disasters. on top of this billions more people need low cost reliable energy like the one third of the world using wood and animals so fossil fuels are cost effective yet professor dessler says low-cost are e rapidly eliminated. how can he claim that? he's using two denial tactics that he's unaware of or being manipulative and these are partial cost accounting and relying on near-term impossibilities so partial cost accounting uses cost of energy/electricity and anyone who uses this is either ignorant or defrauding and i mean this literally. if you look at the number it says explicitly does not take into account reliability related considerations so it looks at the cost of the solar panel but not the transmission lines and not the backup. that's like saying i got to keep employee, he's only $18 an hour instead of 21 but you have to pay get them into work. but $18 an hour is so cheap.
you need to look at the full cost. this is partial cost accounting and in terms of near-term impossibilities he talked about nuclear, hydro and geothermal in terms of supporting this magical grid. nucleardoesn't work with intermittent solar wind . it works very steadily. gas is the one that does. hydro is location limited. he also recently said i agree hydro is not something to expand and geothermal is highly location limited. at a fraction of the present is not practical so either we're dealing with a tremendous amount of figures about energy. he has some fantastic arguments i've never heard of or he's engaging in deception . if something somebody is distorting the present they can't be trusted about the future . doctor dessler has a lot to answer for perfect time. thank you both, gentlemen. [applause] >> as agreed what they're
going to do is give andrew a chance to briefly refute some of the salient points he f thinks needs addressing and if you could keep it to a minute and a half . >> i'm not sure where to begin. i'm not going to bore you guys but i'll begin. a lot of the fadvantages that mister epstein talked about when he talked about the advantagesof fossil fuels are not the yadvantages , there are theadvantages of power and it doesn't matter where you get the power . if you get the power for renewables, fossil fuels you're still going to be important power sources that are going to solve the problems and reduce the deaths . i'm almost there. so this is a plot i showed you. youshow the plot that has germany and california. encome on. this is a plot of all the states . next axis is the price and
the y-axis is how much renewable energy that have. it is not more expensive to add renewable energy that's false. as far asnuclear , being impossible . i have to say i did talk about adaptation. the thing he's not talking about is he says we have climate mastery. i did mention it and what he doesn't talk t?about is the cost of climate mastery. if you want to build a seawall that's tens of billions of dollars. who's going to pay for that? we are. climatemastery makes us poor. if you go to california or the allman producers , they are not just trusting in water they're not heroically building a pipeline to bring water in, their written their trees out of the ground . co2 fertilization isn't helping them . the mastery of the climate isn't helping . it's too expensive tomaster the climate . when you have cheap renewable energy available.
certainly there are costs associated with building transitional of those exist with all systems and if you look at the studies that have been done like the net zero study they include the cost of transmission lines. again,you have to look at peer-reviewed literature . you can build a reliable grid . he's right we also need to electrify so that's another part of the problem that you need to be electrified. we use fossil fuels but we 5% can electrified many of them, 95 percent of our energy, last five percent is hard. you get to the last five percent that's going to be difficult . i hate to cut you off but i've got to. >> i could goon . >> you all have written plenty and are extremely knowledgeable about it and i might add our audience includes many energy experts y or that's the late-term o person like you would use and i can see that from questions
coming in . what i'm going to try to do is balance some of that with maybe some of the more technical questions a lot of which are things that are over myhead but i know not over yours . i'm going to try to balance that and add these priority type questions. let me start with one of these. i noticed that alice has written on theseenergy talking points website that stopping fossil fuels would make the earth unlivable . andrew wrote this month in rolling stone the amount of warming the world is on track to experience is enormous and will transform our planet in unimaginable ways. somebody like me who is not an energy expert looks at both of those and thought what if they're both right? in which case instead of sparing no expense in an attempt to curb climate change should we try to adapt and can we let me go ahead and ask andrew first.
>> certainly we have to adapt because if we don't avoid, people have to realize adaptation is not magic. people say we will use fossil fuels to master theclimate but that is expensive. i'll give you one example . houston almost got wiped out by hurricane ike in the late 2000 they've been proposing to build a direct to basically houston will get wiped out behind this. $30 billion so they just can't get the money. so it's extremely expensiveto adapt. certainly we haveto adapt to what we can't avoid but we can avoid it at low cost a lot of the warming and if you can avoid it for more cheaply you should do that . >> you have an observation ? >> i've been disappointed by andrew's response to my
opening because i explained myself and his position. if somebody pointed out using fraudulent statistics in terms of low cost of energy and also that i'm using imaginary scenarios that totally in either the physical realities in terms of hydro and nuclear and geothermal and solar and wind that would give me pause instead of just referringlike there is an academic study in the future . so i just want to reiterate that the conclusions that the earth will become has become more livable tand fossil fuels are cnecessary is based on looking at the full context which professor dessler continues not to do. they provide low-cost reliable energy to power machines for billions of people to be productive at cost including unnaturally safe climate. we are 50 times safer than we were 100 yearsago . that is amazing and needs to be stressed.
if you look climate damages this is 2 to 3 degrees fahrenheit, they are black and in some cases they are declining. there is no climate crisisat all and there's actually a clements renaissance night right now . the agreed that degree that three degrees will be disastrous is not looking at the big picture the big picture is clear that net zero is mass impoverishment and mass premature deaths . >> if indeed let's say there is an increase in average global temperature from 1 to 5 degrees by the end of this century, does it make more sense nonetheless i think is the question to adapt and expand what we have to do so rather than necessarily trying to go to net zero on carbonemissions ? >> its net zero regardless as
mass murder should not even be on the table if you look at the full context. policies should you have given that energy is so important? the key thing is to engage in any dell operation that is possible of low carbon alternatives and we are very fortunate we have an unbelievable low carbon alternatives and is cheaper for electricity and fossil fuels in the 70s which is nuclear which is unfortunately urgently criminalized the point where nuclear crisis almost are 10 times more today adjusted for inflation and they were in the 70s . and i think cleveryone should think of decriminalizing nuclear. they actually work to reduce co2 emissions, is not my highest priority but you can have it as a priority but they make energy for available to more people . if the green movement to look at professor dessler's track record, until this year he's been very hostile to nuclear and then he calls it expensive but that's another distortion.
it's only expensive because of the green movement he is a major part of and a supporter of soap liberate nuclear, deliberate natural gas, stliberate alternatives but let me million people have energy and do not hold them back by this denial and distortion about solar and wind . >> i'm going to ask you a different question . this is one from our audience and it says environmental justice eseems to require making life for the poor and middle-class more expensive. is the only solution to reducing fossil fuels making american families by a tesla? >> i hate to do this, i have torespond to alex saying i'm being dishonest . in france most of their electricity is nuclear. the reason we don't do it in the us is regulatory . so is a statement we can do is wrong. getting back to your statement about, we do need
to switch. if mwe want to get to a world that doesn't have air pollution deaths which mister epstein has not mentioned. if we want to get away from that which i think we should and people need to switch to electric . i don't think everyone needs to buy a tesla. one thing you see happening is 10 years ago people would laugh at you if you told them the penetration of electric cars would have today. what's going to happen is there are innovation cycles driving down all of these emother prices.
standpoint and what you want to do on the grid is generate as much possible polyp power as you can. if you can't get enough power you turn on distractible power so it's not that is including thecost of that, that's part of the grid . it's just that's completely the wrong way to think about it and just specifically i think that was our study is just the amount of energy but your thinking about it wrong if that's the way you think about it. >> can i respond? this is a great difference between us because i think mister epstein is completely wrong about this. i thought i explained earlier that you have to look at the full cost of things. if you take something like we want all of the solar and wind you can think about this like an unreliable worker who is willing to work cheaper. all work for eight dollars instead of $20 there are costs associated. i mentioned transmission cost and the most important things are back at cost and maybe professor dessler is being too literal but the system
cost necessary to take an intermittent unreliable input like solar and wind and turn it into a controllable reliable output and you have to look at the full cost and he mentioned about there's no correlation.the real thing to look at iswhat happens to the numberswhen you add solar and wind and there's a strong correlation the prices going up . some of the places are places that have cheap electricity already . this is a huge distortion to act like putting the same price on something that is unreliable and something that is reliable as one executive put it i like this analogy. it's like putting the same price on the car that works a third of the time and a car that works all the time. their difference and the reason solar and wind are having increased penetration pays the same for unreliable at subsidizes unreliable on top of that. this is not some amazing market revolution. this is based on this coercion of sun and wind instead of decriminalizing nuclear and getting something done . >> if i could respond to that
. people have done that study. he says you need to look at the full cost. that's the net zero america e study. that's what they'vedone. they've done that . this is not something that we are ignoring. that's the problem with the study any projection, i have a rule that any projection of the future that does not acknowledge the presence is imbalanced all these studies , they are in total denial. they claim solar and wind have made things cheaper already. something we know has already made things more lvexpensive there denying that so it involves all sorts ofdenial about the future and all sorts of making up of hypothetical things based on full the assumptions. what i go by is what's happening . 10 years ago they were saying all the samethings you were in their individual predicament where their dependence on russia because
they believed these fantasies instead of looking at reality . if these are so good implement them in one place around the world and see if they are successful, do not force usto ban fossil fuels in the name of economic costs whichare total fallacies and fantasies . >> ,on . >> go ahead . >> this is true. there's denial going on. >> i agree, from the energy groups. >> don't shoot the piano player. >> can be good, of higher average global temperature down the road? if they were to come to pass and you know, i think both of you say that that is likely. >> that there's good assumptions? >> that there uwill be higher global temperatures. >> let me askyou first alex , is there anygood that can come of that ? >> indicated this but there oris greening and it is
important what warming so back about warming that professor dessler knows but is not publicized because e it's sort of incriminating to the warming is warming tends to take place in colder places during colder seasons and colder times so it's more of the world becoming less cold . then more warm obviously in the warmer places and again even if youthink they're significant netiquette negatives there are huge positives . people like warmth. work is crucial to life. heat -related deaths are far fewer than cold relateddeaths today so i want to point out a point of philosophy . the reason people don't care about these things as they have a philosophy which is if the planet we lyinherited was perfect and any impact we have is immoral it inevitably would aself-destruct. this is a primitive religious dogma and most people accept it and most climate scientists accepted and
that's why there so concerned with these negatives and they don't seem to appreciate how safe wemade the earth. if you lookat the world from a pro-human perspective , we're in a climate renaissance, not the climate crisis . >> the temperature we have now is the best temperature because we are adapted to it. if you look around the world we have built our entire world around us temperature so people in siberia built houses on permafrost but they assume the permafrost is never going to melt and when it melts the houses split. people build cities right on the sea because they assume that's what the sea level will be and we have trillions, i will say that's a slide. we make trillions of these adaptations. so for example bridges. when you build a bridge you assume a temperature range that the bridge expands and contracts. you have to repair the bridge . so there are trillions of these and they're going to be extremely expensive for us to adapt.
will there be some positives? i have no doubt. some people somewhere will have positives. both point out thing about we're warming the higher latitudes. more exthan we're warming the equator. nswe're warming the low latitudes a lot. i don't care what happens in canada, i care what happens in san antonio and austin and in houston. there's going to be a lot of warmth not just in the winter but the summer and is going to be expensive. we have to run our a air-conditioners more, it's t going to be expensive for us to adapt . >> i'm going to skip to the end. challenges again to conventional thinking can we talk about the co2 part and how the introduction of fossil fuels save the planet? plans were about to die so it increased co2. let me ask you first. is that faulty reasoning? >> i don't think the planet was about to die at 280 parts 1 million which is
preindustrial. >> but the part about our generating more co2. >> definitely we've increased about 40 percent. >> and are we helping plant life? >> if that was the only thing that was happening, you certainly would beholding plants so if you have a greenhouse you can inject carbon dioxide in and people do that but that's not what's happening . or that's not the only thing that's happening. in california you have these farmers revving up there all the trees because they can't get water so as the climate warms co2 is going up but again other things are happening and i would also point out that actually i want to point out.>> i think it's true that co2 has benefits and the historical perspective is interesting. the arms of warming as well but i want to factor in the two biggest variables which are the enormous benefits of
fossil fuel and climate mastery. i want to reiterate. fossil fuels provide 80 percent of the world energy and growing in the parts of the world that care most about low-cost reliableenergy like china . theworld is drastically short of energy . 80 percent of energy is cost-effective in a world that desperately needs more energy and energy is crucial to people being able to use machines to make themselves active and prosperous. here we have solar and wind which are mandated and lied about but they are three percent of the world energy that are totally dependent on reliable sources of energy mostly fossil fuels and we have this claim that we can rapidly ban the world's leading source of energy and
replace them with solar and wind. this is why i call it mass murder. this would and billions of livesprematurely so the details of what co2 does or doesn't do are trivial. anything in the realm of possibility is masterful and nothingcompared to the benefits if we follow professor dessler's ypolicy . >> if we accept the assumption of the impact of human activity , how much can the us and europe mitigate it when alchina soon to be the world's largest economy and india which is soon to be the world's most populous will produce so much of the world's carbon emissions and i have a follow-up question but let me throw that one out there for each of you starting with you andrew. >> okay. obviously it's a global problem. the us solve the problem by ourselves. but that's a political issue which i really, i'm not someone who is an expert on international negotiations. the point is we can do this physically. we just need to convince the country and i will say most of the other countries inof the world with a few exceptions maybe australia and the us
are already convinced they're looking for us leadership on this problem. the us has an honest leadership capabilities if we lead the way other countries will follow. other countries recognize these problems. >> erit's amazing china and india, kthey're using more fossilfuels . china has new coal plants in the pipeline so there by far the most cost-effective energy going forward. that's why people are using so many now and so many in the future. if you care about emissions the only demonstrable way to deal with it is not agreement , we seem to fail a lot in terms of co2. it's coming up with lower cost no carbon or low carbon energy and it reinforces the criminalization of nuclear, creates great unfairness that favors up and down unreliable
in favor of over nuclear which is like nuclear plants being shut down we need to recognize nuclear has amazing potential, liberate natural gas. this will be good for the world in terms of energy and lower emissions long-term. there is no climate catastrophe this is a win-win policy. empower the world and lower emissions over time . t as long as were on this solar and wind, which is primitive religious idea that we want our energy from the sun and the wind as long as we do this for going to and millions of lives and if we focus on doing it in america we will become worse than germany is with russia. europe has been the leader on this issue and look at them now. >> let's go even further into the morality. is going green and much rate of post industrial economies such as ours or that's what i'm told our economy is and is it anunrealistic burden to keep oneconomies that are still developing .
let me ask you first . >> green philosophically is the idea of minimizing or eliminating human impact on nature. as i said before this is based on primitive philosophy which is the idea lsthat our impact on the worldis somehow immoral and also wsomehow inevitably destructive . it's like you violate the commandment andit's wrong but you're also going to go to hell . theglobal warming narrative is like a modern held narrative . there's no plausible but people have this religious view that we're really going to hell so this is a primitive view and it's not a view that's held by anybody who lives in nature so if you live in nature you understand you have to master nature. only when you've been so elevated by other people's mastery that you take for granted the world you live in
and you think of that as natural to you support and adopt these green policies and unfortunately what we do is we have a totally nongreen society but then we impose these anti-human green policies on the rest of the world in the name of so-called sustainable development telling them not to build gas and then to somehow use solar and wind and maybe use it to charge a cell phone instead of having a real economy so this modern green movement is fundamentally immoral and its army of course people in the world . >> is there an implicit in going green and i realized that the broadbrush. >> the people that work on this and i'm kind of amazed about this discussion. people who work on this and do the peer-reviewed research have identified the cheapest energy is wind and solar this mister dessler is making stuff upwhen he says it's more expensive. show me a study that says that . we can't have these debates if we can check each other on the fly but show me a study and i will read it and we can argue about it in an email but it is not elitist because
it's the cheapest energy . if people in africa cannot afford renewable energy they cannot afford fossil fuel especially when you add in all the costs tomaster the climate. master the climate let me sympathize. master the climate is an incredibly expensive. building seawalls is expensive . building flood control infrastructure is expensive. i don't think it's going to end human society but it's certainly possible and i might even sayplausible again, i said this initially . we're spending all of our time, i don't plan to be but other people in this group might be, spending all their . money trying to stay alive and master the climate . it is not cheap. look at the seawalls andall the kinds of investments people have to make . >> this keeps coming up and i felt like i developed this. what we actually see like i'm very big on you make predictions about the future acknowledging the present and we haven't experienced
increasing co2 for 170 years. we've had two degrees of warming, where talking about three more and what we've seen is mastery hasn't been a cost, it's drastically reduced the rate of climate related disaster. that's mastery of something you do anyway to deal with the dangers of nature and if nyou look at the kinds of changes we're talking about their extremely slow and involved in a civilization that's rebuilding itself anyway these are very slow master of all changes keeping billions in poverty is not a slow master of all change . unreliable reliable solar and wind is increasing the cost. what i rest would regard as charlatans were mostly not environmentalist who decided to make up economic scenarios, they deny the present and most deny that there crucial for the future including economists in china and india who are making real decisions so this is massive
energy denial to justify this in human policy and find a place and make it work because in practice it's just killing people and making people insecure like europe right now. >> let me renewable. the problem today is we can go to the eia website afand so is long but i'll do it after this . >> i do like conflict and with so many good guess there's still me doing this. let me do a time check here. let me do a time check with you. we want to reserve a minute or so for each of our speakers to sum up what they come here to say and what they have to say in tthe debate. at the same time tremendous amount of questions that show how learned you all are have come in and i would like to get toa few more if there's time . >> a not sure how you want to do that.
he's saying 12 minutes. let's go with more of these. some of them overlap and that's why i'm calling it . some have been addressed in various ways let's get back to a number of them touch on the cost of renewables which is the real-world cost of he vethem and a number of these really pointedly address to andrew. so by the way you were referred to as sldessler and dressler. just to be clearyou are dessler . you said your electric car cost you $10 to fill up and will continue to do so in the future becauseof renewables are the e cheapest form of energy . why do california have such higher electricity prices when they both builtthe most renewable infrastructure ? >> you have to look at the time of when people don't count their infrastructure.
if you look at that, the lazar plot it shows 10 years ago solar was the most expensive power and today solar is the least expensive power so germany built a lot of power when it was expensive so that's going to drive up the cost. we should thank germany because they're spending a lot of money on it to help drive the price down so now . it's the cheapest power. that's what texas energy producers are built doing, their building solar . 100gigawatts in the next few years it's cheap and i know people don't like to hear that . i was on probably a podcast recently and you can't imagine how many people email me about that but we're going through an energy revolution. you all have to know that. you can't have a reason to debate if you don't know the revolution we're going through right now. >> alex. >> i'm going to try safe to say something noncompetitive.
again, it's all the same energy. it's true as i mentioned solar and wind are not replacements for fossil fuel. they are cost adding supplements because again they depend on a 100 percent or near 100 percent reliable infrastructure so it's true as some of the prices go down they will add less cost but they still do add cost everywhere they are used. there's one other point i wanted to make. i guess i'll try to remember it. >> you wanted to ask aboutthe university of chicago ethics study . >> neither of us have re mentioned that. >> you're familiar with that and an audience member points out a study that shows renewables are more expensive ns is the 20 19th university of chicago ethics study. this was directed to professordessler what if both of you are familiar we will start with andrew . >> i am not familiar with that study.
>> i am familiar with the study. these studies tend to be way too conservative. one thing is the ability to t like solar and wind because they are unreliable replacing the first 10 percent is y cheaper than replacing the third. what you're doing is l.you have to add more and more unreliable infrastructure to get a larger and larger percentage but you need the whole unreliable infrastructure as well so if you look at a place like texas they spent $70 billion according to robert reich to get to 21 percent solar and wind and to get to dessler's 71 percent, your 3 and a half times that. you have to spend money on infrastructure and what a really important point is this drives up costs so what happens is you defund ki reliable power plants. professor dessler talks about the free market is doing this . it's subsidies, mandates . texas grid pays the same as reliable. not one person in this room including professor dessler would pay the same amount for
a reliable employee as an unreliable employee though this is a total corruption and were not even talking about the 80 percent of energy electricity and the billions who lack it so the idea that solar and wind can justify banning fossil fuels with no cost isitjust a murderous farce . it is texas the nation's second most populous state has renewable energy standard mandate like colorado which i understand and as a longtime colorado and i think it's aggressive but is that part of what's driving this? >> away the texas grid works is the way the ercot grid works. it's a free market energy system and this, mister epstein is right that they have an optionevery day where energy producers come in and say this is how much i will charge you for energy .
and ercot says we need 60 gigawatts and they say were going to the take the cheapest 60 gigawatts of power andbecause their marginal cost of power zero advantage . i 100 percent agree that texas market and because of that the incentive for energy producers is to continue building wind and solar essentially forever because that's the cheapest energy source and i understand his disagreement . >> .. you need to have power under grid and the zero incentive to build nuclear in texas or to build other types of firm power and that's a problem with the market. it's not a problem with the
energy and that's a big difference we have. wind and solar are not the problem. the problem is the market. you need to redesign the market to give some advantage to power because you have to have it on the grid. >> how do you do that? >> it's a market. just say we will give you extra, i don't know, i'm not speedy who is the we? >> is the texas legislature. >> and requires rules. the proper policies off form,a true if the government monopolizes something, look at the electricity needs and look at what mixture of things will meet that and build long-term be most effective at the lowest price and when to do that you tend to favor nays things like nuclear, coal, natural gas. of d is he's not looking at the full cost. so that's the main thing but
it's important that even with the raw material things like solar panels and wind turbines. those do not go down indefinitely because they are real physical materials what we're seeing now is a lot of those materials are going up and in particular chinese solar panels are dominant because they involve chinese coal china does not using solar panels to make solar panels. they're using coal to make solar panels. why is that of solar panels are so so they're using coal and that's an advantage they have over us and the other thing is they're using low environmental standards. and the other thing is they're using slave labor. so you're like, oh great. somebody wanted me to say that i guess it's like saying, oh my god, like the south's cotton is so cheap. it's like yeah, but they're using slaves. that's kind of relevant to the situation. well china's using slaves to make solar panels that's relevant as well. so this is not the it's a human. it's a humanitarian evil, but it's one of us this one of the smaller distortions professor destler is either engaged in or repeating without knowledge, but it is an important one, but overall this picture of energy
is just a crazy distortion and alex what you said right now addresses at least one of the questions that's coming from our audience. i always like to give the audience questions credit for their for their both their knowledge and they're sort of their insights. this one was directed to you and said, can you explain the mining manufacturing environmental impacts of wind and solar compared to a drilling rig in texas? it's sort of a variation on the theme but what about that whether you want look at that a drilling really in texas or what about what would alex just brought up now is you know, yeah, they're making these nifty solar panels cheap, but they're doing it with coal. it's at some point in the production chain is setting aside questions of ethics and morality everything. i mean, is there a sort of a cart before the horse? yeah, okay, so i have a couple responses to that first off. so i was in china probably five years ago in inner mongolia and you drive down the road and there'd be a coal-fired power plant under construction and then a few kilometers away. you could actually see wind turbines up and you know, as i said, i'm not an expert on the chinese grid, but my take on
that is that they recognize they need both firm dispatchable and renewable energy that they understand that everybody understands that and just for those of us late people here when you say firm dispatchable use this term before you're talking about power you turn on and off right? no, it could be nuclear. it could be geothermal. it's power. you can turn you can always yeah, it could be hydrogen. it could be hydro hydroelectric. there are lots of firm dispatchable tech could be long term storage batteries. so there's lots of things and they understand that so yes, they are building fossil fuels because they need to stabilize the grid and they understand you need to have some fossil. you need to have some firm dispatchable power and i wish they were building nuclear last they're not doing that now as far as the other part of your question, which which i can't remember what it was what was other part of a question. well, it was just all it was all wrapped one. it was just supply chain issues. certainly. there are supply chain issues the irony i guess and well and also is that is that look at what does that do to to climate action if in fact you are using traditional fossil fuels to
create. oh, yeah. look, i don't see a problem with that. look if right now use fossil fuels a great solar panels once a solar panels are available. you can shut off the fossil fuels. i mean, that's how you that's how you make advances use a power. you have to get to the power system you want. let me ask each of you now to do a summation just about a minute and let's just keep the order that we started with. so andrew you go first and alex you go second. and again, he was gonna go first on the conclusion on but i'm not really care. i can do it. your memory is better than mine. that is yes. that's exactly right. would you like to do that out? i'm gonna go first. okay, sure, so i kind of want to just reiterate what i said if the key methodology here is you need to look at the full context. so you need to look precisely at the harms of co2 the benefits of co2 the factor of climate mastery the fact of fossil feels benefits if you actually look at the reality today, you actually recognize how the world works. the situation is fossil fuels have unique massive and near-term irreplaceable benefits both for billions of people who have energy and for the billions
more who need it the claims that they're not necessary are based on wild distortions including by the way the idea that solar and winder insecure even though the whole supply chain is controlled by china. i forgot to mention that distortion, so i think i pointed out about 10 specific distortions that professor destler has engaged in don't mean to attack him personally, but the whole net zero movement is based on distortions about denying fossil fuels benefits and denying climate mastery and when you actually look objectively at the full context, it is obvious that the world needs vastly more energy most of that needs to come from fossil fuels for the next several decades and net zero eliminating fossil fuels rapidly is a death sentence for billions of people and should be morally condemned as like just an evil idea based on falsehoods. and so that's what i've tried to explain today. thank you alexander. yeah, so as i said beginning, i'll say again. we need power. no one doubts that the question is. what's the power source? that's the best power source for us to use a lot of people have
done analyzes that have shown that we can significantly eliminate our fossil fuel use. i don't think there's any analysis that alice can point to that says that he says a lot of things which i think are simply not correct a lot of facts that are just wrong and you know, i'm happy to engage with anybody in the audience if you email me and be happy to look into these things, but i mean all of the evidence of all of the people who are experts in this suggest we can do this when in solar are the cheapest energy of the future. all right, look at what people are installing now the idea that adding it increases the cost of energy is not correct. to the grid, you know, it's just this is a problem solving climate change is a huge risk. fossil fuels poise in the atmosphere. we haven't talked to anything about that that's millions of deaths and there's a security issue. i mean right now look at ukraine look at the price of gas at the pump. these are things that don't exist in a world with renewable energies. those are significant disadvantages. thank you andrew. thank you both. let me let me just point out that 56 people sent us questions. and obviously as i said, we were
only able to scratch the service it goes to show how eng it goes to show how engaged you all were with this debate and how engaging debate like this is. thanks to both of them for in the spirit of steamboat institute come together civilly, civilly, and engaging like this for all of our benefits people with starkly different views. i'm very impressed by this, even by this debate so much, the fact that the forum is here to provide an exchange for all our enlightened and food for thought. so let's applaud both of them. [applause] >> thank you, gentlemen. it takes a lot off courage to gt on a debate stage and there are many people whoud refuse to do t so kudos to you.
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