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Are Gaia's Real Friends on the Right?


The people most skeptical of climate change may be doing more to avert it than the doomsayers who typically champion the issue. Michael Shellenberger & Ted Nordhaus describe this paradox of climate politics for the Breakthrough Institute:

[T]he energy technologies favored by the climate-skeptical Right are doing far more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than the ones favored by the climate-apocalyptic Left.

How much more? Max Luke of Breakthrough Institute ran the numbers and found that, since 1950, natural gas and nuclear prevented 36 times more carbon emissions than wind, solar, and geothermal. Nuclear avoided the creation of 28 billion tons of carbon dioxide, natural gas 26 billion, and geothermal, wind, and solar just 1.5 billion.

Read the whole thing. Shellenberger and Nordhaus point out an important irony. They note US greenhouse gas emissions are down largely thanks to shale gas (a “brown” energy source), while Germany’s commitment to expanding wind and solar (“green” energy sources) has led to increased coal use and higher emissions, on top of the economic problems it has caused. 

We’re less interested in whose energy policy is scoring more political points as we are in which policy is working better. The left thinks it lies on the greener side of the energy spectrum, but the results say otherwise.

[Oil rig image and plant image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • Pete

    Silly kiddies.

    Much of the impetus on the Left was never to actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It was to extend central control over society.

  • rheddles

    Gaia’s friends are on the left, if you consider Gaia to be everything on earth but the humans. If you consider humans to be part of Gaia, not so much.

  • NCMountainGirl

    There is posturing plus token gestures that make the elite feel virtuous without much in the way of true sacrifice in their own lifestyles. Then there are those practical entrepreneurial industrialists who seek results.

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