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.