News outlets are reporting that electricity prices are spiking in Europe. Apparently, a lull in offshore winds is reducing windmill power output, causing a mad scramble to buy coal and gas to make up for the shortfall. Their best buddy Vladimir Putin is jacking up the price of Russian natural gas, both to leverage their need and to further compel their commitment to the NordStream pipeline (the one Biden has seemingly blessed even as he kills carbon energy in America).

Who could have predicted any of this?

Your average high schooler, among others.

To mock the Europeans for their energy foolhardiness (shutting down their nuke plants, taking their coal and gas plants off line, and hoping that the sun always shines and the wind always blows) is to invite pillory from the global warming scolds and enforcers, no matter that one can find fault with the remedy without disbelieving the problem. In other words, you don’t have to reject the very premise of human-induced temperature change in order to be vastly skeptical of the brute-force prescription being pushed upon us by politicians.

There is a third way:

I believe human activity is having a nontrivial effect on global temps.

I believe our understanding is still insufficient as to the degree, mechanism, and persistence of that effect, and that the models are not nearly as predictive as many claim or want them to be.

I believe that the mainstream is substantially overstating the problem, but I am willing to hedge this bet.

I believe that the current prescription i.e. brute force decarbonization with wind and solar as the preferred, and almost exclusive remedy, is not only wrong and incredibly harmful to today’s populations, but doomed to failure.

I believe that this issue has been deeply politicized, for reasons that have nothing to do with actually remediating the potential problem and everything to do with power and other people’s money.

I believe that anyone who is concerned about AGW but doesn’t immediately and loudly say “nuclear power” is either insufficiently informed, not a serious person, or has another agenda.

I believe that, rather than forcing wind and solar, we should be moving from coal to natural gas, which will quarter emissions and save tens of thousands of lives each year from reduced atmospheric particulates.

I believe we should be investing in geo-engineering research, because the BRICS and many other nations will never decarbonize the way we are told they must, meaning that any future remediation will have to be active management rather than emissions reduction.

I believe that wind and solar have their place in a “all options on the table” approach, but that they should compete without economic, regulatory, or political favoritism.

I believe this third way is how we will both advance living conditions for present generations and preserve such advances for future generations.

Yes, this is more subtle than “Carbon-Free” vs “Denier!,” and as such it’s not a good fit for most social media or mainstream news ‘discussions,’ but it is the only way that aligns with the facts, the science, the economics, and the political realities.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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