Why we're both wrong about the "renewable energy" boogieman.


There exists catastrophic ignorance on both sides of the renewable energy issue. As always, education, not politics, is the key.

"100% of cars should have been electric 10 years ago" is just as preposterous as "renewable energy will kill the economy."

At full global commitment, It will take decades if not more than a century to pivot to 100% renewable. It is not like flipping a switch, it is a global evolutionary paradigm shift. The energy infrastructure for the entire planet will change, and it will be gradual. It can only be gradual. It's easy to sit around a drum circle or park our EV at the coffee shop and say "all cars should have been electric 10 years ago" to try and out pious anyone within earshot.

But playing ultra-righteous Captain Hindsight or espousing the idea that we should be, or worse, "should have been" 100% renewable by now or within the next decade is just as lunatic as "going renewable will kill the economy."

As usual, the ignorance stems from two things. First, we Americans are the undefeated world champions at making non-political issues political, and when issues become political, they become emotional. "Climate Change", Global Warming" or whatever the phrase of the day is...is a scientific issue. Just like a pandemic. Converting a scientific issue into a political issue makes it an emotional issue. It divides people and only prolongs the pain for everyone.

The second issue responsible for the ignorance is education, but this is part and parcel with being emotional and political. The idea of educating the population and the next generation about renewable energy is considered liberal hogwash It's immediately lumped in with a "liberal agenda." In simple terms, it means climate change has been lumped in with religion, gay marriage, abortion, etc...which logically speaking, is absurd and ludicrous.

Climate change is a scientific, non-partisan issue. It has absolutely nothing to do with abortion, LGBTQ rights, nor religion. Nothing.

Science is science. Emotionally, we can hope 2+2=5 all day long but it isn't and can never be. It's 4. It can only be 4.

Poor education combined with emotional political appeal means that California will continue taxing and fining non-renewable energy sources while its over-taxed citizens continue to suffer through rolling blackouts and outrageous energy prices. Now the state is committed to banning the sale of internal combustion vehicles altogether by 2035...despite a woefully insufficient energy infrastructure.

Cold scientific logic would dictate building a few nuclear power plants in the meantime until solar, wind, geothermal, and hydro can catch up and meet demand. Emotion then, right on cue, blocks the effort with "Chernobyl and Fukushima scary!" So California will continue to stand in its own way for the foreseeable future by marrying good intentions with emotion rather than education and logic.

I'm not just here to roast "latte liberals" though. Ignorance doesn't play favorites.

It is illogical to hold on to coal and oil's dominance in the infrastructure. It is a flat-out fever dream. To put it simply, the coal miner's grandchildren will learn how to operate solar farms, geothermal generators, wind turbines, and hydroelectric facilities.

They will still have jobs. LOTS of them, it just won't be in a coal mine like their ancestors. They will have jobs in a growing field, not a dying one.

There is a reason "oil" companies are the biggest investors in renewable energy research and development. They harvest and sell energy, period. While it has been oil, that is changing. Time is marching on. The ONLY way to ensure "big oil" companies stay viable is to pivot the business model towards renewable. Downsizing oil-field workers transitions to filling positions in renewable. The job simply changes, but there IS still a job.

As much as the commune drum circle would love to believe that renewable energy should be like, free man, it can't be and it won't be...and that's a good thing.

Renewable energy has absolutely nothing to do with being "free." Capitalism is still king. The energy source may be "green" but our electricity bill will still be there. In fact, we'd just budget for less gasoline but for more electricity..and you bet you hippie butt Exxon is taking a cut for providing the infrastructure and energy generation. Everybody wins.

In the end, the liberal requires just as much education as the conservative. The common theme being education.

The reality is that the pivot to renewable is a tremendously challenging undertaking. The liberal desire to kill internal combustion today is just as misguided as the conservative idea that it would kill jobs tomorrow. Both ideas are devoid of logic and ripe with blinding, counterproductive emotion.

It's a transition. A profitable, job-filled transition, but it's a transition that will take decades, if not a century.

Liberals need to be compassionate to conservative concerns, and conservatives need not fear change. Our trucks will become EV, but they will tow MORE toys to the camp site where we will still commiserate about our boss at the solar plant around the campfire.

Education is the great soother. Our renewable future is nothing to be afraid of. We'll binge watch the same amount of Netflix and still go out mudding and guzzling beer with our buddies..we'll simply be giving our grandchildren a better chance to do the same.