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Global warming skeptics: What do they have to fear?

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(Read caption) This video, titled "Debating The New Environmentalism" and hosted by Time senior writer Bryan Walsh, is from the SXSW Eco 2012 conference, held last October in Austin, Texas.
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For one, climate skeptics fear that people who are not qualified to opine on the complex topic of energy production may cripple economies with assorted misguided energy related boondoggles. Is that a realistic concern? What are the odds? I’m going to argue here that the odds are not zero. I offer as anecdotal evidence, the above video Debating The New Environmentalism hosted by Bryan Walsh, which I will eventually parse below. Interestingly enough, all three participants are wearing nearly identical shirts. Only Bill McKibben thought to wear his red power tie.

Push Me, Pull You

On one hand, it seems unlikely that global warming activists will throttle economies in large part because, as McKibben said, “We are losing badly.” He was referring to efforts to reduce carbon emissions.  But consider this, from Ask McKibben Anything: What About Nuclear Energy:

The advantage of nuclear energy is that it is largely carbon free …

So why is he against it?

It’s like burning $20 bills to generate electricity.

I’m not against wind if carefully sited to minimize bird and bat deaths, which hasn’t always been the case, but because wind is also “like burning $20 bills to generate electricity,” this is a case of deception by omission.


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