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The Koonin-Dessler Debate – ?


By Andy Might

The controversy I introduced right here between Steve Koonin and Andy Dessler occurred Monday August fifteenth, it was very instructional and illuminating. I’ll try to write extra about it in a number of days.

Briefly Andy Dessler mentioned that financial fashions recommend that local weather change is a destructive for human civilization and never constructive in any respect. However he averted placing any numbers to this assertion.

Dessler believes that wind and photo voltaic produce electrical energy cheaper than fossil fuels, and that they will present most of our energy. Koonin counters that the one motive wind and photo voltaic are cheaper is that the price of fossil gas backup and the required adjustments to the U.S. grid usually are not included within the photo voltaic and wind prices. Koonin exhibits an estimate of $2.4 trillion to improve our electrical grid to work with principally wind and photo voltaic.

Koonin acknowledged that the prices of local weather change are minimal, and in 100 years is not going to be noticeable as a result of the world economic system will develop a lot in that point. Local weather change, even within the worse eventualities, solely reduces financial development very barely, by 4% or much less, and everybody will nonetheless be higher off. He notes that previously world warming and local weather change have benefited mankind since persons are a lot better off right this moment, and far more resilient to local weather change, than 100 years in the past. He additionally factors out that the poor of right this moment shouldn’t be made to undergo as a result of the elites (that’s the U.S. and the western world) consider, with out proof and solely primarily based on fashions, that fossil fuels are polluting or harmful. He provides that photo voltaic and wind usually are not air pollution free.

Koonin quotes U.S. economist Anthony Downes, who as soon as mentioned:

“The elite’s environmental deterioration is usually the widespread man’s improved lifestyle.”

From “Up and down with ecology- the ‘problem consideration cycle,’” by Anthony Downs (hyperlink)

On the finish of this very attention-grabbing Oxford-style debate within the New York Sheen Heart, these have been the outcomes:

Dessler Koonin Debate Outcomes

Clearly Koonin received, the swing was 25% in his favor.



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