Guest essay by Eric Worrall
David Hochschild, environmental commissioner on the California Energy Commission, thinks climate activists should learn lessons from the same sex marriage movement, about how to convince the public to take action on climate change.
How Gay Marriage Suggests A Strategy For Climate Change
Jeff McMahon, CONTRIBUTOR
I cover green technology, energy and the environment from Chicago.
The iPhone shows how rapidly society can change if it wants to, a California energy commissioner said last week, and same-sex marriage shows that change can happen in public policy too.
Climate policy could be next, said David Hochschild, the environmental commissioner on the California Energy Commission and an architect of Proposition B, San Francisco’s successful $100 million solar initiative.
“There was gay marriage nowhere until 2004, then we saw that state by state by state by state it got adopted, and now of course it’s in all 50 states,” Hochschild said during a Stanford University seminar last week. “Over a very short period of time. You go back 12, 13 years and you ask how many people think gay marriage is universal and I think most people would assert, it’s not going to happen.”
The iPhone is his model for change potential: “It’s gone from basically not existing to being ubiquitous in a decade,” he said.
The point well meaning people like Hochschild don’t understand, is there currently is no viable alternative to fossil fuels.
The IDEA of renewables is popular. I like the idea of renewables. Who wouldn’t want a magic solar panel on the roof, which makes all the utility bills go away, forever?
The REALITY is renewables don’t deliver a viable alternative to fossil fuels. The cost and unreliability of renewables is a showstopper.
In 2014, a team of top Google engineers admitted failure – there is no economically feasible means to replace fossil fuels with renewables.
Leading greens like Microsoft Founder Bill Gates and prominent British environmentalist David Attenborough acknowledge the problems – they want a Renewable Energy Apollo Project, to fix the problems which prevent renewables from being a viable solution to the world’s energy needs.
Until the problems identified by Google, Gates and Attenborough are solved, no solution for making renewables viable is available. There may never be a solution to making renewables a viable replacement for fossil fuels.
Hochschild can mount as many public campaigns as he wants, but the most Hochschild will achieve with currently available technology is misery and public waste on a vast scale.