Is the Energy Transition Moving Too Fast?

The Aspen Institute

How do we balance demand for a speedy transition to clean energy with the needs of those who depend so heavily on fossil fuels, especially in the developing world? Based on today’s climate science, how fast do we need to move, and what unintended consequences should be considered? In this conversation, two scientists go behind the headlines to weigh the pros and cons of the transition away from fossil fuels.

Steven Koonin
Chris Field
Amy Harder

Now in its 19th year, the Aspen Ideas Festival is the Aspen Institute’s signature summer public event. From June 25-July 30, 2023 more than 300 leaders and innovators gather in the Rocky Mountains to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the issues that shape our lives and challenge our times, spanning politics, business, science, the arts, education, and more. #AspenIdeas

For more information about the Aspen Ideas Festival, visit

5 4 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
June 29, 2023 6:23 pm

There’s a lot of money being waisted, but there is no transition occurring.

Reply to  Scissor
June 29, 2023 11:38 pm

It’s all going according to plan then.

Anyone thinking that they actually intend on replacing the current energy grid with an equivalent “clean” grid is deluded. Their goal is to destroy the energy grid, and the ability to produce food. You can read history books to figure out what happens next. We’re all Kulaks now.

June 29, 2023 6:29 pm

There is no need to transition away from fossil fuel and nuclear energy, it is as simple as that.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bob
June 30, 2023 3:58 am

There is nothing viable to transition to.

June 29, 2023 6:30 pm

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why all the follow the science” climate crisis boosters don’t embrace the time tested & proven rationality of the Hippocratic Oath –

“First Do No Harm.”

Reply to  Mr.
June 29, 2023 7:07 pm

I might be convinced that they follow Mephistopheles, not Hippocrates.

Reply to  Mr.
June 29, 2023 9:23 pm

The ones who keep saying follow the science obviously can’t even read a temperature chart.

William Howard
Reply to  Mr.
June 30, 2023 6:51 am

the real goal of the green movement as stated by the former head of the UNIPCC is the destruction of capitalism – that is why facts and evidence about the climate aren’t persuasive to these climate alarmists

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  William Howard
June 30, 2023 1:22 pm

Ted Kaczynski, the “Unabomber”, died early this month, and it prompted me to watch an excellent Netflix documentary about his life. I didn’t realize how close to Maurice Strong’s ideals Kaczynski’s were (or was it the other way around?). Our “elites” are the philosophical equivalent of the Unabomber, though most of them aren’t as smart as he was….

Reply to  Mr.
June 30, 2023 11:12 am

Nothing irritated me more the those “ science is real” and “ be kind” signs virtue signaling brain washed Biden voters put up during the last election.

Bryan A
June 29, 2023 6:31 pm

In a word…
Any “Transition” that needs to be Forced is one that moves too fast. Market forces often dictate the best speed for any type of transition

Reply to  Bryan A
June 29, 2023 10:25 pm

Market forces often dictate the best speed for any type of transition

I’m not sure about that.

In the UK at least, we have an army of do-gooders encouraging children to transition before the kids are old enough to spell the word.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Redge
June 30, 2023 3:27 am

Then the UK needs politicians like Ron DeSantis who detests discussing such issues with children.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Redge
June 30, 2023 4:02 am


They are doing harm, not good, but I suppose some of them think of themselves as doing good. Mental illness is not pretty, and trying to impose their mental illness on children is criminal.

David A
Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 30, 2023 7:29 pm

I agree. To put a child through a surgical procedure where they will be neither a man or a woman, and lose the ability to ever become a biological parent, is criminal for any adult, including parents.

June 29, 2023 6:35 pm

Part of the Climate Alarmists plan is depopulation. Fewer ‘deplorables’ will mean less demand.

Reply to  JamesB_684
June 29, 2023 7:08 pm

Depression ahead.

Reply to  JamesB_684
June 29, 2023 8:16 pm

Fewer ‘deplorables’ will mean less demand.”

Actually, non-deplorables, particularly their elite cult leaders, generally use much more electricity than deplorables,

Reply to  bnice2000
June 29, 2023 11:41 pm

They don’t intend to stop doing so either. But they will stop you (and me) from using electricity or fuel. The “rules” won’t apply to them, though some of them might get a surprise to find out they aren’t in the “club”.

Forrest Gardener
June 29, 2023 7:05 pm

Quote: How do we balance demand for a speedy transition to clean energy with the needs of those who depend so heavily on fossil fuels, especially in the developing world?

Two quibbles. First where is this “clean” energy? WIndmills and solar panels are anything but clean.

Second who depends on fossil fuels? Speaking for myself I depend on reliable and dispatchable energy (preferably cheap) but I couldn’t care less whether it comes from fossil fuels.

Carry on.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Forrest Gardener
June 30, 2023 4:05 am

“First where is this “clean” energy? WIndmills and solar panels are anything but clean.”

It’s just more climate alarmist propaganda. This whole climate change scam is one big lie.

More Soylent Green!
Reply to  Forrest Gardener
June 30, 2023 9:28 am

Where is the *demand for a speedy transition* coming from? Not from people concerned about paying the bills or raising a family.

June 29, 2023 8:13 pm

Energy transition isn’t actually happening much at all.

The input from global input from Clayton’s electricity supplies, is generally less than the increase in demand.

June 29, 2023 8:17 pm

Is the Energy Transition Moving Too Fast?
The wind turbine industry would now be answering yes to that-
Developer exposure to Siemens Gamesa woes limited for now – Citi (

June 29, 2023 8:55 pm

There is only one highway that leads into the formerly quaint ex-mining town of Aspen (four lanes, but two are buses-only) from Basalt & Carbondale. The Aspen small mountain-town airport is adjacent to the highway on a bluff just outside of town, and all the private jets that have flown in are easily visible parked on the top of the bluff, lined up one-after-another. Scores of them.

No “clean energy transition” happening here, at all.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  karlomonte
June 29, 2023 10:40 pm

The climate crisis in pictures: Aspen in 1900 (CO2 @ ~ 300 ppm) vs. Aspen in 2000 (CO2 @ 420 ppm).

Reply to  Chris Hanley
June 29, 2023 10:50 pm

Wow, a lot more ice and snow in 2000, but we don’t know what time of year each pic was taken, sorry for being a wet blanket. At least I stole Stokes thunder out from under him.

Please post more historical pictures if you have any more.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  karlomonte
June 30, 2023 3:30 am

Well, heck, we can’t expect elites to get on a bus with commoners! 🙂

June 29, 2023 11:42 pm

Just Stop Transition! Actually, that works on so many levels.

June 30, 2023 3:59 am

The extra energy required to build a parallel green economy is increasing emissions. The faster we transition the more emissions will be increased. The solution becomes the problem.

Lee Riffee
Reply to  ferdberple
June 30, 2023 11:48 am

How true. People keep on looking for that mythical free lunch, despite the fact that no one has ever found it!

June 30, 2023 4:32 am

Green energy does not scale in times of national emergency. A coal powerplant can be run at full power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week producing armaments. You cannot ramp up solar panels or windmills
The arms being sent to Ukraine were not produced by green energy and it would take decades to produce the extra green energy required to match the energy Russia can supply to its arms factories simply by burning/exporting more coal, oil and gas.

David A
Reply to  ferdberple
June 30, 2023 7:35 pm

Russia can, and has ramped up production a great deal

June 30, 2023 5:24 am

Climate Crisis. I hear this phrase daily but no one but no one ever expands and tells me how the crisis will manifest itself. I also hear people discussing SLR, Wildfires and Global Warming yet none of these are problematic.
So where else can the crisis occur?
As I see it Solar Maximum will be the biggest threat to affect us!

June 30, 2023 5:48 am

From article:”How do we balance demand for a speedy transition…”.

Who exactly and how many are placing this “demand”?

I don’t think there is any majority demand for a speedy transition.

William Howard
June 30, 2023 6:48 am

there is no transition – only a government funded cram down that is bankrupting the world and leading us back to an18th century life style

Ronald Stein
June 30, 2023 8:29 am

A 23-minute interview with Armando Cavanha in Brazil and Ronald Stein on the subject of: The World Needs More Than Intermittent Electricity from Wind and Solar.
Unwilling to continue the pursuit of occasional electricity from wind and solar, Sweden Shocks Europe: Abandons ‘Unstable’ Green Energy Agenda, Returns to Nuclear Power.

More Soylent Green!
June 30, 2023 9:33 am

We’re dismantling the existing energy infrastructure faster than we are replacing it. Yes, we’re moving too fast.

Let’s not forget the need to transition is purely ideologically driven. There are no good scientific or economic reasons for this transition. We have decades or centuries of fossil fuel reserves.

If GHG emissions are really the problem, then the answer is nuclear power for our baseline needs with clean-burning natural gas power plants as secondary sources that can be spun up easily at times of peak demand,

June 30, 2023 10:18 am

Might want to ask Europe the same question. I guess the high EU trade wall only gets you so far. Better start waiting tables for the American and Asian hoard or visitors to ancient relics.

A $27 Billion Stock Exodus Shows How Investors Feel About Europe (

June 30, 2023 12:01 pm

Not fast enough for some in the UK – One need look no further than off shore wind farm revenues to the Crown Estate in the UK – 440Mn in 2022
That goes direct to the Govt treasury and then a % goes to the Royal Family for their upkeep – alleged to be 111Mn from 2022’s income
Thats a lot of money for renting out your nations sea bed
As always, follow the money – no wonder Charlie loves renewables

David A
Reply to  Energywise
June 30, 2023 7:37 pm

Link appreciated

Reply to  David A
July 1, 2023 6:41 am
June 30, 2023 7:05 pm

Energy transitions don’t happen due to government fiat, they happen because of superior technology. I’m not convinced that most solar/wind even produces more energy than it costs for their entire lifecycle, including mining, manufacture, transportation, installation, maintenance, and the cost of backup. Eventually the world will come to its senses, though maybe will take war or revolutions.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights