Paul Krugman: GOP "spiraling ever deeper into black hole of denial and anti-science conspiracy theorizing"

"The dire warnings of the right used to be mostly nonsense — now they're complete nonsense"

Published December 14, 2015 12:40PM (EST)

 Paul Krugman at The Commonwealth Club (<a href="" target="_blank">Commonwealth Club</a>/Creative Commons License)
Paul Krugman at The Commonwealth Club (Commonwealth Club/Creative Commons License)

The New York Times' Paul Krugman used his Monday column to demonstrate the degree to which current Republican opposition to climate change legislation is based 1) hyperbolic lies intended to motivate people to do nothing ("Solyndra! Benghazi! Death panels!"), or 2) a fundamental misconception about the current cost of alternatives to fossil fuels.

He argued that technological advances in the production and storage of renewable energy have mitigated the once onerous costs associated with wind and solar power, but that many Republicans still believe them to be "hippie-dippy stuff, not a serious part of the future," or "some kind of liberal boondoggle."

However, Krugman argued,

The reality ... is that costs of solar and wind power have fallen dramatically, to the point where they are close to competitive with fossil fuels even without special incentives — and progress on energy storage has made their prospects even better. Renewable energy has also become a big employer, much bigger these days than the coal industry.

This energy revolution has two big implications. The first is that the cost of sharp emission reductions will be much less than even optimists used to assume — dire warnings from the right used to be mostly nonsense, but now they’re complete nonsense. The second is that given a moderate boost — the kind that the Paris accord could provide — renewable energy could quickly give rise to new interest groups with a positive stake in saving the planet, offering an offset to the Kochs and suchlike...

Read the rest at the New York Times...

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