Michael Shellenberger

  • Aired:  01/28/13
  •  | Views: 16,533

Co-founder of The Breakthrough Institute Michael Shellenberger explores global energy consumption, nuclear power and lessons from Frankenstein. (6:48)

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> Stephen: MY GUEST TONIGHT BELIEVES THAT ENVIRONMENTALISTS SHOULD CONSIDER NUCLEAR POWER.

I'LL SEE IF I CAN MAKE HIM MELTDOWN.

PLEASE WELCOME MICHAEL SHELLENBERGER.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMING ON.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>> Stephen: I KNOW YOU ARE AN ENVIRONMENTALIST BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT WEARING A TIE.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: BUT YOU ARE RADICAL BECAUSE YOU ARE VERY WELL COIFFERD.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: YOU ARE PRESIDENT AND COFOUNDER OF BREAKTHROUGH INSTITUTE COAUTHOR OF THE BOOK

BREAKTHROUGH WHICH MADE A SPLASH A COUPLE YEARS AGO AND A NEW E-BOOK.

WHAT IS YOUR NEW IDEA FOR SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT?

>> THE BIG IDEA IS WE SPENT 20 YEARS ON GLOBAL WARMING TRYING TO MAKE FOSSIL FUELS MORE EXPENSIVE.

THAT DIDN'T WORK.

THERE'S AN IMPORTANT SHIFT THAT NEEDS TO BE MADE TO MAKING CLEAN ENERGY SAFE.

>> Stephen: WHAT IS YOUR IDEA CLEAN COAL?

>> ALL THE TECHNOLOGIES.

>> Stephen: CLEAN COAX YOU ARE ON BOARD.

>> IF THEY CAN FIGURE OUT A WAY TO CHEAPLY CAPT TIEWRT COAL IT NEEDS TO BE PUT ON THE LIST.

>> Stephen: CLEAN COOL.

THAT TAKES CARE OF ALL OF IT.

YOU ARE NOT LIKE A TREE HUGGER KIND OF GUY, RIGHT?

>> I AM SORT OF A TREE HUGGER.

>> Stephen: YOU ARE?

THEY DON'T HUG YOU BACK.

IT'S A ONE-WAY RELATIONSHIP.

>> MOST PEOPLE WHAT THEY CARE ABOUT IS, YOU KNOW, THINGS ON THE ECONOMY AND JOBS.

I THINK WE SAY LOOK, WE ALL CARE ABOUT THE SAME THINGS.

WE WANT THE SAME THINGS FROM ENERGY, WE WANT IT TO BE CHEAP, RELIABLE AND INCREASINGLY CLEAN.

THAT'S WHAT WE'VE GOTTEN OVER THE CENTURIES.

WE'VE GONE FROM WOOD TO COAL, COAL TO GAS AND RENEWABLES.

IT'S DONE THROUGH TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS.

IT'S SOMETHING AMERICANS ARE GOOD AT.

>> Stephen: SO YOU ARE ON BOARD FOR THE NUKES?

>> YEAH, LIKE A LOT OF PEOPLE I WAS REALLY IN LOVE WITH SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL WITH SOLAR PANELS ON

MY ROOF AND ELECTRIC CAR IN THE DRIVEWAY AND WIND FARMS AND A NUMBER OF OUR FRIENDS POINTED

OUT TO US LOOK THE SUN DOESN'T ALWAYS SHINE, THE WIND DOESN'T ALWAYS BLOW AND THE WORLD WILL

CONSUME TWICE AS MUCH ENERGY BY 2050 AS IT DOES TODAY.

WE NEED A LOT OF INNOVATION TO MAKE CLEAN ENERGY A LOT CHEAPER.

>> Stephen: WHY NOT CONSERVATION?

YOU ARE SAYING WE'RE IF THE GOING TO USE MORE ENERGY.

I LOVE USING ENERGY, DON'T GET ME WRONG.

I TURN ON A LIGHT IN A ROOM IN MY HOUSE IT STAYS BURNING UNTIL I GO TO BED.

I WANT IT TO BE THERE WHEN I LEAVE LIKE IT'S MY FRIEND WAITING FOR ME.

WHEN THE LIGHTS ARE OUT THE HOUSE FEELS SAD.

>> THE ECONOMY IS MORE EFFICIENT AT USING ENERGY OVER TIME BUT WE FIND NEW USES FOR ENERGY.

BUT CONASSUMPTION IS GOING UP.

MOST THINK WE'LL DOUBLE AS MUCH BY 2050 AS CHINA, AND INDIAN AND BRAZIL GET HIGHER LIVING

STANDARDS LIKE THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE.

IF YOU WANT TO AVOID DANGEROUS LEVELS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND CLEAN AIR YOU NEED MORE CLEAN

ENERGY AND MOST OF IT HAS TO BE FROM CLEAN SOURCES STEENCHT YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE THE OLD JIMMY

CARTER WEARING A SWEATER LET'S ALL MAKE OUR CLOTHING OUT OF HEMP ENVIRONMENTALIST TO ME.

WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT YOU BREAKTHROUGH GUYS?

>> I THINK THIS IS THE CENTRAL ISSUE IT'S ABOUT EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY.

THAT'S WHY WE WROTE THE BOOK CALLED "LOVE YOUR MONSTERS." WE SHOULD TREAT OUR TECHNOLOGIES

LIKE OUR CHILDREN BEGUN OUR CREATIONS.

WHEN THEY FAIL US, WHEN THEY DISAPPOINT US YOU DON'T ABANDON THEM, YOU IMPROVE THEM.

MAKE THEM BETTER.

>> Stephen: YOU SAY LIKE FRANKEN STYNE.

>> EXACTLY.

ONE OF ESSAYS IS WE MISUNDERSTOOD FRANKEN STYNE.

THE LESSON IS NOT TO CREATE NEW TECHNOLOGIES OR LIFE EVEN THE LESSON IS WE SHOULD NEVER

ABANDEN OUR CREATIONS.

DR. FRANKEN STYNE SAW THE CREATION, IT WASN'T LIKE HE EXPECTED IT AND HE ABANDONED IT.

THAT'S WHAT TURNED HIS CREATURE INTO A MONSTER.

>> Stephen: THAT'S WHAT NUCLEAR ENERGY BECAME FOR US IN THE 70s.

THREE MILE ISLAND WE ABANDONED IT EVEN THOUGH IT NEEDED LOVE, EVEN THOUGH IT HAD THROWN THAT

GIRL IN THE LAKE.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> THE TECHNOLOGY WE USED TO POWER NUCLEAR SUBMARINES IT WAS THE WRONG TECHNOLOGY.

THERE'S MUCH BETTER.

>> Stephen: WHAT KIND OF TECHNOLOGY?

>> LIQUID METAL, FUELS, OTHER FUELS.

>> Stephen: SORIIUM.

I SEE THAT ONLINE ALL THE TIME.

>> THERE'S A HALF DOZEN TECHNOLOGIES WE HAVEN'T DONE ENOUGH TO PUSH.

IN 1994 CONGRESS CUT AN IMPORTANT EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM.

IT GOT CONFUSED WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

COUNTRY DON'T PURSUE NUCLEAR WEAPONS BECAUSE THEY HAVE --

>> Stephen: YOU BELIEVE IRAN IS NOT PURSUING NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

>> NEW YORK CITY THEY ARE.

WE KNOW THAT.

>> Stephen: YOU JUST SAID THEY ARE NOT.

YOU ARE NOT WEARING A TIE AND A BEARD.

ARE YOU IRANIAN.

>> IRAN WANTS A NUCLEAR WEAPON.

THERE'S 33 COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD WELL NUCLEAR ENERGY AND THE CAPABILITY TO WILD A BOMB

AND THEY DON'T WANT IT.

>> Stephen: YOU ARE IN A FILM IN THE SUNDANCE FEST VAL CALLED PANDORA'S PROMISE.

YOU COME OUT AS PRONUCLEAR ENERGY.

THAT'S LIBERAL HEAVEN.

BOB REDFORD STARTED THE SUNDANCE FESTIVAL.

CAN YOU SAY PRONUKE AROUND HIM.

LEGALLY REDFORD COULD HUNT YOU FOR SPORT.

[ LAUGHTER ]

YOU ARE OSTRACIZED FOR SAYING THINGS LIKE WE MIGHT HAVE TO EMBRACE COAL, NATURAL GAS, FRACKING?

AND NUKES.

YOU ARE MY KIND OF LIBERAL.

GOOD LUCK GET US TO LOVE FRANKEN STYNE.

>> THANKS, ST

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