Today’s guest is Ted Nordhaus, Founder & Executive Director at the Breakthrough Institute. Ted has a long history working on climate issues, and has views that are different than a lot of other guests that have come on the show. Make sure to give it a listen! No matter whether you agree or disagree, you will find Ted's perspective to be educational and thought provoking. Enjoy the show!
Today’s guest is Ted Nordhaus, Founder & Executive Director at the Breakthrough Institute.
Ted Nordhaus is a leading global thinker on energy, environment, climate, human development, and politics. He is the founder and executive director of the Breakthrough Institute and a co-author of An Ecomodernist Manifesto.
Over the last decade, he has helped lead a paradigm shift in climate, energy, and environmental policy. He was among the first to emphasize the imperative to "make clean energy cheap" in The Harvard Law and Policy Review, explained why efforts to establish legally binding international limits on greenhouse gas emissions would fail in The Washington Post and Democracy Journal, made the case for nuclear energy as a critical global warming solution in The Wall Street Journal, has written on the limits to energy efficiency and the need to prepare for climate change in The New York Times, and has argued for the importance of intensifying agricultural production in order to spare land for forests and biodiversity in Scientific American and The Guardian.
His 2007 book Break Through, co-authored with Michael Shellenberger, was called "prescient" by Time and "the best thing to happen to environmentalism since Rachel Carson's Silent Spring" by Wired. (An excerpt in The New Republic can be read here.) Their 2004 essay, "The Death of Environmentalism," was featured on the front page of the Sunday New York Times, sparked a national debate, and inspired a generation of young environmentalists.
Over the years, Nordhaus been profiled in The New York Times, Wired, the San Francisco Chronicle, the National Review, The New Republic, and on NPR. In 2007, he received the Green Book Award and Time magazine's 2008 "Heroes of the Environment" award.
Nordhaus is executive editor of the Breakthrough Journal, which The New Republic called "among the most complete efforts to provide a fresh answer" to the question of how to modernize liberal thought, and the National Review called "The most promising effort at self-criticism by our liberal cousins in a long time."
In today’s episode, we cover:
Links to topics discussed in this episode:
You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at email@example.com, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.
Enjoy the show!
Jason Jacobs: Hello everyone. This is Jason Jacobs and welcome to My Climate Journey. This show follows my journey to interview a wide range of guests to better understand and make sense of the formidable problem of climate change and try to figure out how people like you and I can help.
Jason Jacobs: Today's guest is Ted Nordhaus, founder and executive director at BreakThrough Institute. This is a follow-up to an episode I did recently with Jessica Lovering, BTI's director of energy. Jessica and I had a great chat about her work in the energy practice at BTI, which wet my whistle to hear more about the founding story and a bird's eye view of the work that BTI does overall throughout the organization. And Ted does not disappoint in this discussion. We cover a number of topics including Ted's background in history. What led him to caring about climate change, some of the frustrations he had with the environmental movement that led them to founding BTI. We talked about BTI's mission and vision as well as the work that they do.
Jason Jacobs: We talked about the climate change problem and here was probably the most interesting point in the discussion because Ted's view of the nature of the problem and how to best solve is very different than any guests I've talked to so far on the pod, and a must listen to whether you agree or disagree, you got to hear it.
Jason Jacobs: We talk about some of his frustrations with the Green New Deal and what a better path might be. We talk about the 2020 election and again, Ted's perspective on the importance of the election is different than most of the guests I've had on the pod so far. And then typical stuff, the role of innovation versus policy, the role of the big strategics versus startups. We talk about where we are in the climate fight and what the most impactful things will be to get us out of this jam. So the types of topics aren't changing episode to episode. What's changing is the guests and their specific perspectives and Ted's perspective is different. So let me stop hyping it up and let's get him on here. Ted Nordhaus, welcome to the show.
Ted Nordhaus: Thanks for having me.
Jason Jacobs: Thank you for coming. I'm excited for this one. I know you do a lot of writing and a lot of, yeah, you guys host some great events and some in depth research and I think your perspective is pretty different than a lot of other perspectives out there, which means it's one that I absolutely want it to have represented.
Ted Nordhaus: Great. I will do my best.
Jason Jacobs: Let's jump right into it and I should say I had Jessica Lovering from your team on recently, so we did cover some ground with the BreakThrough Institute, but I think it'd be helpful to rehash a little bit just because I feel like your perspective maybe align in some places and maybe a little different. So let's start there. What's the BreakThrough Institute?
Ted Nordhaus: The BreakThrough Institute is a think tank based in Oakland, California. We are the world's sort of first and probably certainly most prominent eco modernist think tank. We really kind of gave birth to what people call eco modernism, which is sort of view of how technology and human societies together can make the world better for people and for nature.
Jason Jacobs: And where did the idea for BreakThrough Institute come from?
Ted Nordhaus: Well, I started BreakThrough, oh God, over a decade ago with a guy named Michael Shellenberger who I wrote with and worked with for many years and it really kind of came out of a essay that the two of us self-published in 2004 called The Death of Environmentalism. And The Death of Environmentalism really argued that traditional environmentalism, the environmental movement and sort of environmental ideas about the world had achieved many important things over the previous 30 or 40 years.
Ted Nordhaus: Clean air, clean water, national parks, lots of conservation objectives, but really was poorly suited to take on this sort of new, very different global environmental challenges that we were going to be faced with in the 21st century.
Ted Nordhaus: And that was really because at bottom was a restrictive enterprise. The idea that the way that you would protect the environment was by restricting human activity and restricting sort of human ambition. And in a world of seven billion people, going on nine or 10 billion people, most of whom want to live something that looks like a modern life dealing with problems like climate change or the global loss of biodiversity was going to require a very different sort of project, a generative project. It was going to require us to sort of build a new world that could meet what we're going to be sort of greatly expanded human needs and human desires while reducing our impact on the natural world and the environment.
Jason Jacobs: And what were you doing prior to BreakThrough Institute and what was it that led you to the conclusions that you're talking about here?
Ted Nordhaus: Yeah I had spent pretty much my entire career in and around the environmental movement. I started doing grassroots environmental work, literally knocking on doors in communities all over the country. I did almost every job that you could do in environmental sort of politics and movement building. Interestingly, other than doing sort of policy work and research. So I worked as a running environmental campaigns. I was a pollster, I worked for in one capacity or another for almost every big environmental group, either in a staff capacity or as a consultant or as a pollster.
Ted Nordhaus: And mostly sort of on the political side of things and in the campaign and organizing side of things. But back in the early 2000s with a couple of other people, we started a thing called the Apollo Project, which if you've heard a lot about the Green New Deal, the Apollo Project was kind of like the original Green New Deal, and this was right after 9/11. And we were sort of looking at what even then was sort of clearly the failure of the existing environmental sort of framework for thinking about climate change or acting on it to deal with the issue and sort of said, "Well what's going on here?"
Ted Nordhaus: And it was clear especially after 9/11 was that just climate was not a major priority for voters who were much more concerned both about at that time sort of terrorism and also just sort of traditional concerns about the economy. So we said, well what if we rethought the climate problem and really reoriented it around the things that people actually kind of get up every day thinking about and worrying about? And that was getting off of fossil fuels and in the process of doing so, building a very different economy that would provide more economic opportunity. So we had this idea of what we called an Apollo Project, which would be a big, we were proposing a $300 billion, 10 year investment by the US federal government to just get the US off of fossil fuels. Sounds sort of very familiar if you're following a lot of the discussion of the Green New Deal.
Ted Nordhaus: And one thing we initially thought that this was really about getting off of oil. This was again, right after 9/11, we had invaded Afghanistan. We were about to invade Iraq. So I was a pollster at the time and I did the very first polling on this question on sort of what became kind of green jobs and the clean economy agenda. And so we went to Erie, Pennsylvania, which was a place that even then was just had been sort of decimated by exists sort of deindustrialization of the American economy. And we did these focus groups in Erie. And I remember we were sort of talking about this idea of the first thing that became clear was that yeah, people were worried about national security and getting off oil, but what they really cared about was jobs and manufacturing.
Ted Nordhaus: We were talking about this idea of kind of really reinvesting in America's sort of manufacturing capacities and sort of solar panels and windmills and things like that. And I remember what I would always do. I was moderating this focus group and I kind of walked out of the room towards the end of the group just to sort of see if anybody who was watching from the other side of the glass wanted me to kind of cover things I hadn't covered. And I always did that also because it was a great opportunity to actually leave the room and see what people talked about when there was no moderator in the room.
Jason Jacobs: Sounds like when I was running a company and I would leave the room so that the board could talk. Everyone on the board except for the CEO has a discussion at the end of the board meeting. And it's always like now they can say whatever, yeah.
Ted Nordhaus: Yeah, but if only you had a one way mirror and you could see what they were actually saying. So we go back there and of course immediately what they started speculating that we were like a company or like a GE or someone who was thinking about bringing a factory back to Erie to manufacturer windmills. And they were getting sort of so excited you could feel that they sort of really had this hope.
Ted Nordhaus: And so that was really the beginning of the kind of clean economy sort of what really became certainly by 2007, 2008 this is really what the sort of democratic climate agenda, not climate agenda, what the democratic economic to the degree which Democrats had a theory of the economy or a kind of claim by the time Obama is running about how they're going to kind of improve the economy.
Ted Nordhaus: It really is clean energy and green jobs. And that was really kind of on energy and climate the great accomplishment of the Obama years really was the green stimulus, which was basically the sort of much of the Apollo agenda that we had laid out back in 2002. And just to give you a sense also of just how long, everyone wants action right now, but it does give you a sense of sort of how long it takes for these kind of ideas to sort of enter the mainstream and become real politically and actually even sort of partially get implemented.
Ted Nordhaus: So that's how I kind of got started doing what I do now. That's really how BreakThrough got started. And what was interesting is that we wrote Death of Environmentalism because a couple of years into this, none of the big environmental groups had any interest in this.
Ted Nordhaus: I mean this was being led by outsiders like us and also by segments of the organized labor movement and groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, others really were not very interested in this idea that we would move away from what they still viewed as the sort of central strategy, which was basically a regulatory strategy.
Ted Nordhaus: We would solve the problem just like we had solved acid rain or conventional air pollution problems to this idea of what people then and still sometimes now derisively call industrial policy. So Death of Environmentalism really kind of the genesis of that essay, which sort of goes viral and is read all over the world and it's still taught in universities all around the world environmental studies programs, things like that was basically this idea that this older environmental idea of sort of what we call the politics of limits just could not solve this problem. And that you needed a very different politics and a very different sort of political and economic agenda if you were going to deal with the problem of climate change.
Jason Jacobs: So I think what I'm hearing from you is that the existing environmental movement was very much about penalizing and doing less and the opportunity that you saw, not just in terms of white space, but in terms of what would actually be more effective at solving the problem is decoupling and doing more.
Ted Nordhaus: Yeah. It's doing more, it's technological change, it's infrastructure. You have to just go build the entire infrastructure of a new economy and that's going to be new energy technologies, that's going to be evolving agriculture technologies. It's all technology sort of all the way down. We have these sort of, I think are really mostly very false debates around this where people kind of go, "Well, do we need to sort of fundamentally change our way of life? Or do we need what people sort of derisively call a Techno-Fix?"
Ted Nordhaus: But the reality is that almost everyone proposing to do something about climate change is actually proposing a Techno-Fix. Often they disagree on what the Techno-Fix is. There are people who say, "We need lots more nuclear energy. There are people who say we can do it all with renewables." But it's all ultimately everyone is actually talking about some sort of quite radical transformation of the energy economy, certainly with new technology. So it's always already about a Techno-Fix. And the question is what sort of technology or what mix of technologies and also what are the sort of social, economic and institutional requirements for that transformation?
Jason Jacobs: Well, when I was reading a bit in prep for this discussion, I found some contrasting viewpoints where at least that's how they're positioned in the media that'd be great if you could clarify because on the one hand I read that you didn't feel that the Green New Deal was ambitious enough in some ways. And then in another recently you wrote a piece saying that these big bold, loud initiatives will serve to polarize us more and will make getting anything done from a bipartisan standpoint even harder and that maybe we should be tiptoeing and doing quiet work behind the scenes, which seems to be the antithesis of the Green New Deal. So could you just clarify and maybe expand on how you're thinking about those topics?
Ted Nordhaus: I think that particularly that first piece which was a piece that I published in June in issues in science and technology, which is sort of popular publication of The National Academy of Sciences as opposed to sort of the academic publications that the Academy puts out. And that piece was called The Empty Radicalism of the Climate Apocalypse.
Ted Nordhaus: The point I'm making in that piece is that if in fact as a lot of people associated with the Green New Deal and with sort of what people are calling the climate emergency, if you really are like we have a decade or 12 years or some very, very short period of time to radically cut US and global emissions, then the sorts of proposals that even the sort of most radical voices in the debate are proposing are just incredibly inadequate to doing that.
Jason Jacobs: Do you believe that that first part, Ted, about the 12 years and the radical action required?
Ted Nordhaus: I do not. I don't believe that climate change is that kind of problem. I don't believe that we're going to... That even if everybody believed that was the case that we would be prepared to do the things that would be necessary.
Jason Jacobs: Okay. So you weren't saying that the Green New Deal is not radical enough. You were saying the Green New Deal is not radical enough if you believe-
Ted Nordhaus: If you believe 12 years the Green New Deal is massively inadequate. And if you really believe that, like if we don't radically slash emissions in the next 12 years, it's kind of game over for the climate and human civilizations, which is the argument that many people are quite explicitly making. If you believe that we can't solve climate change without ending capitalism or massively de-growing the global economy, then nothing that has been practically put on the table by anyone saying those things is actually remotely consistent with the scale of the challenge or the crisis that they are claiming exists that you would actually implement rationing of fossil fuels immediately.
Ted Nordhaus: You would nationalize major energy intensive sectors of the US and global economies. Certainly the power sector, certainly a lot of the industrial sectors, all the places where we know the emissions are coming from. And literally nobody including like the democratic socialists who are like, we need to radically rethink the role of government and we need to move away from what they call neoliberalism, which is just basically market capitalism is willing to propose any such thing.
Ted Nordhaus: So my argument is that the best kind of way to assess how people really think about climate change and climate risk is to look at what they do, not what they say. Look at what they propose to do, look at their actions. And there was nothing in the sort of climate emergency. If you look at what the people saying climate emergency are proposing to do about it, there's just nothing there that suggests that this is the sort of emergency that they're suggesting it is.
Ted Nordhaus: It's a chronic problem. I wrote a piece of few months ago basically arguing that climate change is more like diabetes than an asteroid headed for the planet. And if we think about that, we think about both the politics and the policy and what's going to be necessary to deal with the problem very differently.
Jason Jacobs: And so when you say that the people are saying emergency, but they're not proposing policies that suggest emergency, what's the problem there? Because if you look at what they do and what they're doing, so is what they're doing sufficient for the nature of the problem that it is or is what they're doing wholly insufficient and if insufficient, where does it miss the mark?
Ted Nordhaus: So there's two issues here. I mean, one is whether sort of continually sort of escalating the rhetoric about the problem. In the belief that even if you're exaggerating by exaggerating, you will sort of galvanize a political reaction and a response.
Ted Nordhaus: In my view and it's sort of longstanding, it's that that is just not, there's just no evidence that this is going to work. That by becoming sort of ever more hysterical about the problem by kind of both the kind of continual escalation of the claims about sort of game over for civilization and also the sort of continual positing of climate deadlines. And I've been at this almost 20 years, really working pretty centrally on climate and we've had deadline after deadline after deadline. We have X years to act. We have five years to act, 10 years to act, whatever, and these deadlines come and go with literally no impact whatsoever.
Ted Nordhaus: And so now we have a new deadline, we've got 12 years to act. And there's just no reason 30 years into the politics and our understanding of this issue to think that these new deadlines are going to be have any more effect than the old deadlines had.
Ted Nordhaus: And that's where I make the argument for a different approach, which is actually to sort of deescalate the rhetoric to try to sort of what we end up as, we kind of get this escalating rhetoric as these very sweeping calls for kind of economy wide global coordinated action to address the problem.
Ted Nordhaus: And everyone kind of goes, well, this big sort of we'll pause at a crisis, we'll pause at a sweeping solution to it. You get this sort of what we call everything-ism that gets swept up into this. So you look at the Green New Deal and we're going to solve, we're going to do Medicare for all and federal jobs guarantee and radical investments to re-make the entire energy economy. And the idea is, well by doing this you kind of bring everybody to... You kind of get all of these different constituencies together that want all these things.
Ted Nordhaus: But the problem is that you also unite the opposition. So it works both ways. And moreover because of a lot of the claims that get attached to the sort of climate emergency, you also increasingly sort of polarize the debate. So you have a united opposition, you have a intensely polarized debate and those are just not the conditions for a sort of sustained multidecadal effort to transform the American economy to support the development and diffusion of low carbon technologies across the US and the global economy.
Ted Nordhaus: You're just kind of been sucked up into this intensely polarized national political debate. And meantime, I think a lot of the evidence we have over the last couple of decades is the sort of things on climate and energy that have made the most difference are things that kind of bubbled along below the radar for a long time.
Ted Nordhaus: Often with sort of quiet bipartisan support, much less controversial. And my view for better or worse is that that's sort of likely to continue to be the way that will make the most progress in terms of decarbonizing the US economy is sort of the things that are not the subject of the sort of loud intense debates.
Jason Jacobs: So could you give some examples historically where that quiet bipartisanship has been effective and then also of some types of things you'd like to see enacted using that approach in the climate fight going forward?
Ted Nordhaus: Yeah. Obviously for me one of the kind of really kind of eye opening things that sort of changed my perspective on some of this was we did the first really detailed history and documentation of the public role that the sort of federal government played in shale gas revolution.
Ted Nordhaus: And while everyone over the last 30 years or more was debating about whether renewables or nuclear would be the energy future or whether we were going to run out of oil sort of very quietly, really out of view. Certainly far away from the national political debate, there was just a sort of sustain, relatively modest federal investments in developing these new technologies to extract natural gas out of shale formations. Which is actually where most of the oil and gas actually is. So you had national laboratories working on this program. You had this thing called the Gas Research Institute, which was a public private partnership funded by a very modest fee on natural gas pipeline transmission.
Ted Nordhaus: You had a production tax credit for nonconventional fuels. You had a whole set of policies and it kind of over the course of about 30 years, a guy named George Miller with a lot of help from the department of energy and the Gas Research Institute figures out how the get shale out of initially one particular shale formation in Texas in an economic way.
Ted Nordhaus: And that just not only like it transforms the global energy economy for better and worse. It's been very double edge I think less so in the way that a lot of environmental opponents fracking talk about it, which is that it's poisoning groundwater and it's as bad as coal, which is just simply not the case.
Ted Nordhaus: But the technologies that initially allow us to get cheap natural gas also then, which nobody thought would be possible are transferred over and we figure out how to get oil out of those formations as well. And initially no one thought we would ever be able to use these techniques to extract oil from shale formations. And that has just kind of it destroyed, oil was $100 plus a barrel and fracking broke OPEC, it transformed global geopolitics.
Ted Nordhaus: A lot of kind of what's happened in terms of Russia's sort of efforts to project itself globally in all the ways that have been so problematic were a reaction to the fact that it was no longer able to sort of count on it's sort of oil and gas reserves to remain relevant politically across Europe and elsewhere. So technological change brings all sorts of things that we never see coming again positively and negatively.
Jason Jacobs: What about looking forward? So do you have specific initiatives that you'd like to see enacted? If so, it'd be great to hear them and if not, it'd be great to understand what an approach would be to identify them.
Ted Nordhaus: Yeah, so we do a lot of work on advanced nuclear energy and for me that's likely to be a kind of key technology in terms of long term de-carbonization of the global economy.
Ted Nordhaus: And we had this old legacy nuclear industry that sort of big lumbering, really pretty sort of centralized technologies and also economic institutions, nuclear energy, conventional nuclear energy really doesn't work in liberalized electricity markets for instance. And that sort of increasingly where sort of global, the power sector has been moving globally. So if nuclear's going to play a role, you're going to need to have smaller technologies that can operate in a more sort of decentralized way in liberalized power markets where you're not sort of centrally prop planning the entire grid.
Ted Nordhaus: And there's a whole sort of new generation of these technologies and really startup companies that are sort of trying to bring them to market. And so we do a lot of work kind of going like what is the policy framework that gets you over the next few decades, really viable, economically competitive, advanced nuclear energy, which in a world where solar and wind have made great progress, but there's limits to them as long as because of their intermittency. You're going to need some other sort of zero carbon technologies to fully decarbonize the power grid and to electrify other sectors of the economy. Advanced nuclear is one of them.
Ted Nordhaus: Carbon capture and carbon removal is another case and both of these things are things we're kind of like... Sure, I would like to see sort of more money and sort of more kind of public policy supporting it. But I also think that a lot of progress can be made with fairly modest policy that doesn't sort of require one party to win and one party to lose for instance. Most of the stuff on carbon capture in advanced nuclear has moved forward with pretty strong bipartisan support. Like one of the last bipartisan things that happens in Congress. And I hope we keep it that way. There's more examples for instance like we got to figure out the power sector in the US right now is like 20% of emissions. So there's a lot of other... Most of the missions are coming from other sources yet all anyone really talks about is the power sector.
Ted Nordhaus: So what are we going to do? What are the technologies for decarbonizing steel or cement or a lot of the transportation sector that's not going to be done with Teslas. So and I think that sort of once you get down to that technology by technology sector, by sector kind of thinking about how you get from here to there as opposed to this sort of climate emergency, we have to do everything at once right now. I think there's a lot more sort of possibility for progress.
Jason Jacobs: Is the role of BTI to go through and do that analysis technology by technology sector by sector and then leave it to someone else to figure out based on that data and that information, what's the right policy framework or what's the right R&D budget or things like that to bring those things about? Or are you also thinking about specific initiatives that could be put in place to unlock the things that your analysis is informing?
Ted Nordhaus: Yeah, we do a lot of what I would call policy development and sort of at a high level. So look, we're not going to sit down and give you our model legislation for decarbonizing the steel industry, but we will make a sort of assess the potential pathways and kind of look at, for instance, how we do R&D around relevant technologies, public R&D. What is missing? What the sort of sorts of policies so like on advanced nuclear there's sort of basic framework that we've laid out over the last seven, eight years is sort of basically what's moving forward now. Which is some licensing reform at the NRC, sort of opening up national laboratories to private entrepreneurial nuclear startups because there's huge amounts of knowledge and experience and frankly just data on nuclear materials, nuclear fuels, nuclear reactor designs at the national laboratories that these firms really didn't have access to.
Ted Nordhaus: It's sort of making investments in sort of some of the kind of solving some of the technological challenges, the specific technological challenges that are shared across different nuclear technologies. And then it's providing some advanced market commitments to sort of certainly get the first of kind of these new reactors to market. So that's a framework without being like put X amount of dollars in this agency or create a new agency or create a new public private partnership that shall be done exactly like this.
Ted Nordhaus: We'll sort of lay out the broad outlines of a kind of policy approach and the sort of policy mechanisms that you would need to get where you need to go.
Jason Jacobs: Are you in the business of picking winners as it relates to different technologies or is it just more as better in the market will solve?
Ted Nordhaus: I would say a little bit of both. I mean, I think that our view is that you need to make a bunch that we need to support a broad portfolio of technologies. We need to provide some sort of targeted market pull to get those technologies to market. So there are a lot of people who are like just put a price on carbon and let the market figure it out. But the reality is that those sorts of approaches, it's necessary whether it's through a carbon price or a clean energy standard. There's a bunch of different ways to do it. I think you need sort of technology neutral policies to sort of provide some support for the commercialization and diffusion of low carbon technologies. But in most cases you often need more targeted support to get them to market.
Ted Nordhaus: So you're not going to get just putting a $30 or $40 price on carbon, which I think is kind of the outer realm of sort of political possibility. And it's probably pretty frankly in my view, quite unlikely even at that level. That's not going to get you advanced nuclear technologies in the next 15 years. You're going to need to kind of do some procurement to get those first of kind technologies built. You need to do more than that. And then I think you need to kind of ramp public support down and sort of provide more generalized technology neutral market poll. So you need to do both. Our view kind of tends to be that like early on you need to support a lot of different technologies.
Ted Nordhaus: You need to do that in a kind of competitive way. But if you want advanced nuclear technologies, you need to say the government is going to buy the first 10 gigawatts of advanced nuclear technology that can meet a sort of particular performance criteria for instance. And that's going to be the same with carbon capture technologies. Frankly that is how we got solar and wind to the point where their sort of start there close to being competitive, cost competitive in some markets with fossil fuels, with quite targeted policies to get those technologies to market.
Jason Jacobs: I know I've heard it for me that a price on carbon won't be enough. But is there any downside to having one? And if so, what?
Ted Nordhaus: Well, I mean, I think the downside is some people sort of say we should just have a price on carbon and not do any of these other things. In fact, we should sort of trade off a price on carbon for various sort of clean energy subsidies, various clean energy deployment mandates. That in my view is just a terrible idea.
Jason Jacobs: But I'm asking a different question, which is, is there any downside? So I guess that we [crosstalk 00:34:34].
Ted Nordhaus: Assuming there is no tradeoff. Yeah, I mean, look, I have no objection to putting a price on carbon. I mean, the primary constraint on that is political. And the truth is that politicians as a colleague of mine likes to say, politicians aren't stupid. They're smart, they're actually good at their jobs and their job is to get elected. So politicians like to hide costs and avoid creating pain for their constituents. They don't like to sort of make the costs of their policies visible and they don't like to be held responsible for imposing costs on their constituents.
Ted Nordhaus: So that's always been the trouble with carbon pricing and putting a price on carbon is that it's very difficult to establish when we establish it, it's almost always low. It's not at the levels that would drive substantial transformation of energy markets. So every little bit helps. As I said, I'd be happy if we could get a politically feasible carbon price in place so long as we stopped talking about it as the sort of be all and end all the climate policy because it's not.
Jason Jacobs: So can things like CCS or Direct Air Capture or advanced nuclear ever be cost competitive without a price on carbon? And if so, how?
Ted Nordhaus: Yeah. I think it's ultimately the only path to sort of deep de-carbonization globally is to make clean energy cheap. I don't think it necessarily has to be cheaper than fossil, but it has to be close enough in cost that the sort of immediate costs of sort of regulation or a carbon price or whatever mechanism you put in place to drive the transformation are sort of really kind of mostly in the noise for most people.
Ted Nordhaus: So yeah advanced nuclear certainly if we can figure out how to scale it and get a set of these new technologies to market I think can be very cheap. And right now there's a new carbon capture technology called NET Power that I think the first demonstration plant is going to begin the operation end of this year or early next year, I believe. That technology by the numbers and what everyone's looking at is going to cost no more than a new combined cycle, natural gas plant.
Ted Nordhaus: And it's going to capture all its carbon. So here's an example that we have right in front of us of a technology that is going to be looks like at least in relationship to combined cycle, natural gas is going to be almost immediately cost competitive.
Jason Jacobs: So if you could wave your magic wand and change one thing that would have the biggest impact on accelerating the de-carbonization of the global economy, what would that be?
Ted Nordhaus: Just be cheap, clean energy. It's the only thing that matters.
Jason Jacobs: What can we change in order to unlock that?
Ted Nordhaus: Well you just, you have to kind of and again this has been our sort of central argument for well over a decade is that you have to kind of, this is a long term innovation challenge. And the central objective of all climate policy, if what you are after is deep de-carbonization of the global economy as quickly as you can. Is policies designed to accelerate the rate of technological change such that clean energy is as cheap as possible or darn close to it?
Jason Jacobs: And is that federal, is that stayed, is that technology [crosstalk 00:38:27]? Is it picking winners? What-
Ted Nordhaus: Yeah, I mean it's sort of all of the above. People who kind of are critics kind of try to reduce what we're saying to just like we just start saying spend more money on research and development and don't do anything else. That's not our view. I mean innovation happens in lots of different ways and it happens in response to regulation. It happens in response to price signals. It happens in response to sort of laboratory breakthroughs. It happens in response to just combining and recombining old and new technologies and all sorts of ways and so yeah, you need to pick a whole lot of winners and we don't know what the winners are going to be. Simply leaving it sort of to the market to pick the winners demonstrably is not going to work.
Ted Nordhaus: And government has a much better record of picking winners than a lot of people tend to give it credit for, almost every low carbon technology that we have available today was developed with substantial and sustained support by the US federal government. That's solar, wind, nuclear carbon capture. Many of the big improvements in energy efficiency, shale gas, all of it. So you'd be hard pressed to find any low carbon technology, any decarbonizing technology that wasn't developed with substantial and sustained support from the federal government. And that's not just research and development. It's also things like performance standards, demonstrations of technologies, tax credits to support the commercialization and initial markets for those technologies, government procurement, all of that. So there's a kind of suite of policies from the laboratory to the market that are necessary to support innovation. So that throughout the entire energy economy, and that is the sort of central challenge. We're not going to make much progress on climate change if we're not doing all of those things.
Jason Jacobs: And so if the president called you up and said, "Okay, in spirit I agree with you, no price on carbon or not necessarily no price on carbon but just that price on carbon in itself won't be sufficient that we need to make clean energy cheap." So Ted, here's the keys to the kingdom you can put any one thing in place. Is the reason why there's not an answer to that because there's a long tail of, there's no one silver bullet being-
Ted Nordhaus: There's no one thing, there's no one technology and there's no one policy. I think that what you have to do is sort of put in place a sort of sustained and politically sustainable. I mean, the first thing, if a president called me and said that, I would kind of go like, think about how you're going to try to create a set of policies and institutions that can be sustained four or eight years from now and you're not president anymore. And when the other party is in control of government. Tell me how that's going to work. Because in a pluralistic democracy we're not going to be a one party state. You have to put in place policies that are robust to both the technological uncertainty and to the reality that the political winds are going to wax and wane on this.
Ted Nordhaus: So yeah. I would happily support a modest sustainable carbon price when which all of the money was kind of dedicated to research, development, demonstration and support for commercialization of low carbon technology.
Jason Jacobs: Are any of the groups that are focused on carbon price proposing that?
Ted Nordhaus: Almost none of them, interestingly. There's lots of, I think misguided kind of ideas that sort of the carbon price should be revenue neutral or should be sort of refunded to tax players and that this will sort of fix the politics around carbon pricing. There's sort of simply no evidence for that. In fact, all of the survey research at least suggests that actually using money from any sort of carbon tax to invest in clean energy technology is more popular than sort of refunding it or recycling it or dividends or any of it.
Ted Nordhaus: And there's a reason for that, which is that, and this goes back to my days as a pollster, that people just don't believe that a price is going to sort of drive the sort of change that we're talking about. They're much more likely to support these sort of things. The way we still sell carbon pricing is like, imagine that I was trying to sell you a car and I said to you, "Jason, I have this car for you. It costs $45,000. and I know that $45,000 might seem like a lot of money, but let me tell you how we're going to finance it. And we have a bunch of different options. You can actually put no money down and we'll finance it over time and whatever." After 15 or 20 minutes of going through all of the different costs and finance options, I finally told you what the car was and that it could go zero to 60 in four seconds and that it had nice leather seats and it had a great entertainment system. And here's all the features of the car.
Ted Nordhaus: Well, that's how we basically sell climate policy with carbon pricing. Is we start by talking about how much it's going to cost and how we're going to reduce the costs or how we're going to refund the money or why it doesn't really cost that much. And then we never really kind of get around to telling people what they get for their money. If I was trying to sell a carbon price, the thing I would sell is sustained public investment in clean energy technology, which is wildly popular. And then I would sort of say, and by the way, we're going to pay for this with a small fee on carbon.
Ted Nordhaus: Literally nobody does it, which I find it stunning still that the kind of advocates of these policies and I think it's paradogmatic, it kind of goes back to what we call the pollution paradigm or the politics of limits, which is just this idea still in a lot of quarters that you have to focus on the pollutant and sort of regulating the pollutant out of existence as opposed to sort of focusing on what's going to replace, on what's new, on what's going to take the place of the old technology or the old fuels that we're not going to use anymore.
Jason Jacobs: So price on carbon aside, the bipartisan approach that you're advocating does it require a healthy two party system? And do we have a healthy two party system today?
Ted Nordhaus: I think we don't have a healthy two party system, which is all the more. I think that like we call it say a bipartisanship has sort of with good reason, it just the word at this point invokes a lot of cynicism just because there's so little of it.
Jason Jacobs: Well because we don't have a healthy two party system [crosstalk 00:45:39].
Ted Nordhaus: Yeah.
Jason Jacobs: But rightfully so it seems.
Ted Nordhaus: Yeah. Well, and my point is that if what you think bipartisanship means and the way that it's often been used is that sort of somehow there's going to be this sort of grand high level compromise on climate change and that everyone is going to kind of stand up and a president and the opposition party are all going to kind of go and stand in the rose garden and say, "We have reached a grand bargain in agreement to solve climate change." No, that is not what I'm saying is the way forward. What I'm saying is that the more granular you get on the policy, the more potential there is for bipartisan cooperation on very particular things that don't require Mitch McConnell or Donald Trump to stand up and say, "You know what? We were wrong about climate change."
Ted Nordhaus: It just simply requires them to say, "We might even disagree about how serious the problem is but we can all agree that we are invested in the next generation of nuclear technology or renewables technology for that matter. Or that we want better, higher productivity, more efficient agriculture in this country and we want to increase agriculture exports to other places so they don't have to clear their forests." So that's where I think some possibility of political compromise and negotiation is possible where at this very high level, the kind of Green New Deal, cap and dividend or fee and dividend level, I don't think that sort of grand bargain is currently possible and is likely to be possible anytime soon.
Ted Nordhaus: So when I argue for quiet climate policy, what I'm arguing for is a sort of policy is dis-aggregating the action, the costs of action and the sort of different constellations of interest groups that kind of have an interest in different sorts of technologies and in different sectors of the economy that that's the level at which sort of interest group negotiation and bipartisan or cross-partisan negotiation is possible. Because the stakes are actually much lower, both politically and economically.
Jason Jacobs: So when I talk to, I don't know your political views, but when I talk to people that are in the climate fight who are on the right, what they generally say to me is that Republicans are coming around, they care about climate more than ever before. Not only do they care about it, but they're at the table willing to talk about what substantive policy might look like and they've got an open mind. And so that's what I hear from the right. What I hear from the left typically is that we have an active denier in the office. And that not only are we not making progress, but we are playing defense just to try to keep him from actively unwinding all the progress that we've made to date. And until we have a change in administration and get a Democrat in office, there's nothing substantive we can get done at the federal level. So given those two viewpoints, where do you come out on where we are today?
Ted Nordhaus: I mean, we just passed with kind of almost unanimous bipartisan support. We just passed the Q45 tax credit, which basically establishes sort of a shadow price on carbon for carbon capture and storage. We have passed a couple of important pieces of advanced nuclear legislation also with virtually no opposition. And we have a new fairly substantial piece of legislation that just passed out of the Senate Energy Committee a couple of weeks ago with also virtually no opposition. So there's examples of sort of smaller actions where actually we can make progress. And president Trump the climate denier and chief signed the Q45 tax credit, he signed the nuclear energy infrastructure. I can't remember what all the acronym is, but he signed that legislation. And if the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act pass, he's going to sign that. So for me, that's the model of progress. And frankly, there's a lot of well, these undoing all the progress we've made and it's sort of what progress exactly is that? Because most of the progress that we've made certainly there's sort of two successes over the last decade on US emissions.
Ted Nordhaus: And the first is the coal to gas transition, which Trump is not undoing. And there's lots of talk of a war on coal but coal is being sort of destroyed by natural gas and also some progress, particularly with wind energy. And there's really not much that the administration has done to try to undo that. So I think that there is this idea, particularly on the left, that sort of the way that everyone... The scales are going to fall from everybody's eyes. The climate deniers will be sort of routed by the forces of climate action and will be sort of rounded up and tried in The Hague as war criminals literally. And then we will sort of, once this sort of war has been won, we will then proceed to solve the climate problem.
Ted Nordhaus: And I just don't think that is remotely feasible. I don't think that's how it's going to work. And I think that the insistence, I'd much rather have climate deniers who were supporting substantial public policies to support low carbon energy sources like nuclear and carbon capture than what we have now, which is a lot of kind of climate deadlineism and empty commitment. And the idea that we'll sort of regulate our way to a low carbon economy through sort of brute political force. We've been at this for 30 years, that's not going to happen.
Jason Jacobs: So I've had several people tell me recently or a long time. Members of the climate fight in different capacities tell me that if you care about climate change, the number one most important thing, at least from a US standpoint is the 2020 election. Do you agree or disagree with that statement?
Ted Nordhaus: Let me say this, I think that in the circles that I think you and I mostly spend most of our time very engaged, very online, very concerned about climate change. There is an implicit assumption it's behind, it's the reason that the Green New Deal has sort of captured so much imagination and that assumption is that Trump is deeply unpopular and as a result there's going to be a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress after 2020.
Ted Nordhaus: And I think that is at best a 50/50 proposition right now. Trump's unpopular, the economy is extremely strong. We're at 3% unemployment. There's a bunch of polling suggesting that he's over 50% approval rating in enough states to win the Electoral College. And I think sort of the kind of four years or 12 years to solve climate change, if your view is that it's game over for the climate, if Democrats don't sweep the 2020 election, then you need to tell me what you're going to do after 2020 if that doesn't happen.
Ted Nordhaus: I can tell you what we're going to do. We're going to be back to doing the same things we've been doing. That all of this sort of talk, that this is the most important election of our... I think this may be the most important election of our lifetime, but not because of climate change, because of sort of the implications for American democracy that a second Trump term potentially holds in my view. But I think certainly from a climate perspective you have to think about, well, what are we going to do if Trump's reelected?
Jason Jacobs: So does much change from a climate standpoint one way or another if Trump does another term or we get a Democrat in office?
Ted Nordhaus: I think less than a lot of people think. Because I think that even in the best of circumstances, which is that Democrats control both houses of Congress and the presidency. Democratic majorities are going to be deeply constrained by their own coalition because to win majorities Democrats have to have to win and hold seats in districts that are not particularly environmental. So you're going to have what we had back in 2009 when Democrats had commanding majorities in both houses of Congress and Obama in the first two years of his term. And you look at how difficult it was to even get a very modest cap and trade program passed out of the House of Representatives.
Ted Nordhaus: So I think the idea that a democratic sweep in the elections kind of creates the possibility for very far reaching climate action is probably unlikely. And I think similarly that there are opportunities to make progress on climate, particularly technologically, even in the case of a Trump reelection.
Jason Jacobs: So what do you think about the work of say, a Heartland Institute and the Heartland Climate Conference that's happening at Trump Tower this week?
Ted Nordhaus: I think it's irrelevant. I mean, I think that part of what goes on is that... I heard this new term on Twitter literally yesterday. I don't have it in front of me, but it's something like mutually beneficial antagonism. And so my view is that the sort of climate science wars, the kind of on the one hand this sort of kind of climate change is the most important problem the world will ever face. And if we don't act in four years, it's the end of civilization. And anyone who even sort of not only... You can at this point, people who accept all the climate science, the mainstream IPCC climate science and are like this is not the end of the world in 12 years. We should mitigate as fast as we can. But my view is that we're not going to stabilize emissions at 2C much less 1.5C. And there are people calling me a climate denier because I deny that if we don't act on climate change in the next 12 years, the world will end and it won't end. There's just very little science to suggest that.
Jason Jacobs: But do you think that things will get really bad in the decades to come no matter what we do at this point?
Ted Nordhaus: I think that a fair amount of climate change is going to happen. I think that if you just look at the basic trajectory of the global economy of the global just in the developing world we're going past 2C. And so we need to think about how we are going to address climate change in a world in which we'll almost certainly see two and a half, maybe even three degrees of warming. And I think that's the best case. Even if we get very, very serious about mitigation, which we should.
Ted Nordhaus: And the reality of these standards 2C, 1.5 these are pretty arbitrary standards. There's no science that says that catastrophe happens past 1.5 or past 2 nor is there science that says a catastrophe doesn't happen if we stabilize below 2 or below 1.5 that's not actually how the climate science works.
Ted Nordhaus: It's mostly linear. And even the stuff that's nonlinear, the tipping points, there's so much uncertainty about what the consequences of those tipping points are or where in the sort of temperature distribution, those tipping points would happen. That as a risk proposition, it's functionally linear. The more the lower level at which you can stabilize atmosphere concentrations of carbon, the less risk there is. So our objective should be to stabilize as low as possible while recognizing that there's a billion people right now who have no access to electricity or modern fuels. There's several three or four billion now who are sort of still trying to kind of achieve living standards that people in developed countries take for granted and that's going to happen. It should happen. And the implications of that are likely that we're going to go probably well past 2C of warming if the main sort of central estimates of climate sensitivity are correct.
Ted Nordhaus: So I don't want to be saying one about that. We should be doing everything we can to reduce emissions as fast as possible. We also really need to get very serious about adaptation. We need to think about things like what potential there is to do direct air capture and carbon removal. And we probably at least need to do some research on geoengineering if things turn out to be on the sort of most extreme side and of the impacts distribution and climate sensitivity. So all of those things are things that we need to do. And the reality is that we spend way too much time arguing with folks like the Heartland Institute and just obsessing over kind of, who's a climate denier and who's not a climate denier rather than kind of going like wherever you stand on sort of being skeptical of climate science or being very alarmed by it.
Ted Nordhaus: What are the things that we can kind of agree to do that actually provide real benefits in the here and now or that at least kind of I think we just need to orient the political proposition here much more around the uncertainty that we don't know how serious the problem will be. We don't know how fast the climate will change. We don't know how well human societies will adapt. So we should be buying as much insurance as possible to mitigate that risk. And that means decarbonizing as fast as we can. Stabilizing at two degrees above the pre-industrial levels is better than three.
Ted Nordhaus: Stabilizing at three is better than three and a half. Stabilizing three and a half is better than four. So we just need to go as fast as we can recognizing that there are technological constraints, there are economic constraints, there are political constraints that mean that it's likely that we're not going to be able to go as fast as many would like.
Jason Jacobs: And if you had a big pot of money, say $100 billion and you could allocate it towards anything to maximize its impact on decarbonizing quickly and effectively, where would it go? How would you allocate it?
Ted Nordhaus: I would put a lot of money in the nuclear and carbon capture and I would put a lot of money into figuring out how we're going to decarbonize the rest of the economy outside of the power sector. Because the power sector is the easy part. Cement is 6% or 8% of global emissions. Steel is another 5% or 6% at least.
Ted Nordhaus: You look at sort of heavy transportation, you look at fertilizer production. So I think there's a lot of resources that sort of need to go into technology development and deployment in the sectors that are not the power sector. So I would spend a lot of money on that stuff and I would spend some of that on R&D but I would just spend a lot of it on just getting a bunch of different technologies to market.
Ted Nordhaus: I would spend a bunch of it on building this sort of supporting infrastructure that we need. I think that there's a bunch of challenges that are not actually just about throwing money at the problem or even just the technology. If you believe that you want really high penetrations of renewables, you've got to figure out how to build a lot of transmission capacity, which turned out to be really, really hard. Nuclear, we've got to figure out sort of politically acceptable solutions to the waste disposal issue. When we look at Africa for instance, I mean if you look at kind of both as a development challenge and as a climate challenge, what are there kind of combination of technology infrastructure and institutions, political and economic institutions that's going to allow Sub-Saharan Africa to develop as rapidly as possible in a less carbon intensive way then Europe or Asia have developed?
Ted Nordhaus: Those are kind of, I think the sort of central questions and especially in the developing world, even from a climate perspective not even a human development perspective, they are really important tradeoffs. For instance, the faster GDP grows in Sub-Saharan Africa, the faster fertility rates are likely to fall.
Ted Nordhaus: So there is a tradeoff between per capita income and population and if you kind of play those tradeoffs out through 2060, 2070, 2100 you get huge differences in what the sort of population in Sub-Saharan Africa is and what the wealth is that sort of to some degree balanced each other out in terms of emissions.
Ted Nordhaus: So one could make a case that we ought to countenance a fair amount of fossil development in Africa just to accelerate the growth of per capita incomes because of what the implications of that are in terms of sort of overall population in emissions over the course of a century. Obviously the more we can do that with low or zero carbon technology, the better. But there are tradeoffs here that don't get talked about very much and that I think we need to think a lot more about.
Jason Jacobs: And what advice do you have? So if there are listeners out there who care about the problem and hear about the overshoot one and a half, two and a half, three and beyond and the adaptation that we'll need and they're really concerned about it and want to help, what advice do you have for them?
Ted Nordhaus: I would say that I think that there are a lot of people in the rich world who are very, very freaked out about climate change and what it looks like for their children and grandchildren. My advice would be one, talk back to the catastrophism because I don't think the catastrophism helps. There's lots of arguments that panic, we should be panicking, but panic is a terrible reaction to any kind of crisis. And I think the other thing is just to sort of remember when people kind of think in the US or Europe sort of imagine what this sort of post-apocalyptic climate world looks like. I think we envision this sort of Mad Max kind of future in which there's just incredible resource scarcity and breakdown of society and the rule of law and we're just vulnerable to this kind of incredibly variable dangerous climate.
Ted Nordhaus: I think it's just worth remembering that that's how a couple of billion people live right now. If you live in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, parts of South Asia, that is life today. And it's not because of climate change, it's because you're really poor. So our kind of existential terror is actually just reality for several billion people. And I think that when you put it in that perspective, you kind of go, first of all, continuing global economic development is really important. It's what makes people resilient to climate change. And secondly that any solution to climate change just has to be consistent with the social and economic aspirations of 7, 8, 9, 10 billion people. If it's not, it's not going to succeed. It's not a solution. And obviously that's what I think is the key to... That's why we focus so much on technology because technology is the thing that really mediates the relationship between human wellbeing and environmental impacts.
Jason Jacobs: It's interesting because on the one hand you're saying that energy poverty is as big an issue as climate change and that just transition matters and that people need to be taken into account. But then in another you're saying the Green New Deal is like the big bath where it's putting in both the carbon problem and the jobs problem and so I guess given your first, like what you just finished saying, I'm surprised that you aren't more of a proponent for the Green New Deal's aspirational rhetoric.
Ted Nordhaus: I'm all for the aspirational rhetoric, but I think that it gets tied up with a bunch of other things that are problematic both with this sort of, I think overly hysterical and catastrophist set of claims about climate change. I think what's interesting about the Green New Deal, if you go back to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's sort of original kind of idea of it. Climate change was not the central argument here. The central thing was the new deal part, not the green part. So, Ocasio was sort of calling for a much more sort of expansive public commitment to provide basic services for people, health care, job. And by the way, we do that in a way that also address the climate crisis. And I think what's so interesting, and this is the way that sort of climate just sort of sucks up all the air out of the room, is that it's almost been completely forgotten.
Ted Nordhaus: We hardly ever even talk about universal healthcare or Medicare for all in the context of a Green New Deal anymore or jobs and employment for communities that need it. And it's all just avoiding, it's climate emergency and avoiding catastrophe. And I think this is sort of what happens when we allow this sort of totally catastrophist framing to take over the conversation is that we kind of actually lose track of all the other things that matter in the world. And obviously at a global level, poor societies becoming wealthier, and I don't mean so that they can kind of everyone can have gold plated plumbing fixtures like in the Trump Tower, but so that people can sort of are assured the basic infrastructure of social and economic modernity.
Ted Nordhaus: First of all, it is like the first line of defense against climate change. And secondly, today even if we kind of have much better like solar and wind turbines continue to do better. And this is what almost no one talks about. I mean you have to build that modernity, it's energy intensive and today it's fossil energy intensive. It's concrete and steel. If you don't have climate solutions that allow you to pour a hell of a lot of concrete and steel all over the world for most of the rest of this century, you don't have a climate solution.
Jason Jacobs: Well I feel like we've covered so much ground today. Is there anything I didn't ask you or any parting words for listeners?
Ted Nordhaus: No, I mean it's sort of great to talk about this stuff and on the one hand I think that I'm optimistic but I'm optimistic because I'm realistic. I think a sort of wealthier, more developed world can weather a lot of climate change. Just look at the difference in the impacts that extreme weather has in poor countries versus rich countries. And I think once you kind of get your head around that and around the reality that a lot of development is going to have to happen and a fair amount of it's going to be fueled by fossil fuels, then you kind of start to go, how do we minimize how much fossil fuel we burn? How do we minimize... You have to design for that future. And that future is one with people who are kind of consume more, who are going to live modern lives with a lot more steel and cement around them and a lot more energy intensive living styles.
Ted Nordhaus: So that's the world we have to design for and we have to kind of get to that world while emitting as little carbon as possible over the course of this century. And I think we can do that. That's where I'm optimistic. But I think we have to sort of stop kind of positing kind of really impossible demands and deadlines for what we're going to do and how fast we're going to do it. And I think we also then we can kind of get to work sort of driving the transformation in a sort of realistic fashion.
Jason Jacobs: Great. Well, I mean the goal of the podcast is not to convert anybody to a specific worldview, it's basically just to surface the different worldviews that are out there and enable each listener to get to their own worldview from a more informed position. So I think in that regard, both in terms of my own worldview, but hopefully listeners as well, based on the other guests that we've covered to date, I think you brought something new to the discussion. And certainly move things forward in terms of our ability to do that, to inform people to get to their own worldview. So for that, I thank you very much.
Ted Nordhaus: Thanks Jason. Thanks for having me on the podcast.
Jason Jacobs: Hey everyone, Jason here. Thanks again for joining me on My Climate Journey. If you'd like to learn more about the journey, you can visit us at myclimatejourney.co, note that is .co not .com. Someday we'll get the.com but right now .co. You can also find me on Twitter at @jjacobs22 where I would encourage you to share your feedback on the episode or suggestions for future guests you'd like to hear. And before I let you go, if you enjoyed the show, please share an episode with a friend or consider leaving a review on iTunes. The lawyers made me say that. Thank you.