The Energy Debate's Past And Future


Van Jones and Andrew Morriss are debating green jobs. Morriss is against encouraging "green jobs" and cites the corn ethanol boondoggle as evidence:

In 1870, coal heated people's homes, natural gas provided light, electricity had little practical application and gasoline was a waste product from kerosene refining. The great energy policy debates of that era were concerned with whether the world would run short of coal. No one in 1870 would have predicted that coal would become almost entirely an industrial fuel in plentiful supply, that natural gas would be used primarily to generate electricity and provide residential heat, that electricity would be in widespread use in homes and industry, or that gasoline would become an expensive commodity. We know as little about our energy future as our predecessors did about theirs and so we must put a premium on strategies that can adapt to new information, circumstances and ideas. That is what entrepreneurs do best. We should let them do it.