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Pascal’s Wager

According to the French philosopher, if you believe in God and he does not exist, you experience what is called a “finite loss.” But if you do not believe in God and he does exist, you experience “infinite loss.” Pascal’s Wager argues that belief makes more sense than disbelief when the worst outcome is a total loss. If so, supporting renewable energy makes sense even without knowing the true impact of greenhouse gas emissions on sea levels. However, energy transitions are gradual rather than sudden, defying the expectations of futurists. This year, we examine some timely examples:

  • Why climate goals can’t be reached by simply decarbonizing electricity with wind and solar power;
  • Why natural gas will still be the fuel of the 21st century;
  • The wide range of electric vehicle forecasts after last decade’s misfire;
  • The high voltage transmission bottleneck in the US;
  • How a group of academics thoroughly dismantled one peer’s highly publicized and dreamlike vision of a renewable energy future;
  • As a result, we also look at sea level rise, coastal exposures and flood mitigation infrastructure, which might be needed just in case;
  • We conclude with the intersection between food, energy, urbanization and proposed changes to the US Electoral College.

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