EnergyTradeoffs.com features conversations with scholars and experts whose work addresses the difficult tradeoffs associated with the green energy transition–tradeoffs between energy reliability, energy affordability, and the environmental impacts of energy production, as well as political and other tradeoffs.
Check out our latest
Different perspectives on tradeoffs & the energy transition.
"The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the mind of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias ..."
"I think unconscious bias is one of the hardest things to get at."
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.”
“When our media was common, there was more common cause. Right now the architecture of our political space has voices telling you what you want because they’re also a filter of what you know.”
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”
“Every person that’s been into space has thought of the fragility of our planet and how important it was to find ways to protect it. ... My great hope is that this 21st century will be the century in which [we] really start to understand our own planet and ... start to understand ourselves.”
"Since we can never know anything for sure, it is simply not worth searching for certainty; but it is well worth searching for truth; and we do this chiefly by searching for mistakes, so that we can correct them."
"A compass [will] point you True North from where you're standing, but it's got no advice about the swamps and desert and chasms that you'll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your destination, you plunge ahead, heedless of obstacles, and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp... What's the use of knowing True North?"
Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’
“A lot of what's going on in the rejection of climate science is, 'I want to protect who I am. ... I want to protect what I've built."
“Increasingly, fights are simply about who has the standing to talk about certain issues, and not about the issues themselves. You can’t develop better ideas without debate. And you can’t win anyone to your side, which is the core goal of democratic politics, if you keep dismissing as a heretic anyone who disagrees with you, even at the margins.”
“I take it we are all in complete agreement on the decision here. Then, I propose we postpone further discussion of this matter until the next meeting to give ourselves time to develop disagreement, and perhaps gain some understanding of what the decision is all about.”
Alfred P. Sloan
“No one is dumb who is curious.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
"In the Twitterverse, ideologues have far more power than moderates. They have more followers; their tweets get more traction ...; they set the terms of their neighborhood’s culture and tone."
“Conversations...begin with the sort of imaginative engagement you get when you read a novel or watch a movie or attend to a work of art that speaks from some place other than your own.”
“Events today are driven by small numbers that can shame and intimidate large numbers. Social media has changed the dynamic. Even if most Americans practice excellent fire safety habits, if a small minority is rewarded for throwing lit matches, we’re going to live in an age of arson.”
“One definition of a grown-up is someone who appreciates how little she can be sure of or dismiss. The surest way to be in the wrong is to assume with blind conviction you’re in the right.”
“Were people to mingle only with those of like mind, every man would be an insulate being."
“The filter bubble tends to dramatically amplify confirmation bias—in a way, it’s designed to. Consuming information that conforms to our ideas of the world is easy and pleasurable; consuming information that challenges us to think in new ways or question our assumptions is frustrating and difficult.”
“Politics is the organization of hatreds.”
“We must be clear in our own minds that we need other people to discover and correct our mistakes (as they need us); especially those people who have grown up with different ideas in a different environment. This too leads to toleration.”
“When politicians start talking about large groups of their fellow Americans as 'enemies,' it's time for a quiet stir of alertness. Polarizing people is a good way to win an election, and also a good way to wreck a country.”
“The trouble with the world is not that people know too little; it's that they know so many things that just aren't so. ”
“Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.”
Martin Luther King
"Today we are edging closer and closer to a world where political and ideological discourse has become an exercise in dehumanization. And social media are the primary platforms for our dehumanizing behavior [pushing] the people with whom we disagree into the dangerous territory of moral exclusion, with little to no accountability, and often in complete anonymity."
“That spirit of certitude that dominated the politics of the 1930s is not so distant from us today. The unpopular political figures of our day are the people who seem to convey less than 100 percent true belief: the moderate conservative, the skeptical liberal, the centrist wobbler.”
“A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.”
“We have to move beyond terrorizing people with disaster stories. ... What we need to promote is hope. The first step to a healthy response is feeling that the problem is solvable.”
"Any classification according to a singular identity polarizes people in a particular way, but if we take note of the fact that we have many different identities … we can see that the polarization of one can be resisted by a fuller picture."
”Government represents the will of the majority of the people, but the truth should not be subordinated to the will of the people, because people very often will the truth to be something other than it is.”
Yuval Noah Harari
"[P]assion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason. Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates; every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob."