Biden’s Energy Transition Based on “Unobtainium” Fantasy

by | May 23, 2022 |

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Engineers and scientists use the word unobtainium to refer to energy sources that cost almost nothing, have a long life, are 100% reliable, have zero environmental impact, and are ethically produced. President Joe Biden and his environmental activist allies want us to believe that wind and solar power satisfy such criteria. But, as Mark P. Mills, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York City, explains, unobtainium is actually just:

“the magical energy mineral found on the planet Pandora in the movie, Avatar. It’s a fantasy in a science fiction script. But environmentalists think they’ve found it here on earth in the form of wind and solar power. They think all the energy we need can be supplied by building enough wind and solar farms; and enough batteries.

“The simple truth is that we can’t. Nor should we want to—not if our goal is to be good stewards of the planet.”

In reality, wind and solar power facilities are expensive, short-lived, unreliable, and arguably the least environmentally friendly energy sources on the planet. To top it off, human rights abuses galore are found throughout the supply chain of these machines. Listen to our discussion with Mark Mills in this week’s episode to learn why this is the case. 

Besides his work at the Manhattan Institute, Mark is also a faculty fellow at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and a strategic partner with the energy-tech venture fund Montrose Lane.

Mark served in the White House Science Office under President Reagan and subsequently provided science and technology policy counsel to a variety of private-sector firms and the Department of Energy and U.S. research laboratories. 

In 2016, Mark was named “Energy Writer of the Year” by the American Energy Society. He has testified before Congress numerous times and briefed state public-service commissions and legislators.

Mark concludes:

“Unobtanium” works fine in the movies. But we don’t live in movies. We live in the real world.”

References relevant to this show:

  • Unobtanium,” Prager University video by Mark Mills
  • Books written by Mark P. Mills:

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Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute. He is an internationally renowned scientist, author, and speaker who has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the national government and many foreign countries. After graduating from Princeton University at the age of 20 with a degree in Geological Engineering, he received the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He later became executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. He has 40 years experience as a mechanical engineer/project manager, science and technology communications professional, technical trainer, and S&T advisor to a former Opposition Senior Environment Critic in Canada’s Parliament.

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