We had the pleasure of speaking with Dave as part of Bard CEP’s National Climate Seminar in the fall of 2011, his take is always interesting.
Here he interviews venture capitalist Michael Leibreich on the future of solar energy, part three of a three part interview.
Leibreich’s answer to Dave’s final question raises an interesting point about the way we think about interest/discounting rates, how we value the future relative to the present, and how we perceive the risks of investment versus the risks of non-investment. Achieving 80% renewables by 2050 would be expensive upfront and risky (depending on new technology is always risky), but perpetuating our fossil fuel use has its own risks (environmental, human health, etc) and is subject to unpredictable swings in fuel costs. As Dave points out, this debate could be one about economics, but it tends to verge on more philosophical questions about the risks and uncertainties that come with new technology, much in line with the proactionary-precautionary question raised by Steve Fuller and at CSID.