A commencement speech worth listening to.

This commencement speech, unlike the one at Notre Dame, would have been worthwhile. I hope they appreciated it.

There may be no greater challenge facing mankind today – and your generation in particular – than figuring out how we?re going to meet the energy needs of a planet that may have 9 billion people living on it by the middle of this century. The magnitude of that challenge becomes even more daunting when you consider that of the 6.5 billion people on the planet today, nearly two billion people don?t even have electricity – never flipped a light switch.

Now, the “consensus” back in the mid-1970s was that America and the world were running out of oil. Ironically, some in the media were also claiming a scientific consensus that the planet was cooling, fossil fuels could be to blame, and we were all going to freeze to death unless we kicked our fossil-fuel habit. We were told we needed to find alternatives to oil – fast. That task, we were told, was too important to leave to markets, so government needed to intervene with massive taxpayer subsidies for otherwise uneconomic forms of energy. That thinking led to the now infamous 1977 National Energy Plan, an experiment with central planning that failed miserably. Fast-forward to today, and: déjà vu. This time the fear is not so much that we?re running out of oil, but that we?re running out of time – the earth is getting hotter, humans are to blame, and we?re all doomed if we don?t stop using fossil fuels – fast. Once again we?re being told that the job is too important to be left to markets.

I think the population growth figures are overblown but that’s the only thing I disgree with.

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