What do these people have in common? Leading light Texas Governor Greg Abbot, Fox News windbag Tucker Carlson, Mensa member (and former DOE Sec.) Rick Perry, corrupt former BLM Director William Perry Pendley, and an anonymous propagandist at the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page.
They’re part of the anti-reality crowd, attacking clean energy scaling for causing the Texas blackouts.
Let’s note that these are the same folks who:
- Deny the global climate crisis.
- Use our tax dollars to underwrite the polluting fuel sources that caused and now drive that crisis.
- Can’t admit to the reality that renewables are winning in the marketplace.
But their recent lying was enabled by the gas industry’s skillfully executed PR push, which included securing a head scratching New York Times headline: “Frozen turbines and surging demand prompt rolling blackouts in Texas.”
Clean energy’s takeaway should be that disrupting market incumbents isn’t a frictionless experience. As sure as death and taxes, the disrupted will react to the disruptors by weaponizing propaganda and influence peddling. It’s nothing personal. That’s just how big kids play, especially in the era of low faith in public institutions.
Many cleantechers will be tempted to see the wave of stories fact checking this latest attack on wind and solar will somehow sequester the impact of the attack. Tempting but deeply wrong. In a public debate, it’s actually really hard to net a positive balance through defensive rebuttals of a well-designed, oft-told lie. Most of the time, you recover just some of the ground you’ve lost through a defensive posture.
Given that reality, clean energy sectors should be designing and using purpose-built infrastructure to counter and pre-empt these inevitable attacks against us. That’s the argument we made last year in our analysis of the history, costs and pre-emptive steps against anti-cleantech broadsides. That analysis was catalyzed by Michael Moore’s hatchet job film (9.2M views and counting). It’s also summarized in this Forbes piece.
The bottom line is this: Clean energy can keep taking these broadsides, or we can learn from our bruises. The choice is ours.