This classic format edition features a conversation between me and Alex Trembath, the deputy director of Breakthrough Institute, about the climate provisions of the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” (IRA), namely the massive increases in subsidies for “green energy” that normally summon a gag reflex from conservatives.
I’ve written about the “Breakthroughvians,” as they are known, many times before on Power Line. They are progressives who dissent from or critique much of today’s progressive orthodoxy, making them more enemies on the left than on the right. Among other things, they are the impresarios of the “Ecomodernist Manifesto,” which, to put it simply, isn’t your grandfather’s Oldsmobile environmentalism.
While they are not automatic or uncritical fans of wind and solar power, they think the climate parts of the IRA represent a break from historic climate orthodoxy that most people haven’t recognized. I decided to catch up with Alex in person yesterday in person at their new offices in Berkeley, and walk through some of the fine points of the bill, and his most peculiar recent article, “Joe Manchin, Climate Hawk.”
I’m not fully convinced, and Alex freely admits some defects and potential pitfalls of the new climate policy. He also agrees that some of the encomiums offered in praise of the bill (like Paul Krugman saying the bill may have “saved civilization”) are ridiculous, and that the conventional climate action crowd will probably turn on the bill in the fullness of time. Give it a listen with an open mind, and especially take in Alex’s optimism, which also departs from typical environmentalism. That’s one reason I like these guys.
You know what to do now—listen here, or hop in your Tesla and rocket over to our hosts at Ricochet.