“Unsettled,” Talking Climate Change with Steven Koonin

In episode 37 of the PetroNerds podcast, Trisha Curtis sits down with Steven E. Koonin, the author of “Unsettled.”  Trisha and Steve discuss the premise of the book, the elevation of climate change in policy making, potential pitfalls in the data, and the controversial topic of understanding how much humans are influencing global warming and the certainty of that in the reports and analysis. 

This is a frank discussion about the cost of the energy transition and the certainty or lack thereof that climate change is indeed a “code red for humanity.”  This is a nerdy and controversial topic podcast filled with analysis and questions.  Steve and Trisha discuss the definitions of “climate” vs. “weather,” the the importance of having a proper discussion and debate on how to address concerns about climate change and global warming, the ability to accurately model and have high degrees of certainty, grid reliability, the IEA’s net zero by 2050 report, monetary policy, Xcel’s shutting down of coal fired power plants and rate hikes, and Steve’s comment that “net zero by 2050 is a fantasy.”  

This book is about “What Climate Science Tells Us, What it Doesn’t, and Why It Matters.” Steven is the former Undersecretary for Science at the US Department of Energy for the Obama Administration and the former Chief Scientist with BP.  This is timely, nerdy, and a must listen to episode of the PetroNerds podcast.


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