“Net zero by 2050 is just not going to happen”. An interview with Steven Koonin

Publié le 01 juin 2023 - 15:33
S K - France-Soir
Steven E. Koonin interview
S K - France-Soir

Steven E. Koonin served as science advisor for the Department of energy under Barack Obama’s presidency. In 2021, he wrote the bestseller “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters”. In this candid interview, he reveals his reasons for writing his book, and delivers his analysis on the "net-zero" emission strategy. 


“Zero carbon for 2050 is a rallying cry for the troops” 

According to Koonin, the net-zero strategy, pursued by the western world, is doomed to fail. "There are too many things that have to change", he says. Technology, economics, regulation, behavior, perception… Plus, this strategy will cost "a tremendous amount of money". The administration is pushing this net-zero strategy "too much too fast, without a concerted plan"

Moreover, the rest of the world is far from decarbonating. "They're really worried about where they'll get their energy from, to live a better life". 

Notwithstanding the consensus about the increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere, a clear demonstration that greenhouse gas emissions are the key factor of global warming, is still lacking. 

According to Koonin, politicians ovel-interpret climate modelizations, despite modelizers themselves admitting their predictions are not "up to snuff"

For what ? Koonin likes to quote american writer Henry Louis Mencken : "The purpose of practical politics is to keep the electorate alarmed by a series of hobgoblins, mostly imaginary, so that they can be clamoring to be led to safety". 

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