I enjoy being cited by people I don’t agree with. James Delingpole once said something I wrote demonstrated how corrupt the Green movement was. A curious accusation, I thought.
And today I find myself being cited by the Heartland Institute, which is fine. I believe in free speech, and if people with a political ideology I despise cite me, then so be it. At least it is publicity, and there are clichéd things to be said for publicity.
But what I do not like is having what I write get distorted. Then people might draw the wrong conclusion. And being cited approvingly by the Heartland Institute is not something to shove on your CV.
Here is what they have written about me.
“In his post in the Energy Collective, Robert Wilson, a PhD Student in Mathematical Ecology at the University of Strathclyde, calls Germany’s situation: “more of a coal lock-in than a solar revolution,” as the need for electricity, especially in the cold, grey days of January, requires the steady supply of coal-fueled electricity.”
The implication is clear. Going with renewables requires coal for back up in Germany, and that this is a view I hold is. Total piffle.
The Heartland Institute is either deliberately passing off their own views or are incapable of reading. I cannot rule out both.
However, if the author is too lazy to read through what I have written on the issue and for whatever reason is reading this, I can summarise my views on the issue, views which are public record and are linked to in the article that was distorted.
Germany is not building coal power plants because renewables are useless. They are building them mostly because they are shutting down nuclear power plants. It would have been wiser to build gas power plants, but that would have been less politically correct. These arguments can easily be found at my site on Energy Collective. And Arizona is not Germany. If I observe that growing papayas in Sweden is a bad idea, I would be foolish to conclude that growing papayas in a warmer is a bad idea. Yet, such fatuous logic prevails in energy debates. Suggest solar is a bad idea in cloudy countries and people, a lot of people, will conclude that you think it is a bad idea everywhere. But perhaps I complain too much. I should lower my expectations of public discourse.
Of course organisations as divorced from reality as the Heartland Institute cannot really be expected to do as much as check though what someone has actually written on a subject. To expect that would be rather optimistic, and I am not have a reputation for optimism.