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tv   Book Discussion on Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper  CSPAN  May 31, 2014 1:45pm-2:35pm EDT

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his various departments and the library all really work together to build a city, and i like that we have physically done that with our architecture. >> next weekend learn about the rich history and literary life of salt lake city on booktv and american history tv on c-span2 and 3. >> here's a look at some books that are being published this week. jack divine, former deputy director of operations at the central intelligence agency, recounts his 32 years of service in "good hunting: an american spymaster's story." in "sally ride," journalist lynn scherr details the life and career of the first female astronaut. journalist nell bernstein argues the juvenile prison system does nothing to rehabilitate young offenders and needs to be reformed in "burning down the house: the end of juvenileys prison." in "america: imagine a world
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without her," dinesh d'souza analyzing the sociopolitical climate in the u.s. civil rights scholar charles cobb describes the role guns mayed as a form of self-rex in the 1960 in "this nonviolent stuff will get you killed." in "big money," on the trail of the ultra rich hijacking american politics, ken vogel, a reporter for politico, reports on the impact the citizens united decision has had on politics and democracy. look for these titles in bookstores this coming week and watch for the authors in the near future on booktv and on >> you're watching booktv on c-span2. here's our prime time lineup for tonight. at 7:30 p.m. eastern, cheryl cashin describes a new vision of opportunity in america. then at 8:45, mike earp and
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david fisher talk about the u.s. marshals. at 10 on "after words," susan van hand discusses the aftermath of the fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown follow being the the tsunami in japan in 2011. and we conclude at 11 p.m. with doug fine and his book, "hemp bound." that all happens tonight on c-span2's booktv. >> next on booktv, robert bryce argues that technological innovations have improved the quality of life for humans for centuries, and it's completely reasonable to think that we'll innovate our way out of the problems we face today. this is a little under an hour. >> good afternoon, everyone. how was lunch? good. my name is mike allegretti, i'm
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vice president for programs here at the institute, and it's my pleasure to welcome you to today's book forum. we're here today to launch robert bryce's latest book entitled "smaller faster lighter denser cheaper," and i would add, more colorful. [laughter] look at that. it's jumping off the page. smaller faster lighter denser cheaper is robert's fifth book, and i think quite possibly his best. first off, it is a relentlessly optimistic, forward-looking work, and it subscribe toss the basic notion, the belief that america's best days are ahead of it. in an era with environmental catastrophes, sectarian violence, plagues, various other things on the airwaves and on the front pages every day, i was theme read some good news for a change, robert. as robert explains, the promise of tomorrow rests in the fact that we are continuing to innovate by making things, what do you think, smaller faster lighter denser and cheaper. and in this way the book is a
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celebration of these attributes, and as he will explain, a rejoinder to the doomsdayers and the catastrophists. these are folks who have been promulgating the idea of collapse anxiety, meaning that our future will be one of scarcity and shortage. right? thomas malpass. but by every measure out there, people are, of course, living longer, healthier, freer lives. but today we still have these people out there, you know some of them, they're advocating for policies in america that robert reminds us are called de-growth. that sounds great, doesn't it? so to learn more about de-growth, you can call john holdren, the president's science adviser, or maybe greenpeace. but robert points out -- or offers, rather, an alternative vision for america's future. again, a positive one in which we do more with less, and we grow the pie rather than ration it.
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so as i was reading the book, i said, well, he really speaks so answer -- seeks to answer two questions; why and how do we keep this going? rather than saying, well, it's going to end soon and throwing hands up in alarm. so he wants to see the good times continue to roll. now, while the substance of robert's talk, i'm sure, will focus on answering these two questions -- why and how do we continue this -- i think he offers a pretty simple answer, that we continue to innovate by making things smaller, faster, lighter, denser and cheaper. i hope that was in the right order. you have talking heads on tv who say, well, we'll just solve our way out of a problem with new technology. it's more nuanced than that. it's in some ways a globe-trotting showcase of the actual innovations, the real people, the physical companies that are doing the actual stuff. and he takes you around the world. you go to panama, you go to canada, you go around the world,
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and you see the things that are happening through his very accessible and colorful writing. all of these things, this innovation though is underpinned, ultimately, by one thing, and that's cheap, abundant, reliable energy. cheap, abundant, reliable energy is at the core of keeping our society hell, free, strong -- healthy, free, strong. and in this way the book is a natural complement to the work we do at the institute's center for energy policy and the environment. we drive home one message over and over again: cheap, abundant, reliable energy is needed to continue the american way of life. and its economy. robert is joined at that center by senior fellows mark mills and diana further cot ross, and together they educate americans on that simple issue and how do we continue to have more of that sort of energy. robert joined the institute in 2010. at that time publishing his fourth book, "power hungry: the myths of green energy and the real fuels of the future."
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"the wall street journal" called it "precisely the kind of journalism that was needed to hold truth to power." he had three books before that. i'll read the titles. they're fun titles. he makes this stuff accessible to the everyday reader. "pipe dreams: greed, ego and the death of enron," in 2002. next one was "cronies: oil, the bushs and the rise of texas, america's superstate," in '04. and this is my favorite, "gusher of lies: the dangerous delusions of energy independence." [laughter] in 2008. robert's all over the place. what'd you do, 20 tv interviews in the last 48 hours? [laughter] yeah. he's being modest. he's on bbc, cnn, pbs, npr, you just fill in the three-letter acronyms, he's been on all of those stations. he frequently authors for us, though, beyond these books original research. he hits issues as diverse as
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debunking wind energy policy and the subsidies that accompany it to questions such as how do you alleviate energy poverty, a new area that we're exploring. he has a bfa from the university of texas at austin where he lives with his family and his wife, and please join me in welcoming robert bryce, a leader of the institute. [applause] >> good afternoon. [laughter] >> good afternoon. >> thank you. i have four points to headache, and i'm going to make them in about 20 minutes. first, gee whiz. second, slouching toward distaupe ya -- dispope ya. [laughter] do the math and, finally, the second american century.
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so, gee whiz. this smartphone has 250,000 times the digital storage capacity of the computer that went to the moon onboard apollo 11. this ipod nano, i just bought it the other day, contains as much music as 300 lps. in musical terms, that's about 2,000 times -- in music storage terms, it's about 2,000 times more efficient by weight and 6,000 times more efficient by volume than an lp. in 1980 photovoltaic solar cells cost more than $20 a watt. today, less than a dollar a watt. 1903, the wright brothers flew in an airplane at about 30 miles per hour. today we routinely fly onboard boeing 737s that fly at more
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than 500 miles per hour, and we can drink beer and surf the internet while we do it. ford's new engine, an engine that i think is just fascinating, it's the one-liter ecoboost engine developed during alan mulally's tenure at ford, produces 92,000 watts per liter of displacement. a power density metric, it is 16 times more powerful than the engine that powered the original model t. it also has about the same power density as the seven gin in the new -- engine in the new pew gati -- [inaudible] and yet ford is selling this, and they're selling hundreds of thousands of these engines. you can get it in a ford fiesta that costs about $15,000. since 1978 intel has been increasing the computing power density on its top-of-the-line
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chips, and, in fact, since 1978 -- the year that i graduated from high school -- intel has increased the power density on its top of the line microprocessors 78,000 fold while decreasing size of its circuits 130 fold. intel uses 2 billionths of a meet -- 22 billionths of a meter. according to intel's new, their latest processing technology, they can fit six million transistors on the tip of this pen. smaller faster lighter denser cheaper in everything. what is the book about? it's a rebuke to the catastrophists. it is a book that explains how continuing innovation is improving living standards all over the world. as michael said, we are inundated with bad news. if it bleeds, it leads. in the newspapers, on the
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television. if it bleeds, it leads. and for years, even for centuries we have been hearing about the possibility of maas starvation. more -- mass starvation. more recently, peak oil. we hear of end dem you can threats, pandemics. do we face many problems? there is no question. i could spend the rest of the day standing here and explaining even just a few of them. yes, we face many challenges, no question. cyber war, conflicts from crimea to damascus, pandemics, epidemics, all of these possibilities and, yes, we have millions, even billions of people living in poverty. in india alone 400 million people are living today without electricity. but smaller computers, faster communications, lighter engines, denser agriculture and cheaper everything from sanitation and medicine to electricity and
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transportation has created this revolution in living standards all over the world. we are seeing incredible increases in education, in trade, in development all over the world regardless of whether these countries are, what their political systems are because that is what we do. we humans are not going to sit around and freeze in the dark. we are going to innovate, and we have done so, and we will continue doing so. today more people are living longer, freer, healthier lives than at any time in human history. since the 1970s the number of countries that are considered free has nearly doubled. income levels among the poorest of the poor are steadily rising. literacy rates, particularly among women and children, are rising. in 1950 roughly 55% of all adults on the planet were literate. today it's close to 90%. a century ago few women were allowed to vote. today with a very few
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exceptions, saudi arabia and other islamic countries, women are allowed to vote and do vote in nearly every country on the planet. in the london games in 2012, the summer olympics, for the first time all of the countries participating in the games had women on their teams, and they participated in the games. today prejudices based on race, based on gender and just as important, prejudices based on sexual preference are being cast aside. finally, and why is that? it is because of the things i just discussed. cheaper communications, faster communications, more available computing. all of these forces are forces for good and for change. so slouching toward distaupe ya. before i go to that, if you don't mind, i'd like to acknowledge just a few people. first, i want to acknowledge my friend and my editor at public
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affairs, lisa coffman. lisa, would you stand please? [applause] i've had an unusual career in publishing. i've published five books, and i've had the same publisher and the same editor for all five. >> wow. >> and lisa coffman has a peculiar and unique genius for being able to read a 90-,000 word manuscript which i, of course, think is perfect -- [laughter] and she makes it more perfect. [laughter] i also want to acknowledge emily lavell who is here, public affairs, who has been tireless in promoting me -- [applause] and has over the last week made he the king of all media here in new york city. [laughter] also want to quick withly mention and acknowledge my colleagues at manhattan institute. i've spent nearly my whole career in journalism as a freelance journalist. aye been affiliated with various publications, but for four years now i've been at manhattan institute, and it's been a remarkable adventure to be with smart people who are engaged and
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want to do things that promote economic growth, and liberty has really been a remarkable and education a great opportunity for me. howard hue sick, michael allegretti, vanessa mendosa who i don't believe is here, bobby sherwood, the hardest working woman in new york city. [applause] debbie, of course, and bernadette certain who works on book projects at manhattan institute. and also i have to mention that my two favorite nieces are here, tierney, holly are both here as is holly's husband, joe, and i couldn't be happier that they are here. so moveing on, slouching toward dystopia. for centuries in our litture and more recently in our movies we've been repeatedly presented with visions of a grim future. and an even grimmer outlook on our ability to manage ourselves. ..
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>> this is presented by some of the most powerful environmental groups around america and the world. and it is that view that we are continually presenting in popular media. and with this news we are continually hit with this idea
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of why the leading environmentalist, we need to revert back to nature, 40 acres and a mule, with shahada bore and eddy arnold come i guess. the somehow this is the way forward. but this isn't new. to be clear, we see it in the book of genesis in the garden of eden and the idea that we have fallen from grace. and so the idea that we have lost is a continuing theme that we have seen in literature from naomi klein and bill mckibben today. 1755, rousseau gave us the idea of the noble savage, a century later he gave us the joys of living at walden and advice to to cultivate poverty like a garden herb. a century after that we had
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rachel carson and silent spring. and edward abbey, the misanthropic writer who has become one of the hours of environmental literature in america. and since nearly the time of rousseau, we have then arraigned by the malfeasance. he published his famous essay in which he said population growth is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce sustenance for you man. until 1968, paul ehrlich came out with the population bomb, a book that was published by the sierra club. he claimed that the battle to feed all of humanity is over. from the 1970s, hundreds of millions of people will starve to death. so consider this statement on nuclear energy. it has been their policy since
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1974. they said that they will remain opposed to nuclear scum appending development of adequate national and global policies to curb energy overuse and unnecessary economic growth. and so i repeat, curb energy overuse and unnecessary economic growth. catastrophism don't just want to stop unnecessary economic growth, but they want this growth. consider this quote from bill mckibben. our systems and economies have gotten too large. we need to start building them back down. in the world watch institute wants to shrink the economies of what it calls over developed countries and the goal should be a steady-state economic system so that we can restore the planet's ecological systems.
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in other words, in their view, the way the word is to go backward. so when you consider what the proponents are advocating, it is clear that they want energy poverty. so my third point is do the math. bill mckibben is the founder of, trying to drastically cut carbon dioxide emissions. he says carbon dioxide greater than this is not compatible with life on earth. today our concentration is roughly 400 parts per million. he has been arrested at the white house protesting the keystone xl pipeline, he is leading a campaign to sell their investments in hydrocarbon investments and he has been found same do the math and
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frequently they have a documentary with that very title. and so, okay, let's do the math. in 2010, he wrote that we need to cut fossil fuel use by a factor of 20 over the next few decades. today we consume roughly 215 barrels per day in the form of hydrocarbons. global consumption 215 million barrels and we cut that by 11 million barrels of oil equipment for the entire world and that's roughly the amount of energy now can do by the country of india. to give you another metric today, global gasoline consumption is roughly 22 million barrels per day. so were we to follow this prescription, we would have to have and cut our gasoline consumption in half and we wouldn't have any oil, natural
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gas, or coal left over for aviation or home heating or industry. in 1800 the global population was roughly 1 billion people and energy consumption was roughly 10 million barrels of oil blend per day. nearly all of that came in the form of renewables and today we have 7 billion people in far more industry and our economy is larger and yet we are wanted to return to energy levels are that predominated 200 years ago. this is a man who cost the companies who produce the hydrocarbons rogue force. so what is his answer for our energy needs? of course renewable energy in and the same thing that we have heard from the sierra club natural resources defense council and many groups like them.
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so renewable energy, again, let's do the math. in doing the math, let's look only at the electricity market, forget oil and transportation for the moment and just look at electricity and do the math on electricity. over the past three decades or so global electricity demand has been increasing by about 450 terawatt hours per year. and so it's roughly one new brazil being added every year for the last 30 years and if you look at the forecast, they are all in relatively close agreement yet
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>> we have excessive regulation and excessive medical costs and a defense department that spends more than $500 billion per year and has never passed a financial audit. and we have many, many challenges. but when it comes to innovation, no other country does it better than we can see here from the oil patch to silicon valley. the u.s. has less than 5% of the
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world's worlds population and home to nearly 40% of all the nobel prize winners. every year i go by the south and southwest interactive festival and to me it represents the best of america. it represents more than 30,000 people there and i thought it was great. they were all there promoting their new website and business and product. in the book i talk about the company. there's a guy wandering the halls and he was in a hoodie and jeans and he was carrying around a skateboard and i thought, what is with a doing? he and some friends were graduates and they created a company that is an electric skateboard controlled by a controller in her hand and had lithium-ion batteries and it was a marvel of technology. they printed a lot of components
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on a 3-d printer. out of nowhere they started their own company. so americans are entrepreneurial. they don't want to work for the man, they want to be the man. we have the entrepreneurs in the schools and we are blessed with favorable demographics in our schools incubate this more than any other country in the world. along with all of that we have cheap and abundant supply of energy at a time when the rest of the world does not in general. european steelmakers are paying twice as much for electricity and four times as much for their natural gas is still producers in the united states. foreign investors in egypt, pakistan, france, germany, numerous other companies are now investing billions of dollars in the in order to take advantage of energy that is cheap and available here. soon we will make a key point and i actually have to credit
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another individual for this term. it is time to credit this and i think he has exhausted us. we have a lot of malfeasance. we have to reject the catastrophism and the growth components. we have to reject this pessimistic view of the future. and this, make no mistake, is in ideological and philosophical battle in a political battle. if we follow the prescriptions being put forward by the catastrophism, we will end up creating the dystopia that we keep hearing about. so paving the countryside with wind turbines and even planting it with i/o fuels is the antithesis of environmental protection. we need density. density is green. we should be seeking dense power sources because the small footprints are the environmental ideal. we need economic growth because of the wealthy countries who can
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afford this environmental protection to poor countries in general who cannot. we need optimism. we need an outlook that embraces humanism and technology. we need to get good at nuclear and we are. we need to harness the incredible power of the atom. in doing so, we need to make that harnessing safer and cheaper. and we are. we need to make energy cheaper for everyone on this planet because low-cost energy is the foundation of modern society. we need technology and economic growth because they are bringing tens of millions of people all over the world out of the dark and into the electric world of ideas and freer, longer, healthier lives. as the late author marlee adams used to say, optimistic to the point of idiocy. that merely idiotic optimism that i've retained comes from the inexorable human desire for
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smaller and faster denser and cheaper options. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you so much. and i should tell you to stop, but i don't want to. [laughter] >> there is a microphone with comments, questions, disagreements, we will get to you shortly. >> what would you do about energy shortages? prices in rural india south america, all over the world people who have a hard time putting two and two together. and they they're not going to go for a high-tech solution. and they are contributors.
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>> that is a great question and in some of these areas solar energy makes a great deal of sense. they are far from the grid and even a small battery, we have a family and you have a couple of solar panels and a few led light. it allows the kids to read at night and it truly is a breakthrough technology. so i am hopeful for this proliferation of low cost solar for those who are particularly off the grid and etc. so being able to provide low-cost energy and clean burning energy is a critically important thing. a million women and children, mostly girls, are dying every year because of indoor and air pollution and low-quality fuels. a million a year. what they need is propane. what they need is viewed butane.
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and this is the problem with electrification in the developing world. you need civil society and they are going to pay for it. and they just want to provide it as a way to get more votes and have the billing system in place, all of those things, they require civil society and it is darn hard. so if i had the magic bullet, i would be doing it right now. and it's a question right here, go ahead. >> and a strategy that we have seen work people who have really over-the-top things like wind power and nonworking energy policies to forgo all their
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fancies. well, convincing people to use math and physics is a difficult proposition. but make no mistake, the lobby entities that are advocating and the subsidies that go with them, and other alternative energy forms are very powerful and have a powerful constituency in washington. the only way i know to fight them to counter some arguments that are put forward is to use math and physics and go back to the basic power density and do simple division and addition and say this is what you want to provide coming here so to provide coming here is how much land to provide coming here so much went in it, here's how much it's going to cost. i don't know any other way to come at it except with basing the truth in basic math and physics. >> you talked about people in india and africa. we have people in new york and california as well.
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fortunately a lot of these people are not always getting the education. but i'm wondering from a standpoint of cheaper energy, bringing manufacturing back and economics of that. what is this having to say for people right now for not having a lot of skills or much to do? >> with that angled, perhaps give us what is going on on the left to find out what we are talking about. >> it is coming back. i mentioned that pakistanis and egyptians. $1.4 billion are spent each building fertilizer plants, one in iowa and one in india. the biggest chemical maker in the world, top executives recent told "the wall street journal" that if they would all of their
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operations around the world of to the u.s., they would save $700 million per year in energy costs alone. france and the french, a french steelmaking company just finished building a new steel mill in youngstown, ohio. and so does foreign investment that is coming to the u.s. now is going to continue coming even if natural gas prices rise so i and so it is still dramatically cheaper than it was in western europe and it is a fourth of what it is in japan. so one of the reasons i am so bullish on the u.s. is this abundance of natural gas that is attracting steel, tires, you name it. and the value chains within change within this industry itself has created all kinds of new effects in trucking and rail and in hotels and hospitality is. you name it. there is a remarkable economic
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growth engine when an energy economist there estimated the revolution which started here roughly six years ago. it is now adding three percentage points to of u.s. gdp, roughly $500 billion per year. imagine what the u.s. economy would look like today without that. but the unemployment numbers would look like without that. it is a remarkable story and it would not have happened anywhere else but in the u.s. and we are perfectly positioned to take advantage of this. >> when i was in college and i went to the vermont nuclear plant [inaudible] they shut that down. what do you think the future power should be technologically and economically.
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>> my position even after fukushima, i have a chapter in the book where i say that it seems a little odd, but after fukushima, the prospects have never been better. when it comes to the issue of climate change, it's very simple. if you are in anti-, you are pro-darkness. [laughter] [laughter] and so then you are in favor of blackouts. and i am adamantly opposed to blackouts. i am for cold beer and air-conditioning for everybody. [laughter] but nuclear is problematic right now, particularly in the u.s. mainly because of cost. taking a look at george, building three and four reactors, you can build utilities or electric generators and natural gas for about a
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thousand dollars a kilowatt. if you can get a permit for coal , [inaudible] so the problem continues to be for nuclear high cost, safety, regulatory issues, and we have other stumbling blocks on the international front which are also going to show untranslated appointment of nuclear. long-term i am bullish because of the different technologies are now available with small modular reactors. they are investing in a company which is called a traveling wave reactor. we are seeing all kinds of new technologies being applied in the nuclear space. i think that is incredibly promising. but make no mistake that it will take a long time. so if there will be a modular reactor, there is a company based in oregon if you are able to build it, the earliest it will be will be 2023.
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if so as hopeful as i am, it is a way off. >> this is definitely a valid question. >> there have been some concerns about wanting to teach self-esteem and the result has been a part of this change. so how can we stop that and just keep it the same way, it's a pretty good deal. >> well, i might not be the right one to ask about that particular issue. my wife and i have homeschooled our kids for much of their
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lives. what we have seen the now is an opportunity for everyone, when i talk about this in the book, massively opened online courses, and this flattening of the educational system, where we are interested in computer programming, my son who is taking calculus, they don't have to go to the local community college, but he can take it online for free. and so that is just radical. and it's not only radical for the u.s., but for people all over the world. that is the reasons why am elling readily hopeful. talking about faster and cheaper education. absolutely. >> okay. when i see measurement of economic freedom declining much
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in the united states, i get pessimistic. cannot overshadow the damages like this? >> absolutely. of course. this is why it is a political and ideological battle. but the u.s. is poised for a lot of growth in a lot of potential. yet when it comes to energy in particular, we have a very active lobby of saying that we want to all of the european model. it leaves me gob smacked. are you kidding? you want to follow the european model after we have been how damaging this headlong pursuit of renewables has gone to germany in particular? so i don't dispute what you're saying, but this is part of the reason i wrote this book, i think it's one of the reasons why the manhattan institute exists and we have to continue
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to promote this idea of growth because those are the engines of development. including how much government is the right amount. if that is the case, there has to be robust intellectual arguments and effective political motivation to make sure that we have that economic growth and forces for liberty out there pushing to keep the government and the size of government in check so that we can allow more economic growth. so i'm going off on you here. >> you might expand on what you mean by cheaper, people like we believe that energy itself is more cheaper today than it was seven years ago.
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and they are higher than they were. >> one of the points i make in the book is today, i was born in 1960 and residential electricity is 40% cheaper than it was the year i was born. it's a remarkable development. but it still may be $3 in real terms. and we are getting more power out of the energy we consume. and why is that two smaller, faster, lighter, denser, and
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others as well. >> it's a thousand cubic feet in consumer prices in new york city exceed $23,225 and it's even higher in boston. and this includes the well head into new york city and boston. the question is why the building program now to get these very expensive products, but assumed to be a willing market and why is there no construction or opportunity. >> 18 months was finished by
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spectra energy and it serves as a 20-mile pipeline and it cost a billion dollars. a whole bunch of other people got it tooth and nail because they didn't want phrack -- or the natural gas piped into new york city from wells that have been a hydraulic fracture. i heard from someone that the price of natural gas that day go by several dollars in new york is problematic when it comes to any kind of new infrastructure. so you add in the fact that the public has been conditioned over decades, second bad the regulatory entities that govern the pipelines in and around new york and new jersey and all the of the rapture but then has to be avoided to build a pi


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