How Green is the Hulk? Mark Ruffalo Wants You to Know.

September 18, 2014

hulk

Mark Ruffalo, better known as the actor who plays The Hulk in 2012’s mega-hit movie The Avengers has some powerful quotes in a new interview by Brian Merchant.

Basically, he’s getting off fossil fuels and wants the Avengers to do that as well.  Which should be easy with Tony Stark’s Arc Reactor. I need one of those.

The full article and interview are at MotherBoard:

Mark Ruffalo is not the kind of celebrity activist who shows up at a charity ball once a year, writes a check while the cameras roll, then extols the virtues of altruism. Mark Ruffalo is in the trenches. And he wants his friends and fellow Avengers in there with him.

I’ve seen him hit the pavement in DC, protesting the Keystone XL. He’s joined anti-fracking demonstrations in New York and Detroit. You can bet he’ll be at  this weekend’s People’s Climate March. Ruffalo is well-versed on climate and energy issues, and endorses a plan to move to 100 percent renewable energy, following a blueprint laid out by a Stanford professor.

He’s also officially joining the movement to dump fossil fuel investment.

“I’m in the process of divesting. I took the pledge,” Ruffalo told me, “between 3-5 years, to completely divest in any fossil fuels or anything climate change related and put it into renewable or clean tech.” Ruffalo had just been a guest on Al Gore’s fourth annual  24 Hours of Climate Reality program, and he was enthused.

“And that’s a pledge that I’m making here today to you. I’m asking all of my friends to do it. I’m going to ask Leo[nardo DiCaprio], I’m going to ask all The Avengers, I’m going to ask Robert, I’m going to do the ‘put your money where your mouth is’ challenge. And it’s going to be: divest and invest.”

Do you remember the moment or era when something clicked, and you’re like, ‘I’ve got to do something about this’?

Well for me activism probably started out of the AIDS crisis. That’s when I really witnessed it and really understood the power of it and learned an enormous amount from it. I saw what they were up against and how hopeless it appeared and how terrifying it was and how many really big powerful forces were pitted against them, including the media, religion, politicians, businesses – I mean everything was against them, and yet they triumphed. So that was my first glimpse into it. The Iraq war came another sort of calling.

What are you going to do, you know this is wrong, it’s illegal, it’s immoral. What are you going to do, are you going to stand to the side and pretend like it’s not happening? Is that who you are? Is that your values as a man? And that started to become the rallying cry: Are you who you say you are? Are you someone who cares? Are you someone who cares about your community? Are you someone who cares about your children? Are you who you say you are? And that is like my mantra.

And that’s what puts me out at the tar sands or a fracking event or what have you. Or a renewable energy event. I’ve been looking for the way forward and I don’t think it’s enough to say no. I think you have to find the yes. And I’ve found it in renewable energy. So I’m hammering the extraction of fossil fuels, the idea that we’re going to be moving to natural gas is insanity. Methane is a 30 times to 70 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon is, although Obama is embracing it as a bridge fuel—it’s insanity. And I know the way forward is 100 percent.

 

 

9 Responses to “How Green is the Hulk? Mark Ruffalo Wants You to Know.”


  1. Without natural gas, just how does Ruffalo expect to buffer the slack periods in his “clean” generation?  No way is he going to promote nuclear power; that’s just Not Done in Hollywood.

  2. Gingerbaker Says:

    “Without natural gas, just how does Ruffalo expect to buffer the slack periods in his “clean” generation? ”

    How indeed? Step One:

    Read the fucking manual, as has been suggested more than a gazillion times.

    Ruffalo’s ” a plan to move to 100 percent renewable energy, following a blueprint laid out by a Stanford professor”=> is Jacobson and Delucci.

    See, there are some highly qualified individuals actually publishing articles in journals that say we DON’T need natural gas as part of our energy future. Seriously, you dig the minutia – read the papers and get into a discussion with them about what you feel is wring with their analysis.

    Because I, for one, am always going to take the word of Stanford professors publishing in the peer-reviewed literature more seriously that you. Sorry.


    • Ruffalo’s ” a plan to move to 100 percent renewable energy, following a blueprint laid out by a Stanford professor”=> is Jacobson and Delucci.

      I’ve read enough of Jacobson and Delucchi to know they’re fraudulent.  Some of the elements are pure pie-in-the-sky, like tidal power (it’s not a serious source anywhere, and Siemens just suspended its project).  But all you have to do is sum up the 79.6% of total energy they expect to get from intermittent energy flows (wind + PV) to know they’re lying.  Denmark has not even achieved 35% of total electric demand from wind after 25 years of effort, and J&D claim 80+% in just 16 years (you wouldn’t even have the transmission network expansions out of the lawsuit phase in 16 years).  They tout the estimated 12 GW of undeveloped hydropower in the USA as if this is a world-saving resource, not something less than 3% of current US electric consumption.  Their estimated cost of storage (summary paper, Table 5) gives figures in dollars per megawatt (power), ignoring duration (energy).  And on top of this, they still postulate “NG reserve” (Figure 4).

      Based on the facts and figures, you’d have to be crazy to take their claims seriously.  The only reason to do so is because you have some need—either financial, political or psychological—for them to have The Truth.  If you’ve got a phobia of nuclear energy, that’s one very good psychological reason to latch onto J&D.  But the cure is counseling, not betting the nation on a fraud.

  3. Gingerbaker Says:

    “Fraudulent” and “lying” are very strong words, E-P. I would encourage you to pursue your claims further, and see what the response might be. The world is looking for valiant champions against fraud – think of the international encomiums you will receive for bravely standing up to those purveyors of corruption at that hotbed of misrepresentation – Stanford University.

    Tidal is “not a serious force anywhere”? A quick Google indicates it is a nascent technology just getting started – NOT that it is unfeasible. Once again, you have equated small penetration of a technology as a proof of its feasibility, which is a pretty big error.

    It is not surprising tidal is just getting started – it requires public investment, which, as I keep pointing out, is still the unwanted stepchild of a society under the thrall of religious capitalism. Of course, ten years ago, you could have made the exact same category error about rooftop solar – it had (and still DOESN’T have) much market penetration, so it must also be unfeasible.

    I see most of what you referenced is along the same lines.

    Not very persuasive. But I know you can do better.


    • think of the international encomiums you will receive for bravely standing up to those purveyors of corruption at that hotbed of misrepresentation – Stanford University.

      Aside from Jacobson’s own department (which appears to be specialized toward wind energy, not energy in general), Stanford is absolutely typical among universities for having a number of areas of study devoted to the extremely politicized topics of race, ethnicity, sex and so forth.  One simply cannot say anything un-PC in these universities and expect to have one’s career undamaged.  This creates an intellectual monoculture where any truth either outside the bounds of the orthodoxy or coming from a source perceived to be hostile will be attacked along with its proponent.  (See the experience of one Lawrence Summers, who as president of Harvard stated a fact that was provably true… and had to grovel for daring to do so because it was un-PC.)

      Consistent with the orthodoxy, Stanford does not appear to teach nuclear engineering.  The introductory course to nuclear energy is taught by the physics department.

      Tidal is “not a serious force anywhere”? A quick Google indicates it is a nascent technology just getting started

      In other words, not actually replacing fossil fuels on any substantial scale anywhere… which is what I said.  Further, it is not “nascent”.  It has been studied for at least as long as I’ve been reading the popular science press, which is about 45 years now (probably much longer, I’d bet at least a century).  Every so often a project gets tried, and within a few years it is abandoned.

      NOT that it is unfeasible.

      If it was feasible SOMETHING would have taken off by now.  Regardless, we are out of time.  If we are going to stop short of 450 ppm CO2 we must start construction on what we have today.

      ten years ago, you could have made the exact same category error about rooftop solar – it had (and still DOESN’T have) much market penetration, so it must also be unfeasible.

      If rooftop solar is going to save us, why does it require massive public subsidies and rigged energy markets (net metering) to be attractive to homeowners?  Who’s going to pay for all of this, so it achieves the market penetration required to make a difference?  Where is this “public investment” going to come from?  Not everyone can get subsidies, and you won’t be able to borrow much either; China will soon be trading in renminbi and rubles and won’t accept dollars, let alone t-bills.

      Why are you dead-set against any consistent standard, such as marginal CO2 emissions eliminated per $ of investment at the 1 t/capita/year level, for all energy technologies?

      You really don’t like such questions.  You have The Answer, you keep changing the question when the fallacies in your argument are uncovered.  That’s orthodoxy at work.

      • Gingerbaker Says:

        “If rooftop solar is going to save us, why does it require massive public subsidies and rigged energy markets (net metering) to be attractive to homeowners? “

        1) because homeowners should not be shouldering the costs of our renewable energy future, government should.

        2) Because any new energy system competes against the FF industry, which has enjoyed a trillion dollars of subsidy over its lifetime

        3) Because it is going to save the planet, it SHOULD be subsidized

        Maybe if you stopped asking such loaded questions, you could come up the Answer also.


        • homeowners should not be shouldering the costs of our renewable energy future, government should.

          Are you really so ignorant that you think “government” produces things from thin air?  I believe I might have found one of those magical thinkers, for whom reasoning from facts is a nigh-impossible feat.

          Because any new energy system competes against the FF industry

          Who was just telling everyone that renewables were now cheaper than conventional power?  If so, why does it need subsidies?  Not that FFs should be subsidized either… but if you dig into the talk of subsidized FFs you quickly find out that this mostly happens in the Third World and petro-states.  FFs in the G7 are taxed, not subsidized.

          Incidentally, this is one likely cause of anti-nuclear sentiment in government.  Coal and NG pay lots of taxes, transport fees, and so forth.  There is a LOT of money changing hands in those businesses.  Nuclear power makes most of that just disappear, and the profits and taxes with it.

          Because it is going to save the planet

          No it isn’t, because it can’t.  If it worked as you claim, Denmark would have a fully-decarbonized electric grid by now.  Denmark doesn’t; Sweden does.

          You appear to believe that if you chant “renewable” enough, you’ll get rid of carbon emissions.  It doesn’t work that way unless you are willing to wait for the sun to shine or the wind to blow before you do anything.  That includes warming yourself up on a cold winter night.  When you add storage, your “renewables” can barely pay back their own energy of manufacture.  If you use backup, you’re still burning fossil fuels.

          There’s a reason some people are drummers, and some are engineers.  Engineering requires math; hope won’t make a generator work or keep a bridge standing under load and environmental assault.  If you could do math, you could see where your mistakes are.  The problem is that you can’t do math, so even if I laid out the details you wouldn’t understand them.  No understanding, no change.

          Maybe if you stopped asking such loaded questions

          Maybe if you stopped equating “crucial” with “loaded”, we might get somewhere.


    • It’s called an emerging market

      There’s nothing “emerging” about the market for electric power.  It’s been mature for most of a century.

      Thank god there are people out there who, unlike you, understand the need to subsidize new, emergent technologies in the public good:

      What’s that technology going to do for us?

      I have actually dealt with the tides.  They reverse 4 times a day, the variations rotate around the clock, and there’s a cycle from spring to neap twice per lunar month.  They are far more predictable than the winds, but they are not controllable in the least.

      Do you recall how much of a role Jacobson et al. assigned to tidal power in the paper you esteem so highly?  Zero point one three percent.  Even Jacobson doesn’t expect them to do very much.  So what’s the argument for subsidizing them again?

      What’s your argument for crowding out the USA’s majority source of carbon-free electricity again?


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