[MUSIC] Thanks very much for joining us tonight. Thank you George for the introduction. I'm afra, I'm afraid you stole a little bit of my thunder. you. I'm going to talk a little bit tonight, I'm focused on economic and social impact of energy production and use. And I'm going to, really, what I want to talk about, the crux of what we're going to spend the next 20 or so minutes talking about, is this basic tension between the tremendous value we get as a society from energy production and energy use. Most beautifully encapsulated in the quote that George led with, but I'll, I'll just say we all know that energy is the thing that drives our economy, that allows us to prosper and so there is huge value in, in having energy and access to energy. And yet the production and consumption of that energy also creates pollution and some other side effects that also threaten our well being. And so I'm an economist, you're going to hear from two other economists, we're always, we're famous two arm bandits, on the one hand this on the other hand this. We're always trading off costs and benefits. And I'm going to, I'm going to, we should argue we should be thinking about the same and I'm going to ask the question or I'd like us all to ask the question, how do we find balance in this relationship? And, and importantly as we think about going forward how, how is that going to be impacted by technological evolution, and that technological evolution is going to cut both ways. We're going to have technological evolution that changes the way in which we produce energy, hopefully, in cleaner ways? On the other hand, we're going to have technological evolution that's going to be, that's going to lead to the internet of everything, and even more energy consumption than we have today? And so we're going to have to balance an increase in, presumably an increase in demand for energy. Both here in the US and certainly in the up-and-coming, in the countries that, that, that expect to grow in the coming century. And hopefully will produce that energy in a cleaner way. So, lemme start with the value of energy. Now lemme be clear, I'm an economist that, they don't call it the dismal science for nothing. So I, I'll, I'll say a little bit positive. But, but I'm going to lean negative. And then I'll hopefully bring us all back home again. look, we know. The thing that's very interesting about the value of energy in an economic sense, not in a very eloquent statement about transforming muscle into, human muscle into something else, but in terms of sort of dollars and cents. We actually know, despite it being entirely self-evident that this is good for our economy, that this is necessary for economic prosperity. There's surprisingly little hard evidence on this. We know, we, we know we gain huge benefits from energy. From combusting gasoline to drive here to campus today. From plugging into a wall socket that's drawing energy from a multitude of sources to charge our beloved iPhones. And, and to run our air conditioners on a hot day like today, at least in San Diego in October. All those things are hugely valuable. They're valuable to us in a personal way. In a, in a, in a, in a personal well being way. And they're valuable to our economy. And yet there's really very little evidence on sort of how valuable that is in a quantitative sense. I just want to. So, so I, I sort of scoured the literature to try to find something that provided compelling numbers. I, I came up with only narrow examples of the value. But I, but I have two here that I think are, at least, illustrative of this value. One is, a study based on electrification in Brazil that found that, electrification. There were a sort of a random roll out of electrification in rural counties in Brazil. And they found that those counties that were lucky enough to electrify first. So, la, very large increases in, in the human development index. So the human development index is a multi-factorial measure of well-being that has a bunch of features. That increased by 17% as a result of electrification. That's a big increase. And most of those increases were in educational attainment. Not hard to imagine that the, the provision of electricity allows you to attain more, more education to study. And also earnings, right? It's easier to work, in fact you can work at night and not only when the sun is shining when you have access to electricity. Another study, slightly different, slightly different very different settings, slightly different electrification roll out and yet we see huge impacts. Here and the thing that's interesting about the South African study. And one that merits more attention as folks go forward, is that they found huge increases in labor force participation in hours worked by women in the areas that became electrified in South Africa and very little impact on men. That has very profound implications for how we think those places will develop subsequently and clearly very, very valuable. So let me be clear, because I'm going to spend the rest of my time kind of beating up on energy a little bit. I'm a big fan of energy. I don't want to give up my iPhone. I like my air conditioner and it's provided huge value. But there's a downside And that downside largely has to do with combustion byproducts. The vast majority of the energy that we consume, either in our transportation sector or in the, the, through our, through our electricity used at home or in the office is a result of combustion of some sort or another. All of that combustion has some byproducts, some emissions, they vary of course by source. They range from carbon dioxide to nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, metals. Carbon dioxide is the one of course you talked about when you talked about climate change, although there are others that are climate forcing as well. They have profound impacts on morbidity and mortality certainly at very high rates. And we all are familiar with the stories in the New York Times and other popular press outlets about pollution in Mexico City, in Beijing, and in Delhi. And those have enormous consequences in a health sense. And, and I'll talk a little bit about those, but I'm also want to, to go beyond the health impacts. Clearly they contribute to climate change and, and I also want to say I, I think, and, and perhaps you, you guys are all the exception here, I think we have the sense, particularly living in, say, beautiful, sunny California, with relatively clean air and not combusting all that much coal, al, although we are importing some from Nevada, to be clear. that, that we're, we're sort of immune to this, and I want to be clear that, I pulled up some monitor data today. Unfortunately, today is a really clean day in San Diego so I couldn't shock and awe you with some statistics. but, but any, you know, on a random draw day, I can give you some statistics that would be, meh, at least just a little, a little disheartening about the quality of the air we're breathing in what is one of the cleaner cities in the world. and, and I want to be clear as well that many of those pollutants that are in the air around us, are also penetrating the buildings we live in. So that going atide is not a solution to this. The solution to this is to, to avoid its emission or capture it at it's source. There are technology, interesting technologies developing that space, I'm not going to spend too much time talking about them. Tonight I really want to talk about the economic consequences of those by-products. So, first, let me say. The obvious one. And the one which I'll mention quickly and move on, is that pollution is bad for our physical health. And there's lots, there, there entire journals dedicated to this. There are sub disciplines of public health dedicated to this. There are armies of economists who've written about this. I suppose I'm one of them. I threw a couple of statistics up here just to, just to put things in context. Best estimate from the most, from a recent study from MIT is that we have about 200,000 premature deaths per year, in the U.S., from current pollution levels. Historically looking back at sort of what we accomplished through the clean air act, between 1970 and 1990. About 850,000 prevented asthma attacks. 200,000 avoided cardiovascular hospitalizations. Those are profound impacts. Clearly, this number at the bottom, I'm not going to, I'm not going to sit here, and, and testify to the voracity of that number. There's lot's of complicated things that go into that calculation. But even if it's in the ballpark of true, it is staggering. 1.2 million premature deaths in the year 2010 alone in China. Those are huge impacts. And we know that those impacts have profound impact both on our economy and also on, on every social aspect of our lives. Certainly for those of us who are connected to those morbidities and mortalities. So this is clearly that. The bad, that's bad but the worse news is that's in my opinion really the tip of the iceberg when we think about economic impacts. Before I get into why it's the tip of the iceberg, I want to take a, a brief detour. And this is very dangerous, because we're now going to have an economist talking biology with at least one Biologist sitting right in front of him. But I'm going to, you're going to, you're going to indulge me at least for a few minutes or maybe two minutes. Cause I just want to make a couple of points clear, because they're going to be important for motivating why it's the tip of the iceberg. First, when we think about what pollution does, I want you to think about essentially four things it might do. One is, it can impair your lung functioning. It's going to, it's going to inhibit your ability to efficiently extract Oxygen out of the air and put it in your body. Second, it may, it, it can, depending on the pollutant, and its levels, it can reduce oxygen content in your blood, which is then going to impair cell functioning, perhaps organ functioning at extreme levels. And even at modest levels, can function the efficiency with which those body processes can operate. Third and perhaps most dramatic but least interesting in an economic sense is that certain heavy metals have direct, directly damaged central nervous systems and brains, right. So clearly brain damage is bad, it's bad economically and it's bad for lots of other reasons. And then in my opinion as an outsider at least, the sort of most exciting frontier in this biology space is the epigenetics literature that says, exposure to certain pollutants or environmental stressors in utero can affect genetic programming. So that it actually changes the person you manifest as at birth and therefore has legacy effects throughout your life. And we'll talk a little bit about what we know about that in an economic context, but we know very little to be clear. So, that's some of the, that's a sort biology primer if you will. So, how do we think, so what does that mean? Well, what that implies to me, and to an emerging literature in economics, is that those things are all bad for the way in which we can perform, the way in which we might perform cognitively, the way in which we might perform physically. And that even if pollution isn't so bad that it kills us or gives us an asthma attack or leads to a cardiovascular hospitalization, it may be impairing us in subtle ways that are operating in ways that are nearly invisible but impacting almost every single one of us. Right? Inefficient respiration might impair your concentration. I don't know about you, but concentration's pretty important for my job, and so when my concentration's impaired, I'm not going to perform as well on, on tasks. Anemia similarly, insufficient oxygenation of your blood, is going to lead to impaired cognitive processing. DNA methylation, so this is the, the path of genetics that is going to affect ultimately the way in which your, your, your, cognitive potential, and your ability to read, to, to realize that cognitive potential. All of these things are important for almost every aspect of everyday living, ranging from performing high-level tasks at a, at a, at a, an important, brain-driven job, to making change and figuring out when and how quickly to change lanes on a freeway. So these are important because they're there and in my opinion; they're, they're most important because they're largely invisible. We have completely ignored them, we've imagined if you survive the air pollution event and you don't end up in the hospital; then nothing happened That turned out not to be true. Now, I'm going to start with heavy metals, because heavy metals are the thing we understand the most. We have a, at least 30 years of really strong evidence that heavy metals, mostly lead and mercury, which often are, are byproduct of combusting coal, lead to diminished mental performance, diminished IQ, and this picture as big as it is it's still hard to see. It's a picture from a study that looked at the impacts of air pollution on Mexico City. On both young adults and a series of animals, and this is a picture of a young girl's brain. Those arrows are pointing to lesions that arose from years of pollution to particulate matter in Mexico, to, sorry, to to lead in Mexico City. There's lots of studies showing a connection between exposure to lead and mercury early in childhood to mental health, to crime later in life, and to life, lower lifetime earning. Of course diminished IQ and lower lifetime earnings seem like a natural to go pair, hand in hand. And in that sense I think it's sort of obvious, self-evident to say if pollution is affecting my brain it's clearly, has profound economic impacts. So that's case number one. Lemme, let me now move sort of into the more subtle realm if you will.