DER Task Force
DER Task Force
#33 "Don't be a Doomer" with Noahpinion

#33 "Don't be a Doomer" with Noahpinion

Twitter's favorite anti-doomer, pro-rabbit, and now DER-pilled economist talks energy

Colleen, Jimbo, and Duncan are back, this time joined by Noah Smith of Noahpinion. While fellow energy nerds might know Noah for his posts Don’t be a doomer, Why I’m so excited about solar and batteries, or Battery-powered appliances!, his reach goes well beyond our small corner of the world. Noah’s an economist and techno-optimist who engages in a wide variety of topics, from globalization, to NIMBYism, and wokeness.

We had a great time with Noah and discussed all sorts of fun stuff. The conversation also delivered gems such as “the demand for culture war is highly inelastic”, “doomerism is a function of the clout-matrix”, and “ESG was a zero-interest rate phenomenon”.

We hope you enjoy the episode!


  • (4:20) Discussing the merits of domesticated rabbits and the morality of eating them.

  • (9:59) What type of sci-fi Noah would write, and why it would be solarpunk, and another mention of our eco-rave obsession.

  • (12:52) Noah’s hottest energy take, why are so many libertarians nuclear-stans, is distributed solar inherently expensive?

  • (22:14) Renewable energy narratives and counternarratives

  • (28:13) Is there a path to nuclear at scale?

  • (33:24) Noah’s take on who blew up Nord Stream.

  • (37:20) Energy costs’ role in the great stagnation starting in 1973, how that drove energy efficiency, industrial off-shoring and focus on low-energy economic activities, expensive energy → going nimby and inequality.

  • (52:56) Noah’s interest in battery-integrated devices, Sam D'Amico = Kaylee from Firefly, Noah gets DER-pilled.

  • (68:00) Gas stove debates, “the demand for culture war is highly inelastic”, when are bans appropriate, DM Colleen with gas stoves studies, Gell-Mann Amnesia

  • (80:23) “Doomerism is a function of the clout-matrix.”

  • (91:32) Noah’s the Energy Czar of America for 1 day.

  • (93:55) Dope or Nope, “ESG is a zero-interest rate phenomenon”, Noah’s coming to our eco-rave.

  • (98:25) Bunny mischief, big shouts, qualified shouts, medium shouts, housing is for rabbits.

Noah’s computer cord-eating rabbit Cinnamon