Richard Muller is President of Muller & Associates, Professor of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley and Faculty Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.
He is also a MacArthur Prize winner and a serious expert on energy, environment, geophysics, applied physics, technology, and fundamental physics, including energy efficiency and conservation, solar power, nuclear power and waste storage, coal and clean coal, natural gas, oil, batteries, fuel cells, transmission lines and smart grid, bio and other alternative fuels, and more. That's a lot of expertise.
Muller & Associates has a sterling roster of clients -- governmental, international, and private -- that attests to Mr. Muller's reputation and skills. You can see that list here.
Muller wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal at the end of last year in which he clarified some really inconvenient truths about China and carbon.
This week, at a dinner hosted by San Francisco-based venture capital firm CMEA and emceed by CMEA partner Maurice Gunderson, Muller gave an impassioned diatribe on our carbon future.
It's a difficult story.
And it's mostly about China, not the U.S.
In Muller's opinion, a watershed moment occurred in 2006. That's when China assumed the dubious mantle of being a larger emitter of carbon than the U.S.
China has had an annual growth rate of 10 percent for the last several years. If that growth rate continues, in ten years China will be emitting four times the carbon of the U.S., meaning that the U.S. becomes an insignificant producer of carbon whether we go green or not.
The bottom line according to Mr. Muller is that, "We need cheap green, not expensive green." Any technology that will not work in China or India is "feel-good technology." HEVs like the Prius fall into that category according to Muller. This fits in with investor Vinod Khosla's take on solving the "Chindia problem."
Global warming, according to Muller, "is a serious problem, but it has been exaggerated by Al Gore and Tom Friedman." Almost everything said in Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth was exaggerated, in Muller's view.
Muller finished with these words: "If you are seriously worried about global warming, the solution is in technology adopted by India and China. If you can't come up with cheap green, then the alternative is prayer."
Prof. Muller wrestling with carbon issue