About a decade ago, many scientists were saying that it was impossible (for technical not political reasons) to transition to renewable energy. They were operating in good faith I think but really underestimated what can happen when you throw a whole lot of money and a bit of ingenuity into a field.
My grandfather was this way; he was a clever man in many ways, but as he got older anything that hadn’t yet been invented or hadn’t been done already was clearly impossible, and his proof was that if it were so easy someone would’ve already done it.
I can’t find it at the moment, but seven or eight years ago I read 2/3 of some book by a respected research scientists in the UK incontrovertibly “proving” that no renewable source of energy would ever be cheap enough and plentiful enough to power a modern industrial society.
It was well-researched, convincing and utterly, foolishly wrong.
Renewable energy isn’t some panacea. But the simple fact is that with all the money spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the entire US economy could’ve been moved to solar and wind power.
But look what we did instead.