A Great Truth just dawned on me, and I can't wait to pass it on. I hate haggling, especially over something as important as energy policy. When you're trying to convince someone, you're supposed to start by giving a little, to show you're reasonable and not dogmatic. But I would not feel honest, starting a conversation by trying to say something nice about windmills. I hate the damn things!
(Oh, now you're showing that you're biased. Gotcha!) No, I never claimed that I could look at all those facts and not come to a conclusion. I'm not a zombie. But here's the Great Truth (and I've just recently come to see this.): Suppose the next time a guy comes up and wants to argue about energy sources, you say something like this: "Aw, I'm too tired to argue right now. I'm working on a Facts Report. Not worrying about convincing anybody about anything. Just trying to identify all the relevant facts. You have a different view of these things. Maybe you could help. If we could agree on what the relevant facts are, it ought to help make a better argument later, no? Take a look at what I've got, and see if you see any facts I've left out. Or maybe you don't agree with some I've got. If you've got better, or later, info, we'll put it in."
Now, I expect few people will argue against trying to line up relevant facts. And, freed of the obligation to half-heartedly "agree" to something you don't really believe, discussing facts is less apt to get heated. In that situation, your "opponent" is more likely to learn a thing or two that you could never beat into him in an argument. And YOU might even learn something yourself. What a concept!
Try it. You'll like it!