For decades environmentalists have told us that using fossil fuels is a self-destructive addiction that will destroy our planet. Yet by every measure of human well-being, from life expectancy to clean water to climate safety, life has been getting better and better. How can this be?
The explanation is that we usually hear only one side of the story. We're taught to think only of the negatives of fossil fuels, their risks and side effects, but not their positives - their unique ability to provide cheap, reliable energy for a world of seven billion people. And the moral significance of cheap, reliable energy is woefully underrated. Energy is our ability to improve every single aspect of life, whether economic or environmental.
If we look at the big picture of fossil fuels compared with the alternatives, the overall impact of using fossil fuels is to make the world a far better place. We are morally obligated to use more fossil fuels for the sake of our economy and our environment.
©2014 Alexander J. Epstein (P)2015 Tantor
"If you want to see the power of fine logic, fine writing, and fine research, read Epstein's book." (Patrick J. Michaels, director, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute)
the author gives credit for all technological achievements and progress to fossil fuels. I don't entirely disagree with him. fossil fuels certainly were a boon to our civilization. but then he goes on to say the future should be built on them as well. and that conservation is not a thing... I am a technophile. I believe in progress and the improvement of the human condition through technology. but advocating that we should have fossil fuel strategy where we burn with abandon is ridiculous. it's like saying you should spend reclessly on credit because that stimulates the economy.
totally one sided, biased, and boastful and pompous and self important.
While Epstein doe a good job arguing for the potential benefits of continuing to use fossil fuels, his data is cherry picked and researching any of the "wrong modes" leads to evidence that is completely contradictory. I encourage readers/listeners to watch the debate he mentions in Chapter 9. When his ideas are contrasted with mainstream , the truth is more discernible.
These are the best arguments the "pro fossil fuel" team can make. There are some decent good points he offers and we should all be aware of them. The great flaw in the reasoning is that as fossil fuel consumption has increased so has technology in general. Alex doesn't seem to be able to differentiate between the two and attributes all human advancements with the correlation in CO2 output. I don't believe the author is corrupt by any fossil fuel interests like many other pro fossil fuel think tanks (Cato & George Marshall Institutes etc). He is genuine and makes the case that we all would love to believe... that what we're doing to the planet is ok.
I feel that the ideas represented in this book represent one of the most important set of ideas both of our current times, and for our future.
We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and be sure to only support things because we have a firm understanding of their consequences; both from a practical and a moral point of view. In order to honestly judge the latter, we need to be sure that we clearly understand the standard of value with which these moral judgments are made.
We need to make sure that we look at the consequences of an action on all groups not just one group, and that we look at both the short term and the long term consequences, i.e. we need to make sure that we look at the 'big picture'.
We need to be clear that our standard of value is not human nonintervention. We need to be clear that our standard of value is human life.
At the end of his work, the author summed up his 'moral case for fossil fuels' as follows:
"Mankind's use of fossil fuels is supremely virtuous, because human life is the standard of value, and because using fossil fuels transforms our environment to make it wonderful for human life."
Nobody has thought this issue through as clearly and thoroughly as Alex Epstein. Anyone on any side of the energy debate will benefit from the clarity and holistic ideas in this book.
Alex Epstein eloquently defends life giving industry in this succinct exploration of of the morality of fossil fuels. He thoroughly exposes the limits of faddish alternative energy while showing exactly why a society that is based on pristine nature ideology is doomed to fail.
If you love human ingenuity and relish human life, this is a must read.
The point is extremely well and extensively presented. Great narration. I thought I heard everything by the middle of the book, but the author kept coming up with more and even stronger arguments to support his valid point.
The stories and examples are vivid and relevant. This is a great listen. The greenhouse effect is perhaps is real, but the irreversible climate change is definitely a hoax.
This book is a devastating blow to the anti-human Green movement. It exposes it as having non-human values, which are detrimental to the human welfare, prosperity and survival.
The book portrays the Greens' fight against the oil industry as a smear campaign, just like to the one described against Hank Rearden in Atlas Shrugged. An outstanding and very accurately observed parallel.
Excellent book and performance. The author is able to pull back with a wide, long term, big picture view to state and defend the case for fossil fuels and the critical importance of the energy they have provided over the past 100-200+ years. Everyone should read this book and at least calmly question the worldview espoused by politicians and the media.
An excellent piece of work helping to inform the reader on what has become a hyper political issue where few of the facts are well-known or appreciated.
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