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The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

Narrated by: Alex Epstein
Length: 6 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (999 ratings)
Regular price: $24.49
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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

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Challenging the Status Quo

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Good read for Greens as well

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Alex Epstein

Is the man Trump should have appointed over the EPA. He could end all of the wasted money on campaigning Al Gore's global warming, if he ever ran for a political office, I wouldn't hesitate to vote for him! Very intelligent man.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A different point of view

As a hardcore lib I'm always looking for ideas that challenge my own. I've never given much thought or tried to disprove my current beliefs towards climate change and this book has provided a new and well written perspective.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very well researched.

It is vital to the world at large that this message gets spread as far and wide as possible. our lives and more importantly, the lives of future generations depend on the knowledge presented in this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Reasonable Voice Above the Political Noise

The moral case for fossil fuels made clear and very digestible. I will not only recommend it, I will buy it for friends and family. Must re-listen to and read again. Excited to join the cause.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Logical and provoking

Great book that does an excellent job framing the arguments for and against fossil fuels.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of the most important ideas of our time

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."

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

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A Hugely Important Book

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.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Well reasoned, contrarian view makes you think.

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.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful