Alex Epstein takes the moral case for fossil fuels on campus

What an opportunity! And see how the students responded.

Some of the questions they raised included:
  • Given that we’re already seeing sea level rise hurt places like Miami, should we really be increasing our use of fossil fuels?
  • Aren’t fossil fuels only low-cost because they receive far more in subsidies than renewables?
  • Why do you give fossil fuels credit for cleaner air and water rather than regulation?
  • Aren’t we going to run out of fossil fuels, since they’re a finite resource?
  • Doesn’t air pollution kill 1.3 million people per year in China?
  • What do you think about the mass extinction of over half of the world’s organisms in the past few decades because of temperature changes?
  • If fossil fuels are so great, why aren’t they benefiting places like Venezuela and Iraq?
The Q&A went on for over an hour and there were still several students eager to ask more questions.
The CMU event is a model of what I want to achieve on college campuses: opening the minds of people who expect to disagree with me and also empowering those who already agree with me with a new level of clarity.

The link again.


Some random thoughts. Soon the eyes of the world will turn to Australia to see how a nation with no nuclear power and no neighbours to help out will handle the transition to zero emissions. It will be interesting to see how all the high-profile and outspoken advocates of zero emissions in high places, industry, academia, politics and the media manage the walk back from the train crash.

Chris Kenny fisks Waleed Aly on the German green transition.

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9 Responses to Alex Epstein takes the moral case for fossil fuels on campus

  1. Angus Black

    Your link isn’t helpful – it’s directing me to a gmail account…

  2. Chris M

    “Fossil fuels” actually aren’t from fossils. It’s a nonsense leftist term to use. Try hydrocarbons for example.

  3. Some of the questions they raised included:

    These questions are disturbing in themselves. It shows how far the brain washing has gone.

  4. “advocates of zero emissions”

    Net zero emissions is an option. It could be cheating but it is an acceptable form of cheating.

  5. Rafe Champion

    Thanks Angus – fixed.

  6. Mother Lode

    Coal and oil are the best form of ‘batteries’ we have. They are free (we pay to extract them just like extracting wind and solar energy) but they are compact sources with all the energy the sun rained down on the earth over millions of years stored in the medium of organic origin – no toxic heavy metals.

    They have a fantastic track record. Ready with energy when you want it. They lifted our lives to a level unknown even to monarchs.

    While their palaces were bigger than ordinary people now, the capitalist society enabled by coal (and oil) frees us from so many physical ravages.

    When Louis XIV wanted to listen to music he had to wait for a musicians to assembled – we press ‘play’.
    Bored at night? A monarch would call someone to light a fire and candles (and all the smells that involves) and perhaps read a book. We flick on the light, read a book, surf the internet, are flick on the telly.

    Want to get a message to someone? No couriers riding for days there and days back. Just get your phone out of your pocket.

    Hot water when you want, walk the lit streets, call an ambulance to get medical care undreamed of in earlier epochs, foods and liquors from the farthest flung ends of the earth, trips overseas where the transport lasts hours not weeks, where you can come back with hundreds of images of what you saw, cool air on a hot day and warm air on a cold day…the list goes on.

  7. Andre Lewis

    When will journalists ask the really hard questions of Albanese and his ilk promising net zero CO2 emissions including “What effect will it have on the global temperature and climate”, “Will undertaking this hugely expensive economy wide action mean less damaging bushfires, floods and droughts here in Australia” and “What is the realistic cost of doing nothing about emissions at all but rather adapting to any serious changes in climate and weather over time just like humankind always has?”

  8. mem

    “What is the realistic cost of doing nothing about emissions at all but rather adapting to any serious changes in climate and weather over time just like humankind always has?”

    And also what are the opportunity costs? ie If we spend the money on other things such as hospitals, education, transport infrastructure, dams and environmental issues ? Given the amount of money blown on mad green schemes that have produced no change of temperature (but increased the cost of living, and doing business) I think your question needs to be addressed as a priority.

  9. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    “Fossil fuels” actually aren’t from fossils.

    But they are used by them.

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