• Fossil Future - Alex Epstein Book

    Just finished reading Alex's new book and I highly recommend it. (his previous work, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, is also a good read, but this one is more clear.)


    My review:

    The central premise of this book is that our "knowledge system" surrounding fossil fuels and its environmental impacts suffers from an "anti-impact" framework instead of a "human flourishing" framework. In general, what he's getting at is that most environmentalists and the general zeitgeist of our time are not really opposed to fossil fuels as much as they are opposed to anything that may impact the environment - positively or negatively. Which means they are really opposed to human development. Because human development necessarily involves making our environment a better place to live. Because of this, he refers to this framework as "anti-human", which I think is a proper way to frame the discussion.

    As a contrast, he lays out a "human flourishing" framework to view the same science based on not only negative side effects of energy sources, but the immense positive benefits of these sources. Low cost energy in the "empowered world" has led to a 98% reduction in climate-related deaths over the last 100 years. Besides that, the time we have saved from fossil-fueled machine power has benefited us in a myriad of scientific advancements that would have otherwise been impossible. Air is cleaner, water is cleaner, less of our time is used in finding food, and our standard of living is higher than kings just a few hundred years ago. Meanwhile, those in the "unempowered world" are still suffering from a lack of low-cost energy. He acknowledges the side-effects of burning fossil fuels and using nuclear energy, but demonstrates that even in those cases, these energy sources provide a great deal of "climate mastery" that allows us to overcome those side-effects for the benefit of human flourishing.

    The book can be a little repetitive (he's an Ayn Rand devotee and it shows in his writing style) but the message of the book is completely compelling. I have used this "reframing" in discussions and have seen the lightbulb go off. People are literally like, "yeah, right? Why do we only focus on the side-effects??". I highly recommend all RPF readers to pick this one up! It will help you in your discussions!

    Forbes review: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tilakdoshi/2022/03/31/human-flourishing-or-living-naturally-alex-epsteins-case-for-using-more-oil-coal-and-natural-gas/

    Short interview:

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    Comments 6 Comments
    1. axiomata's Avatar
      axiomata -
      Its next on my list. After I finish Unsettled by Steven Koonin.
    1. CaptUSA's Avatar
      CaptUSA -
      Mike Rowe Interview:

    1. CaptUSA's Avatar
      CaptUSA -
      Deeper dive:

    1. Swordsmyth's Avatar
      Swordsmyth -
      Russia Warns, Lack of Production Investment Will Lead To Global Oil Shortage

    1. CaptUSA's Avatar
      CaptUSA -
      Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
      Russia Warns, Lack of Production Investment Will Lead To Global Oil Shortage

      The greenies see that as a feature, not a bug. In their minds, a global oil shortage means a faster shift to find "alternatives". What their minds can't grasp, though, is that all of the alternatives take MASS quantities of fossil fuels to create them.

      This entire framework of woke ideology is heading straight towards disaster. It's just a question of how long it will take.
    1. CaptUSA's Avatar
      CaptUSA -

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