Alex Epstein is the president and founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, and the author of the book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.”
Who is the best presidential candidate for fossil fuels and the energy industry?
I’m working on an energy platform to encourage presidential candidates to replace today’s energy deprivation policies with energy liberation policies. It remains to be seen which candidates will embrace it. If people want to get a preview of this, they can go to http://industrialprogress.com/energyliberationplan/.
I don’t have a name myself for president, but the basic premise is that America has a once in a generation opportunity to become the world’s energy superpower, and none of the candidates are taking advantage in their policies or rhetoric. The worst ones are Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. They both support the idea of outlawing the vast majority of use of the most important form of energy: fossil fuels. They’re also either opposed or non-supportive to nuclear and hydroelectric energy. They are both profoundly anti-energy.
Secretary of State John Kerry has said “science is absolutely certain” and cited a study showing that 97 percent of climate scientists agree. Is he right?
It’s deeply incorrect and dishonest. I analyze Kerry’s speech in Chapter 4 of my book (The Greenhouse Effect and the Fertilizer Effect). I have an article on Forbes.com called ‘97% of Climate Scientists Agree’ is 100% Wrong. The fallacy is equating mild global warming with catastrophic consequences. The point of widespread agreement is mild global warming. The catastrophists then agree with them that it is catastrophic warming. This is not true because catastrophic global warming has no evidence.
In response to your piece “Why the Paris Accords matter to Alabama,” Michael William Mullen of the Montgomery Advertiser said the “column failed to mention that the poor worldwide already are suffering and dying in great numbers from business as usual. The second edition of the Climate Vulnerability Monitor estimates that 400,000 humans perish prematurely each year due to anthropogenic climate change.” Would you like to respond?
It’s made up. There’s a way of tallying how many people die from climate and weather each year, not from our electric contribution. That is under 30,000 a year which is down dramatically from frequently being in the millions a year. All climate deaths are dramatically down because we haven’t made a negative impact on climate but have made remarkably positive change on how we adapt using fossil fuels. The data are available – I’m not comparing one database to theirs – what they’re doing is making a bizarre correlation between CO2 and bad stuff. I mean it literally when I say “it’s made up.” Is there any evidence that CO2 induced warming over the last decades is causing the catastrophe that was predicted several decades ago? Human life is better overall, and human safety from climate is up. One decision I made in creating the book is that all sources would be non-partisan, highly respected databases.
For the record, a search of the bibliography of the book shows many sources including the U.S. Department of Energy, BP Statistical Review of World Energy, Commodity Food Price Index, World Health Organization, and many others.
Here in Houston, I’ve been running the AC during winter more than the heater, isn’t that because of climate changing fossil fuel emissions?
It’s bizarre how short range people are in thinking about weather trends. So when it’s a really bad winter there’s supposedly no problem. But when there is a warmer winter, we’re supposed to be afraid. The long term trend is that we escaped a mini-ice age 150 years ago, and it’s been getting warmer steadily over that period. Each year is going to be warmer than the year 10 years before it. In the context of temperatures humans have dealt with, there’s nothing significant or interesting. Overall, warmer temps are more desirable.
What was the best thing to come out of the UN climate summit? Worst thing?
The best thing is nothing. The worst thing is it increased commitment to choke off the world’s energy supplies. I suppose the best thing is that it’s not binding, and to some extent countries will violate it left and right as they did with Kyoto.
In response to Bernie Sanders statement in a debate, what’s a bigger threat to humanity: ISIS or global warming?
Global warming isn’t a threat to humanity so it’s definitely ISIS. An even bigger threat is energy deprivation, which is what Sanders’ energy policy is.
Can you tell us more on your new book? What’s the most valuable thing readers will learn?
The most valuable thing they’ll get is a different method for thinking and talking about energy and environmental issues. Many facts will blow you away, but the origin of those facts, the reason I point them out is not because of some new database, but because I’m doing something no one else is: looking at all the positive and negative facts on fossil fuels including all environmental impacts.
What’s on the horizon for you?
The energy platform is a very big focus of mine and will be public in the next couple of weeks. Another thing I’ve developed is an online course to help people persuasively talk about energy and environmental issues. It’s at energychampion.net. There’s a charge for the full course, but some content is available for free. The book can be found at MoralCaseforFossilFuels.com.