MasterResource Turns Three (4Q-2011 Activity Report)
The free-market energy blog MasterResource turns three years old today. On December 26, 2008, the blog started on the strength of several noted free market scholars buying into a ‘movement’ blog instead of an institution-specific one. A thank you at this reflective time goes to Ken Green (AEI), Marlo Lewis (CEI), and Jerry Taylor (Cato), in particular.
MasterResource views stand at 1.1 million. While not a megablog, ours is a high-quality contribution to the current energy debate–and a resource for the historical record (our extensive index categories number 380).
We have published approximately 914 posts from approximately 115 authors. Some are widely published; others are talented amateurs who have chosen to do what the ‘experts’ choose not to do: uncover the problems of politically correct energies. Comments from our loyal, sophisticated readership add substance to many of the in-depth posts.
And we have achieved critical mass; Google an energy-policy-related term with ‘MasterResource,’ and there we usually are!
MasterResource has covered a variety of energy issues on the state, federal, and sometimes international level. But our most active area has been the growing backlash against industrial wind turbines. MasterResource is a leading voice for citizens, environmentalists, and small-government advocates who have united against this intrusive, uneconomic, sub-quality, government-enabled electricity source.
Our content is for the future, not only the present. We are not shrill, and our contributors are wed to reality, not wish-it-and-it-can-happen postmodernism.
MasterResource has become a ‘go-to’ blog in a number of key areas:
- Resourceship vs. Peak Oil (or gas). Our bloggers explain how and why the ultimate resource of human ingenuity in market settings allows the supply of ‘depletable’ resources to expand, not contract, even in the face of record usage.
- Sustainability. Our bloggers explain why government intervention in the name of ‘sustainability’ threatens energy affordability, availability, and reliability. We challenge the conventional view that carbon-based energies are inherently ‘unsustainable’ due to pollution, depletion, and man-made climate change.
- Energy Density. As scholars from Vaclav Smil to Robert Bryce have documented, the best energies are the ones that can produce the most power at the least resource cost. The future belongs to the efficient, and oil, gas, and coal are the prime-time consumer-driven choices.
- Renewable Energy Realities. Our many bloggers from the front lines of the windpower debate, in particular, have documented how wind fails the cost, reliability, capacity, space, noise, and health tests. Taxpayer savings and deficit reduction, anyone?
- Fallacy of “Green Jobs“. Our bloggers have applied Economics 101 to explain how and why consumer-driven jobs are sustainable while government-created bubble jobs are not.
- Climate Realism, not Alarmism. Chip Knappenberger has given MasterResource readers a reliable scientific voice on what the science does and does not say about the human influence on climate. And the balance of evidence does not favor alarmism.
- Historical understanding. Many of today’s energy debates are informed by often neglected studies and experience from the past. W. S. Jevons in his 1865 book, The Coal Question, basically refuted the notion that renewables could power the machine age. He also explained the paradox of why increasing energy efficiency will tend to expand total energy usage, not decrease it.
- Spontaneous order (in the Austrian School tradition). Outstanding developments in the industry that are ‘the result of human action but not of human design’ are highlighted, such as the oil and gas shale boom occurring in the United States and around the world.
- Objectivist philosophy. Objectivism believes in objective reality, which is core to the concept of energy realism (a respect for what is and what can be in light of technical, market, and political realities).
- Subsoil Privatization. Our bloggers explain why expanded reliance on capitalist institutions of private property, voluntary exchange, and the rule of law is the key to a better energy future for all, and particularly for the 1.4 billion who do not have access to modern forms of energy.
MasterResource advances the ideas of Julian Simon (1932–1998), the scholar who changed his mind about Malthusianism after reviewing the data and became a guiding light for realism and ensuing optimism.
Good Tone, Open Scholarship
MasterResource welcomes opposing views in our comments. We do not block critical comments except when couched in spite and argument ad hominem.
Economist Peter Boettke’s approach to scholarly discourse resonates with us. “As we engage in debate with our intellectual adversaries,” he has stated, “we should remember three core rules of engagement:”
(1) the principle of charitable interpretation — always give your opponent the best interpretation of their argument and motives;
(2) adopt a value neutral analytical approach — strictly take ends as given and limit your analysis to the effectiveness of chosen means to those given ends; and
(3) always try to find common ground with your opponents with respect to intellectual curiosity and not necessarily policy conclusions.
How can MasterResource improve? Would you like to post with us? Your submissions and comments are welcomed. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prior Activity Reports
Opening post/comments (December 26, 2008)