Category — Energy Benefits
[Editor's Note: For the next several days, Master Resource will publish a series of posts with excerpts from Alex Epstein's book, Fossil Fuels Improve the Planet.]
“Humans have the untapped potential to radically improve life on earth by using technology, not to “save” the planet but to improve it for human purposes.”
The basic question underlying our energy policy debates is this: Should we be free to generate more and more energy using fossil fuels? Or should we restrict and progressively outlaw fossil fuels as “dirty energy”?
I believe that if we look at the big picture, the facts are clear. If we want a healthy, livable environment, then we must be free to use fossil fuels. Why? Because for the foreseeable future, fossil fuels provide the key to a great environment: abundant, affordable, reliable energy.
We’re taught in school that the key to a great environment is to minimize our “impact” on it. We think of our environment as something that starts out healthy and that we humans mess up. Not so. Nature does not give us a healthy environment to live in; until the fossil-fueled industrial revolution of the last two centuries, human beings lived in an environment that was low on useful resources and high on danger. 
Today’s industrialized environment is the cleanest, healthiest in history. If you want to see what “dirty” looks like, go to a country that is still living in “natural,” pre-industrial times. Try choking on the natural smoke of a natural open fire burning natural wood or animal dung—the kind of air pollution that has been almost eliminated by modern, centralized power plants. Try getting your water from a local brook that is naturally infested with the natural germs of all the local animals—the once-perennial threat that modern, fossil-fuel-powered water purification systems eliminate. Try coping with the dramatic temperature and weather swings that occur in nearly any climate—a threat that fossil-fuel powered air-conditioning, heating, and construction have made extremely rare.
We live in an environment where the air we breathe and the water we drink and the food we eat will not make us sick, and where we can cope with the often hostile climate of nature. That is a huge achievement—an achievement that lives or dies with the mass-production of energy. We can live this way only by getting high-powered machines to do the vast majority of our physical work for us.  [Read more →]
August 27, 2013 Comments Off
“We love energy with conviction, while they hate it with confusion.”
- Alex Epstein
On Sunday, February 17th, 350.org and the Sierra Club hosted the “Forward on Climate” rally on the National Mall in Washington D.C. It was billed as the “largest climate rally in history.” Just like the anti-Keystone XL rally in 2011, protesters pushed the Obama administration to continue to block the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to U.S. refineries.
But unlike the 2011 rally, Sunday’s protesters were challenged by Alex Epstein and his Light Brigade, an “educational counter-protest” whose members wore bright yellow t-shirts and shared their sincere appreciation for life-giving energy. I am proud to say I was part of that group.
Alex et al. did a great job of explaining to an adamantly anti-oil crowd just how much better their lives are because of oil. It was interesting to watch people realize that their whole day was predicated on oil – the polyester clothes they were wearing, the ibuprofen they took that morning, the computer chips in their phones, their plastic water bottles, the synthetic rubber in their shoes, not to mention the gas in the cars they drove to get there (even an abridged list is mind-boggling).
However, one key point that unfortunately never sank in with anyone we talked to is that the climate has become dramatically safer with fossil fuel-driven industrial improvements. It seemed like no one cared about that crucial fact. [Read more →]
February 25, 2013 7 Comments
The American Energy Alliance (AEA) and the Institute for Energy Research (IER) have created a new platform, American Products. American Power. to educate the nation about the critical role that energy plays for our economy and in our daily lives.
IER is an educational non-profit under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; AEA is an advocacy non-profit under Section 501(c)(4) of the code. I am founder and CEO of IER.
Here is the website’s introduction to the new initiative:
Welcome to American Products. American Power. If you shaved today, brushed your teeth, or are reading this on a computer, you already know us.
You also probably know that energy makes it possible to heat our homes, cook our food, and fill our gas tanks, but it does much more. Energy protects our troops and keeps our firefighters and police officers safe. Energy from oil, natural gas, and coal is responsible for hundreds and hundreds of everyday products. Coal provides the affordable energy that powers our factories and the raw materials used to make hundreds and hundreds of products we use every day are derived from oil and natural gas. [Read more →]
May 22, 2012 2 Comments