“It’s estimated that, in large part thanks to new, coal-powered infrastructure, between 1 billion and 2 billion people now have access to clean drinking water that didn’t 20 years ago.”
So far this week, I’ve argued that fossil fuels actually improve the environment for human beings, and applied that idea to two important strategies for any debate on the value of fossil fuels: taking the moral high ground and taking the environmental high ground.
I apply both in the following excerpt from my book, Fossil Fuels Improve the Planet.
How the Coal Industry Should Defend itself
Once you understand that coal and other fossil fuels improve our environment, your ability to defend them is incomparably greater.
Let’s work through an example: the controversy over coal exports in the Pacific Northwest.…
“You may know that coal has dramatically improved the economies of India and China by allowing them to build super-productive factories that make their people much more well off financially. But you might not know that their environments have gotten much better as well.”
Yesterday I wrote about why it is so important for the energy industry to take the moral high ground in the debate about fossil fuels, and today I want to connect that to the related issue of taking the environmental high ground.
One of the ways in which environmentalists have been able to gain the moral high ground is by accusing the energy industry of polluting the environment and making life on earth worse. On its face that may seem plausible, but as I wrote Tuesday, if you look at key indicators of human health as they relate to the environment, fossil fuels have actually improved our environment and made us healthier than we’ve ever been at any other time in history.…
“The ideal source of energy is not some ‘sustainable’—i.e., endlessly repeatable—form, but the best, cheapest, ever-improving form human ingenuity can devise. . . . An oil industry is ideal in the same way the iPhone is an ideal for so many. It may not be the best forever, but it is the best for now and we should be grateful to have it.”
Yesterday, I discussed the idea that fossil fuels actually improve the planet for human life. This idea has major implications for how the fossil fuel industry represents itself to the public.
Because of the narrative that fossil fuels harm the planet, the industry has tended to fight for its existence defensively, with the argument that it is a necessary evil, to be tolerated because of the jobs it creates, or because of other economic benefits.…