A Free-Market Energy Blog

MasterResource Surpasses 200,000 Views; Continues to Attract New Talent (3rd Quarter Report)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 3, 2009

MasterResource continues to progress in its inaugural year. Our free-market energy blog has a top stable of primary writers, and we continue to attract quality guests that desire a unique home for their commentary.

MasterResource is a scholarly advocacy blog dedicated to energy/climate issues. One question we all ask ourselves is: how will this post appear tomorrow, next month, next year, or in a decade? Are we truth-seekers or mere shouters for the moment?  We advocate private property rights, voluntary market relations (instead of government coercion), and sound science, but our preference cannot come at the expense of scholarship (the factual record; logical and relevant theory). This is our standard, and we invite comments to this end from our readers. (1)

To date we have had 285 posts from 34 authors and approximately 1,750 comments from nearly 400 individuals. We are on the lookout for new talent and obscure writings that deserve a wide audience. Please contact me with requests or ideas.

Our Model

Our niche centers on:

(1) A focus on energy and on related environmental issues, particularly regarding the science, economics, and politics of climate change;

(2) Group participation (versus an individual or organizational blog) to attract top, diverse talent. We represent different institutions and backgrounds and employment situations;

(3) One in-depth blog per day to maximize attention to the writer’s work.

Each blog is categorized (147 categories and counting) for future reference by the scholarly community. Some of our posts get lost in the daily scheme of things but lie in waiting for future appreciation, one example being Marlo Lewis’s two-part study (here and here) on the peculiar, controversial, and dangerous national-security rationale for climate-change policy activism. And of course we should cite our ‘blockbuster’–Chip Knappenberger’s temperature analysis of HR 2454 (Waxman-Markey) that immediately became a point of reference for debate about the bill and has generated 118 comments and cross-references for us.

Plan vs. Actual

It is worth revisiting what I wrote as the inaugural post on December 26 of last year:

We are just getting started here, but some of us veterans of the energy debate from a private property, free-market perspective have teamed together to offer our thoughts on late-breaking energy items. When I read my newspapers each day, I have some thoughts that I wish I could share with folks from a historical, worldview perspective. I think we all have something to add–and thus the inspiration for this endeavor.

We have a good core group of principal (and principled) bloggers, as well as a growing list of guest bloggers. We aim to post new material most every day. What we have to provide to the reader is frequent insight so that you visit us regularly.

There will be some trial and error, but this is the time to launch. President-elect Obama and his team have little concept of history in the energy debate–what W.S. Jevons said about renewable energies in the 1860s or the perils of U.S. energy regulation learned from wartime planning and the 1970s. Some of us will dwell on this to add some unique perspective to the debate.

By the way, our blog name is inspired by the late Julian Simon (1932–1998). He labeled energy “the master resource” because it is the resource needed to bring other resources from a state of nature to one of human usefulness. Simon also used the term “the ultimate resource” to describe human ingenuity. As the institutional economist Erich Zimmermann once said, resources come from the mind, not the ground.

Finally, I do hope mainstream journalists and many other open-minded individuals will come our way in the great energy and climate debates. The Obama march to energy statism needs a lot of debate. Big Government Democrats are not the cure to Big Government Republicanism. Oil, natural gas, and coal are middle class, working class energies. Wind and solar are for the rich. Windpower, in particular, as my friend Robert Bryce has put it, is the ethanol of electricity. Maybe, just maybe, these parasitic, inefficient energies will get the scrutiny they deserve from all sides of the political spectrum.

I think we remain close to this original vision.

Looking Ahead

But there is much progress that still needs to be made and is achievable if we have a superior product.

There are ‘energy realists’ writing for the industry who few know about but who deserve a broader audience.

We need to continue to gain the confidence of the ‘open-minded middle’ of the debate (including those on the Left, in particular), so that they will read and disseminate our work.

And perhaps most of all, we want to leave a record behind that will inform the debate for many, many years to come.


(1) We welcome all comments, pro and con, so long as the contributor is not anonymous and avoids ad hominem arguments in his/her comments either directly on our site or indirectly on another site.


Previous Progress Reports

1st Quarter Report: http://masterresource.org/?p=1586

Special Mid-quarter Report: http://masterresource.org/?p=2509

2nd Quarter Report: http://masterresource.org/?p=3898

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