A Free-Market Energy Blog

Tribute for Twelve in the Energy/Climate Debate (Part I)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 4, 2018

“And now that the Obama era has turned into the Age of Trump, each has reaped a modicum of fame (but not fortune!) by tiptoeing into the mainstream of today’s energy/climate debate.”

There are no MacArthur awards for our side of the energy and climate debate. But there are individuals that deserve a place in the history of energy thought and related public policy. These persons have blazed the trail where courage and patience, not only scholarship, were required. And now that the Obama era has turned into the Age of Trump, each has reaped a modicum of fame (but not fortune!) by tiptoeing into the mainstream of today’s energy/climate debate.

I have identified twelve (12) worthy individuals, presented in alphabetical order. This list should in no way diminish the contributions of the rest of us (including the present writer). In Part II next week, in fact, I’ll post a second group of worthies, after which other names can be stated in the Comments section.

JOSEPH BAST: Where would the contra-IPCC movement be without the founder and head of the Heartland Institute, whose many conferences have given hope and solace to the critics of the fake consensus of climate alarm and forced energy transformation? Joe Bast went where fellow libertarians feared to tread, and it appears that (via his Jay Lehr) he captured the attention of the 45th and current President of the United States (priceless!).

JUDITH CURRY: Persistence, professionalism, truth-seeking, and old-fashioned courage have made this scholar perhaps the most influential and trusted climate scientist in the world (see my profiles of Curry here).

PAUL DRIESSEN: The prolific op-ed writer and little-person advocate now writes with the satisfaction that his is a voice whose time has come. Expect an op-ed about every week from Driessen.

JOHN DROZ, JR: An indefatigable logician and idea activist, Droz of Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions  (profiled personally here) continues to inspire. MasterResource is pleased to share his triweekly summaries of the trade press and scientific developments.

ALEX EPSTEINEpstein has combined the penetrating  insights of Objectivist philosophy with irrefutable logic, personal passion, and an undaunted work ethic to redefine energy advocacy. He has dedicated himself to educating the open-minded one audience at a time, and to become, arguably, the most important single voice in the energy-policy debate today.

MARLO LEWIS: For three decades, this patient, polite scholar has been a consistent voice of sound analysis on the physical science, economics, and politics of energy and climate change. Lewis, a Harvard PhD, is a man for the ages in the energy debate. His analyses, based on the best available information and always emotion-free, never go out of date.

LISA LINOWES: The scholarly anti-wind warrior labors with passion, careful research and documentation. She is a national treasure deserving of new audiences and opportunities in the energy debate.

MICHAEL LYNCH: The “Peak Oil” slayer–with weapons ranging from New York Times op-eds to a treatise–has kept alive the proud tradition of M. A. Adelman, who was the leading energy economist of his generation. The fixity/depletion paradigm is always in trouble with Lynch in action.

ROBERT MURPHY: This Austrian-school economist and libertarian polymath has focused on the “social cost of carbon” debate to become one of the most important voices in climate economics. How much longer can pro–carbon-tax groups such as Resources for the Future (RFF) keep Murphy away from their seminars?

GLEN SCHLEEDE: Late and great, his was a non-compromising voice during some very inhospitable decades in the energy debate (see the tribute to Schleede here).

TOM TANTON: The lonely California voice of free-market common sense at the California Energy Commission, the Institute for Energy Research, Reason Foundation, and (now) the Energy & Environmental Institute (Director, Science and Technology Assessment) is in fine form in the Age of Trump (see more here).

GUILLERMO ‘BILLY’ YEATTS: Yeatts has been a one-man band for one of the world’s most profound, philanthropic causes–the privatization of the subsoil throughout South/Latin America. May the future of energy debate go his way, substituting  mineral rights for the masses in place of climate alarmism and forced energy transformation for the political elite.


Again, this list is neither exhaustive nor ranked. Part II with Bryce to Zycher is to come.


  1. Kevi n Lohse  

    No mention of Anthony Watts, who’s been in the trenches and a target for abuse and derision for years and whose blog is the most-read climate blog in the world? Mark Steyn who has taken on the climate establishment and called out Mickey Mann for the mountebank he is? Willie Soon who has taken the most appalling treatment for refusing to conform to the “consensus” ? Jo Nova for her stand against the Australian consensus? The heroes of the campaign to resurrect the Science in “Climate Science” are legion. They all deserve an accolade from you.


  2. JeffreyV.Conopask, Ph.D.  

    As a practicing energy economist in the trenches of state regulation in the 1990’s, into the 2000s, and Director of Economics for a utility later on, I depended on these folks (and others in part II ) to give me the intellectual support for fighting the foolish anti-economic and anti-
    scientific policies favored by the numerous state regulatory commissions associated with the National Association Of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) where I served on the staff natural gas and electricity committees. Thank you for the stimulating critical thinking and logic as well as sound observations and real FACTS.

    We need more of this type of courageous analysis to be published wider given the bias that exists in our culture today.

    Thank you.


  3. John W. Garrett  

    I see that I am not the first to note the glaring omission of Anthony Watts.

    I also nominate Andrew W. Montford (“Bishop Hill”) and Steve McIntyre. I stand in awed disbelief at the astounding diligence, patience and flat-out gruntwork that McIntyre displayed in his magnificent take-down of Michael “Piltdown” Mann’s now infamous “Hockey Stick.” Montford’s recounting (“The Hockey Stick Illusion”) of McIntyre’s gritty dismemberment of Mann & Co. is a must read for anyone with an interest in the field.

    Do not forget the antipodean heroine, Joanne Nova, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen and the anonymous hero responsible for the release of the Climategate emails.

    Lastly, don’t fall victim to triumphalism. The fight will continue because the crackpots and deluded fools are not going away.


  4. Steve Hayward  

    Jonathan Lesser deserves a mention on this list somewhere. Also the quirky Vaclav Smil.


  5. Al Gore  

    Ross McKitrick


  6. Tributes in the Energy and Climate Debate (Part II) - Master Resource  

    […] week, I recognized twelve individuals associated with free-market, classical-liberal energy analysis and advocacy. Here is a second […]


  7. Bill Vancouver  

    For all years in the trenches, Fred Singer certainly deserves some recognition.


  8. E&E News: "Joe Bast Is a Winner ...." - Master Resource  

    […] after countless days, nights, weekends, and holidays fighting against the statist mainstream. As I wrote earlier this year at […]


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