A Free-Market Energy Blog

Energy Density is the Answer (Amy Westervelt, DRILLED vs. the public)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- August 23, 2023

“If you want to continue to be frustrated with a failing worldview, stay in your present state of denial. If you want to better understand reality and be happier, a different worldview based on sound intellectual premises and comporting to the real world awaits. The choice is yours.”

In a recent piece in DRILLED, climate activist Amy Westervelt asked: “Why is Fairness Being Ceded to the Fossil Fuel Industry?” The simple answer is the physical fact of energy density and the verdict of billions of us all day, every day, resulting in a global market share of fossil fuels of 82 percent. (And that percentage should be 90 percent or so if government was energy-neutral.)

Ms. Westervelt should read Vaclav Smil to understand what energy density is (the sun’s work over the ages); why it drives energy markets (superior economics); and why renewables are worse for the environment (land and other infrastructure bloat). She should also study classical liberalism to understand business rent-seeking under political capitalism, government failure, and the climate-industrial complex. Yes, she is on the wrong side as far as “social justice” is concerned.

Amy, what about consumers, taxpayers, and basic economic freedom? Just road kill on the road to serfdom? In politicians and government we trust? Elitism begins with the climate power brokers.


With the wrong worldview, Amy is perplexed and angry at a world that does not share her concerns, for the large part. Her article begins:

Now that we’re seeing such stark evidence of the climate crisis in every corner of the world, what is it that still makes people turn away from addressing the issue?

Amy turns to “fairness”:

People aren’t a monolith and there are lots of different reasons why someone might be for or against acting on climate, but one thing I’ve been thinking about is the basic concept of fairness, and how absolutely wild it is that somehow the fossil fuel industry has managed to wrap itself up in it, convincing people that its product is the only solution to poverty and inequality in the world, when no industry has done more to rig the system, tip the scales in its favor, and capitalize on the misfortunes of average people.

It’s a conspiracy, in other words. Not consumers making their best energy choices in the marketplace. It is Big Bad Oil polluting the political process and the minds of all.

Falling back on an exaggerated litany of weather alarmism, she asks:

It’s not [fair]! … Neither are the impacts of extreme weather events [resulting from] … the product they’ve worked so hard to addict us all to.

She then rants:

You know what else isn’t fair? The way they’re going after protestors while working at the same time to expand their own speech rights, or the billions they spend on misleading advertising and lobbying every year, or the amount of power they wield not only in D.C. but all over the world…more power than any one country’s government, or the way they’re buying up sports to make us feel even more dependent on them, or the way they tell developing countries they’re going to make them rich and solve their energy access issues and then just take their resources and turn their countries into plutocracies where somehow even fewer people have access to energy, the list goes on and on and on.

If only Amy understood political capitalism and Statism to find the very corrupted system that she advocates to advance her ends. Big Brother for me but not for thee.

She continues:

So how is it that the climate movement has ceded fairness to the fossil fuel industry? How has the world’s most powerful and profitable industry so easily convinced so many people that actually it’s constantly being victimized, that they’re the ones fighting for the little guy and really it’s the climate activists who are elitists, that somehow nonprofits are the greedy pigs, not multi-national corporations?

The answer is big, bad PR firms!

Well, as one PR insider put it to me recently, it’s not the companies that made that happen, it’s the PR firms! This sort of redirection is their bread and butter. Got a client with a problematic product? Connect them to something that people like instead—football, Americana, freedom; distract them with sporting events and museum sponsorships and scholarships for poor kids; project their problems onto the other guy, accuse them of the stuff your client is doing; connect your client to a cause, an identity; talk about the jobs they create (and never talk about the workers they kill, or the jobs they replace with machines to make more money); make everything about the demand, not the supply—they’re just giving you what you want, if you don’t like it, take a look in the mirror.

She then falls into an unstudied, elitist we are good, the world is bad.

The climate movement has truth and moral clarity on its side, and for a long time people within it believed that was enough…. Climate folks are waking up to that fact, and fortunately there’s one area where truth and ethics can give you the upper hand: storytelling. The fossil fuel industry doesn’t have any authentic stories, and even with budgets that dwarf those of any environmental group, it’s hard for smoke and mirrors to be more compelling than authenticity.

Exactly wrong, Amy. If you want to continue to be frustrated with a failing worldview, stay in your present state of denial. If you want to better understand reality and be happier, a different worldview based on sound intellectual premises and comporting to the real world awaits. The choice is yours.


DRILLED states:

We independently report every story we publish and do our best to report accurately, fairly, and truthfully, wherever the facts lead. But we don’t believe that “objective” means toothless, or necessitates false equivalence.

If we have documentation of malfeasance, we say so. For too many years the notion of objectivity in journalism has been used as a cudgel to scare off investigative reporters, and to imbue the status quo with a value it doesn’t necessarily deserve. We strive to hold the powerful accountable across industries and across the political spectrum by following the story.

When corrections and clarifications come to our attention, we will update articles and podcast episodes accordingly, note the correction, and make any needed changes to headlines, summaries, and social media.

Amy, can you debate rather than assume climate alarmism and forced energy transformation? The importance of not making energy more expensive/less reliable for the average person and family? The peril of politics and knock-on-the-door Big Brother?

One Comment for “Energy Density is the Answer (Amy Westervelt, DRILLED vs. the public)”

  1. John W. Garrett  

    QUOTED from “Drilled” website:
    Amy Westervelt is an independent investigative climate journalist who has been on the climate beat for more than 20 years, reporting for a wide range of outlets over the years, including Inside Climate News, The Guardian, The Nation, The Intercept, NPR, and many more.

    Journalist my arse! She’s an activist masquerading as something else. She’s a watermelon.

    How much do you want to bet that she has absolutely no scientific or economic training?


Leave a Reply