“To call the very foundational energy blocks of our society ‘evil,’ and then deprive developing countries of the same fossil fuels, is hypocrisy of the highest order.”
“Fossil fuels have single-handedly pulled the majority of people out of poverty in India, my country.”
Global warming skeptics like me often get accused of getting “dirty oil money” for writing in support of fossil fuels. Or we’re called “climate deniers” and told we must not be real climate scientists.
Many of these people turn their attention to my identity and not to the arguments I make. That is convenient if you do not want to debate the claims made in the article; you shift the attention towards the author and not facts.
The climate alarmists—those who believe that the world is headed towards an imminent climate doomsday—do this because they believe skeptics have their roots in “big oil,” which they think funds all skepticism of dangerous manmade climate change.
Responding to Critics
This is my response to those who have problems with my skeptical position.
Firstly, arguments are not unsound because of the identity of their authors, or based on the source of funds. Instead, arguments are unsound because they include false premises and/or invalid inferences.
Secondly, the source of funding does not necessarily mean an argument is biased. By that logic, climate doomsday argumentation would be considered invalid because they are funded by people who oppose fossil fuels and support renewable technology. They might also be opposed to a growing population or just modern living that makes longer and more lives possible.
Thirdly, the majority of climate alarmists and anti-fossil advocates are people who have immensely benefited from the advent of the industrial era and fossil fuel-based electricity sources.
To call the very foundational energy blocks of our society “evil,” and then deprive developing countries of the same fossil fuels is hypocrisy of the highest order.
The apathy and self-centeredness in anti-fossil advocacy are no longer a secret, as some of the highest officials in developing countries have branded the alarmist movement “carbon imperialism,” akin to the imperialism of the 19th century.
But, unlike anti-fossil fuel advocates, I love fossil fuels. Here is why.
Studying Climate Science
I am a climate researcher. My first experience of the controversy within the climate fraternity came when I was a graduate student at the University of East Anglia, the heart of the Climategate scandal. Emails leaked from personal accounts of alarmist climate scientists revealed their attempts to deliberately exaggerate the warming rate in the 20th century.
Though I had my doubts, I set aside my disagreements briefly and spent the next three years studying the impact of global average temperatures on marine life.
I found that climate change poses no significant threat to marine life. I also came to the realization that there had been no rapid increase in global average temperatures during the first 16 years of this century (2000–2016)—contrary to predictions based on the alarmists’ computer climate models.
Appreciating Fossil Fuels–All of Them
My love for fossil fuels, especially coal, is not just because they pose no threat to our climate. Fossil fuels have singlehandedly pulled the majority of people out of poverty in India, my country.
From the powerless dark nights of the 1990s to the much more reliable power supply of the 2010s, India has come a long way, thanks to fossil fuels. So, I love coal, the source that powered the computers and lights in my school, home, and college.
I love oil, which has helped me travel every day of my life, except during my three years of graduate studies in climate in Vancouver, Canada, where public buses ran on electricity. I love petroleum byproducts, without which more than 90 percent of everyday products could never have been manufactured.
I love natural gas and fracking, which have made America into an energy leader in recent years and have the potential to deliver a major breakthrough in the energy markets of India, the United Kingdom, and other countries.
I’m not the only one who loves coal. Nearly three billion people in India and China are content with the fact that their governments are increasing fossil fuel production and use to meet their domestic energy needs.
I am a climate researcher and deeply appreciate oil, gas, and coal. Fossil fuels are not the enemy of the planet. The real enemies of the planet, and life on it, are the climate alarmists who block development in the name of the religion of dangerous manmade climate change.
Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), Research Associate for Developing Countries for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Bangalore, India.