“We love energy with conviction, while they hate it with confusion.”
– Alex Epstein
On Sunday, February 17th, 350.org and the Sierra Club hosted the “Forward on Climate” rally on the National Mall in Washington D.C. It was billed as the “largest climate rally in history.” Just like the anti–Keystone XL rally in 2011, protesters pushed the Obama administration to continue to block the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to U.S. refineries.
But unlike the 2011 rally, Sunday’s protesters were challenged by Alex Epstein and his Light Brigade, an “educational counter-protest” whose members wore bright yellow t-shirts and shared their sincere appreciation for life-giving energy. I am proud to say I was part of that group.
Alex et al.…
Bill McKibben, who has been called “the nation’s leading environmentalist,” is leading a movement to destroy the fossil fuel industry, which he calls “Public Enemy Number One.” This is the signature issue of his mega-popular organization 350.org under the names “Do the Math“ and “Fossil Free.”
As an energy researcher who knows the indispensability of the fossil fuel industry to my own life and billions of lives around the world, I am doing whatever I can to stop this movement.
My Debate with Bill McKibben
Earlier this month I publicly debated Bill McKibben in order to make the case that his quest “to cut our fossil fuel use by a factor of 20 over the next few decades” is pseudoscientific and suicidal.
Throughout the debate I stressed four points:
99.9% of discussion of fossil fuels and our environment ignores the single most important fact about fossil fuels and our environment: fossil fuels have made our environment amazingly good.
The difference between a healthy environment and an unhealthy environment can be summed up in one word, and it’s not “CO2” or “climate” or “temperature.” It’s “development.”
Every region of the world, in its undeveloped state, is full of deadly environmental hazards such as indoor air pollution, bacteria-filled water, excessive cold, excessive heat, lack of rainfall, too much rainfall, powerful storms, disease-carrying insects, lack of sanitation, disease-carrying crops and animals, etc.
And yet some nations, such as the US, have the best air, water, indoor temperature, crops, sanitation, water supplies, storm-protection, disease-prevention, sanitation, and overall environmental quality in human history–while others are plagued by heat waves, cold snaps, drought, storms, crop failures, malaria and dozens of other dread diseases, filth, dung-burning fires, lack of clean drinking water.…