Energy Champion Series
HOW TO TALK TO ANYONE ABOUT ENERGY
By Alex Epstein
Author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels
The number one request I have gotten since The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels came out is: “How can I get better at explaining these ideas to friends, family, and neighbors?”
Now, I am thrilled to have an answer. For less than $100, any individual can use my video course How to Talk to Anyone About Energy plus The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels to literally double or quadruple their persuasiveness.
Please take a few minutes to watch the first module and see what you think. I’ve included some comments from early viewers of the course below.
To a future of rewarding and constructive discussions,
- Alex Epstein
It's groundbreaking in that it identifies and clarifies the principles that are necessary for successful intellectual engagements with people - successful in the sense of persuading others to consider if not embrace ideas that one thinks are vitally important - such as energy. His course identifies key rules of engagement that if practiced and followed will move one from an advocate to teacher.- Ken Andrews
A non-negotiable course for those wishing to convey the benefits of energy abundance in a persuasive manner. Alex quickly sets the stage by outlining essential rules that must be in place in order to facilitate a constructive dialogue. Too often potentially fruitful conversations are reduced to an endless exchange of vagaries and invective. In response, Alex's methods firmly place those participating in discussions on equal footing, creating space for learning -- and ultimately beneficial exchange -- to transpire. Visiting topics spanning from brevity to empathy, Alex delivers true strategies with clarity, cogency, and verve. Easily one of the most meaningful presentations I have come across this year.- Michael Barko
This is a great tool to supplement the The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels book. While The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels makes for a great foundation in engaging in a discussion about energy, this course really helps with "bringing it home". This course absolutely brings home the goal of communicating the clarity that The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels has. The biggest benefit this course will have is how to level the playing field, and establish a "starting point" for an educated and respectful discussion on energy. So many times discussions about energy start off as a standoff, where I picture two men in some old Western movie in the town square with their backs to each other squaring off about to start slinging facts at each other with the goal of knocking the other person down. What this course does is help take the hostility out of many energy discussions. Using the tools in this course, it helps make it really simple to start off a discussion by saying "that's an interesting point. I would love to discuss that with you. But first, could we establish that if A effects B, then we must also consider the effects of C on B, so we are on the same page with what we're discussing?" Approaching conversations about energy really need to follow this course to be effective, with the most important takeaway being how this course prepares you to set up a level playing field for a respectful and educated discussion, while providing tools in the form of rules to go by.- Andrew Bartell
For me –someone who has never been taught a proper method of discussion –this course is wonderfully accessible. Alex is clear and concise in his thinking and easily communicates his method for proper discussion. Additionally, the course is broken down into six modules so that you are able to easily retain information without losing context or getting lost in the details.- Jacob Bosley
Alex Epstein's course is a complete change from most of the intellectual material I've digested over the years. Instead of "intellectual ammo" Mr. Epstein provides an "intellectual gun." It's not about firing off at somebody in a debate, it's a win-win approach to change people's minds about fossil fuels.- Matt Christensen
This course provides you with the tools to change people's thinking about energy in an effort to make the world a better place to live. If you are someone who find themselves constantly defending fossil fuels, but struggle to convince friends and family this course is for you.
My favorite part of the course is Alex's break down of his five rules of engagement. They provide a mental framework for a discussion that will help you stick to one issue, handle bias against fossil fuels, set the moral (human) standard, demand honesty, and have the other side admit their mistakes.- Chris Deery
This step by step approach gives you a clear sense of your progress in a discussion. For instance, if the person you are talking to won't stick to one issue (step 1) you know that you won't be able to have a sensible discussion with that person. But, if the person agrees to stick to one issue, you know that you can continue exchanging ideas with them in a constructive way, so you can move to step two.
“The course is concise, clear (Epstein's focus on clarity is admirably constant) and perfectly paced.- Dan Downes
Perhaps the most important element of this course is the emphasis placed on method over content. Epstein doesn't merely run through a laundry list of talking points or one liners - in fact he makes clear the dangers of taking such an approach. Instead he explains (and provides concrete examples of) how to make sure that both you and the interlocutor are addressing the issues in the serious manner they require.
Epstein's course does not give you a silver-bullet talking point or an indisputable fact; instead, he provides a method to talking about the issues. The method is explained in the course's six modules, which provide tips, do's and don'ts, the rules for rational discourse, and illustrations of how they work in practice. The beauty of this course is that this method does not simply apply to energy and environmental issues, but to any issue.- Thomas Eiden
If you've seen any of Epstein's debates or street discussions and wonder just how the heck he does it, or you simply want to be better at discussing hot-button issues, log off of Facebook and add this course to your intellectual arsenal.
Alex Epstein’s course, How to Talk to Anyone About Energy, conversationally delivered, is effective advice on how to influence someone to move from one framework of ideas to another.Although focusing primarily on the hotly contested issue of energy, and Alex’s book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, this course supplies great generic strategies to lengthen and broaden one’s ability to reach people and have them consider vastly different viewpoints. Providing a badly needed distinction between debating and influencing, Alex shows how to overcome the typical mindset people have going into conversations about views they hold fervently – he shows how to sidestep their need for personal validation, or penchant for personal attacks, by delimiting the conversation. Anyone looking to sharpen their ability to persuade people, non-manipulatively, into considering other widely juxtaposed views on energy – or on any topic – will benefit from this course.- Rob Flitton
Even though I feel that I have a very good understanding of the content presented in the Moral Case For Fossil Fuels, every time I have a discussion with others about fossil fuels and the environment it still always seems to end in an emotional 'you don’t know what you’re talking about'… this course has provided me with a great framework with which to approach these conversations in a strategic way to persuade others without harming the relationship.- Dr. Michael Gibson
The thing that makes Alex Epstein unique is the way that he has always been able to show me how to think about issues differently in order to help me see things more clearly. In the past it has been on issues of energy and environment, and this time he's taught me something about how to communicate effectively. Alex says that his "Rules of Constructive Debate" are a game changer--I couldn't agree more. If everyone who engages in discussion about these issues starts to follow these rules, not only will they be more convincing, but they will also start to enjoy it more. Great job, Alex!- Alex Hrin
I was (naively) expecting to be presented with a series of bite-size, repeatable energy facts and ready-made jabs to counter common arguments we can expect to hear. While that would be neat and potentially useful at times, what Alex created is infinitely more valuable – he created a tool that teaches the method for having a constructive discussion about ANY topic. I found the section on establishing the rules to be the most useful, particularly regarding the emphasis on creating clarity on issue, keeping in mind the big picture rather than simply asserting conclusions, and agreeing on the moral standard before having the discussion. Alex comes across as both experienced in winning arguments and as genuine in regard to his passion for the process. I look forward to seeing the Bonus Materials, and to re-watching his course in the future. Here’s to being an energy champion!- Jennifer Iarossi
I truly enjoyed your course on how to engage with anyone in a productive rational discussion about energy (and when to disengage). Throughout it was clear that you have spent a great deal of time thinking about how to simplify and discipline your approach and method. Logic and objectivity and tactfulness and respect for the process of persuasion from both teacher and student are the major themes that stood out to me. After watching the course I really am confident that if I stick to the principles and methods you highlighted I will surely convert many more of those dreadful encounters into valuable exchanges. It is worth noting that due to the fundamentality of these principles and methods, they can be applied to many more subjects than just energy, such as history and economics and politics. However, due to the new energy discussion confidence I have gained after the course I am actually more motivated to learn about the subject so as to better equip myself for the more knowledgeable opponents. Unity of the virtues, wisdom and confidence, I suppose.- Josh Johnson
Discussions of “hot topics”--like many topics around energy--tend to go nowhere. Alex suggests mastering five rules of discussion—rules that virtually everyone will strongly support. His promise: become an example of and a referee for these rules, and watch your discussions become conflict-free, productive, mutually enjoyable experiences. He presents how a single, short discussion on this model can reliably produce a long-term, transformational impact on someone’s thinking. This comes down to one little thing you can do at the end of the conversation. He gives personal examples from conversations about energy that leave little doubt as to how effective this approach is.- Chad Morris
Alex’s rules of discussion leverage the power of having the truth on your side. Alex does warn that while this approach makes persuasion much easier when your ideas are true, it will tend to backfire if used to promote untrue ideas. This should be only a benefit, however, not a concern.
Is there something really important you want to convey? Want to change minds and improve the world? Often discussions become emotionally frustrating and end up going nowhere with little or no value gained. Both parties become entrenched in their convictions and the goal of being persuasive or convincing is lost, with time wasted on ineffective arguments and methods. How nice would it be if you could reverse this, if discussions were informative, interesting, honest and valuable?- Mike Nelson
Alex Epstein’s “How to Talk to Anyone About Energy” offers a reasoned and methodological solution which can be applied to any issue under discussion, and not just energy. The focus is energy but it is generally about effective discussion and persuasion. Imagine yourself calm and in control, able to set the stage for respectful and intelligent discussions. Imagine that both parties are ready to learn something valuable; that truth was actually the goal; that discussions would actually be a pleasure regardless of how emotionally charged the underlying issue may be. Mr. Epstein’s course gives you the methods necessary for this confidence. "How to Talk to Anyone About Energy" is the disinfectant of unproductive, time consuming and frustrating conversations. It offers a clear and concise method for a constructive, rules based and goal oriented approach to discussions.
I am very excited to study and practice what was so clearly explained in the course. Alex has more than doubled my effectiveness in discussions by simply providing some memorable basics. As I continue to integrate the more advanced ideas into my debates I am confident I can increase my effectiveness x10. I’m looking forward to the next one!- Travis Shaffer