Obama Administration Says to #AskDrH and Alex Obliges

The White House sent an email out three Thursdays ago—the release date of Alex Epstein’s The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, appropriately enough—telling its mailing list to go on social media and ask their Science and Technology Director John P. Holdren “questions about climate change”.

While this was, of course, just a campaign to regain support for their destructive anti-fossil fuel policies from an American populace that is clearly becoming wise to them, Alex decided to take it as an opportunity to ask questions the White House is hoping Americans won’t ask.

Alex’s 16 #AskDrH tweets the following day were each interesting and provocative taken individually, and in aggregate they form an insightful narrative about what’s wrong with projections of catastrophic climate change, and how they’re used to sell disastrous energy policies to the public.

Many of the questions brought light to the fact that, despite the email’s stated mission of making Americans “fully committed in the fight against climate change”, the changes fossil fuels have made to the human climate have made it cleaner, healthier, safer and overall better for us.


Alex also alluded to the green movement’s long history of bad science and false predictions, whether of imminent catastrophe or of rapid technological improvement in so-called renewables.


And the tweets asked about what motivates Holdren (and the green movement in general) to oppose life-giving fossil fuels energy on such weak, repeatedly disproven premises. The answer: belief in the fundamental moral premise that non-alteration, not human well-being, is the standard by which our environment should be evaluated.


As you probably noticed, each tweet links to the Moral Case for Fossil Fuels Book Trailer, and for good reason. The full answers to these questions are given in the book, and in fact, it refers to Holdren’s failure on these issues multiple times. In Chapter 8, for instance, he discusses Holdren’s 1970s advocacy of “a massive campaign to de-develop the United States” because we had surpassed the Earth’s “carrying capacity”.

The theory behind these predictions is that Earth has a finite “carrying capacity,” an idea that was spread far and wide in the 1970s. Two of the leading exponents of this view were Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren. In their landmark book, Global Ecology, they wrote: When a population of organisms grows in a finite environment, sooner or later it will encounter a resource limit. This phenomenon, described by ecologists as reaching the “carrying capacity” of the environment, applies to bacteria on a culture dish, to fruit flies in a jar of agar, and to buffalo on a prairie. It must also apply to man on this finite planet. These theories were not idle banter—they were used by many to call for drastic restrictions on fossil fuel use, much as we have today. Ehrlich and Holdren announced “A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States.” This meant an attempt to reverse industrial development—by law: “This effort must be largely political.” These ideas were viewed highly enough that Holdren’s body of work, which stresses these themes over and over, gave him the prestige to become science adviser to President Barack Obama.

You can watch the trailer below, and you can download Chapter One: The Secret History of Fossil Fuels free at moralcaseforfossilfuels.com.

Alex also asked Dr. Holdren one other question which, like the others, he still hasn’t answered.


Think he might say yes?

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