Alex Epstein in Forbes: “The Fossil Fuel Industry Must Vigorously Defend Itself Against Attacks From Environmentalists”

// From Alex Epstein’s latest piece on

Dear Fossil Fuel Industry Executives: Imagine you are talking to the VP of Communications for a tobacco company, who claims that he has a new strategy for winning the hearts and minds of the public:

  • “We will explain to the public that we contribute to economic growth.”
  • “We will explain to the public that we create a lot of jobs.”
  • “We will link our industry to our national identity.”
  • “We will stress to the public that we are addressing our attackers’ concerns—by lowering the emissions of our product.”
  • “We will spend millions on a state-of-the-art media campaign.”

  Would you be convinced? I doubt it, because none of these strategies does anything to address the industry’s fundamental problem—that the industry’s core product, tobacco, is viewed as a self-destructive addiction. So long as that is true, the industry will be viewed as an inherently immoral industry. And so long as that is true, no matter what the industry does, its critics will always have the moral high ground. Sound familiar? Substitute “fossil fuels” for “tobacco” and you have the fundamental communications problem the fossil fuel industry faces. . . .