Elon Musk, empowering candidates, how a freer market can help us protect ourselves from COVID-19

In this issue:

  • I’m quoted in a Financial Times story about Elon Musk
  • “How bad are solar and wind?” A new video by my colleague Steffen Henne
  • A new, wide-ranging interview
  • Power Hour: How a freer market can help us protect ourselves from COVID-19
  • Hearts and Minds
  • Accelerator update–empowering candidates

I’m quoted in a Financial Times story about Elon Musk

Last week the Financial Times had a feature on Elon Musk’s opposition to the US lockdown, focusing on whether Musk’s position will win him new fans. I think the answer to this is “yes.” As I Tweeted three weeks ago “I have a complicated relationship with Elon Musk (I have mixed opinions about his actions, he’s blocked me for the negative ones) but I could not agree more with his latest comments, including the three words: “FREE AMERICA NOW”.

Here’s the quote from the Times piece.

Mr Musk’s stand-off with California bureaucrats, which included a taunt to arrest him if they so dared, was largely theatrical. By the time he threatened to leave the state, local officials had already said he could probably reopen the factory the following week, with new safety precautions in place. But it also won him new fans in America’s heartland and the White House. US president Donald Trump tweeted that “California should let Musk open the plant, NOW”. Alex Epstein, a critic of electric cars and author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, says “Tesla now stands for freedom, versus just ‘green’”.

(As I qualified later on Twitter, I’m quoted as a “critic of electric cars” but it would be more accurate to say I’m a “critic of electric car mandates.”)

“How bad are solar and wind?” A new video by my colleague Steffen Henne

For years I’ve been working with researcher Steffen Henne, who has taught me a lot about energy and environmental issues as well as caught and corrected plenty of mistakes by me.

This week Steffen released a new video, “How bad are solar and wind?” He does an in-depth exploration of myth vs. reality of solar and wind in Germany (his native country) and in Denmark.

Here’s the official description: “In this video Steffen explains the real cost drivers for solar and wind, and why they cannot replace fossil fuels as a source for cheap, scalable, and reliable energy anytime soon.”

So far, the YouTube comments are very positive. Here’s one of them: “A very clear and exhaustive presentation on this topic, which I am sure will upset many of the ‘green renewables’ true believers. It’s fun to see them argue against reality, and cling to their fantasies… sharing it immediately!”

If you want to give Steffen feedback (or are interested in having him do an online presentation on this topic) email him at steffen@industrialprogress.net.

A new, wide-ranging interview 

Last month I shared that I did one of my favorite interviews ever on Science and Saucery, a nutrition podcast whose hosts advocate a plant-based diet. I recently did an interview on another nutrition podcast, this one hosted by a prominent advocate an all-meat diet. It’s called “MeatRx.” The host asked questions including:

Power Hour: Ray Niles on How a freer market can help us protect ourselves from COVID-19

On this week’s Power Hour I interview economist Ray Niles on how a freer market can help us protect ourselves from COVID-19.

We covered topics including:

  • How price controls, in the form of anti-“price-gouging” laws, caused shortages of vital medical supplies and other supplies.
  • How we are in a critical moment for freedom in America.
  • How “temporary” incursions on freedom rarely go away.
  • How a freer market in hospitals would increase capacity.
  • The long-term consequences of money-printing and “stimulus.”

(One note for regular listeners: last week I said I’d cover some new listener questions this week. Ray and I ended up having a full hour worth of stuff to talk about so I’ll get to those questions next week.)

You can watch the episode on YouTube or listen on Apple Podcasts.

Hearts and minds

Here are three of my favorite comments I’ve gotten from readers and listeners recently.

“I recently happened upon your work and i must say it has opened my eyes to the pure brilliance that are fossil fuels (and nuclear when not over regulated). I have been spoon fed the negative elements of coal/oil etc for so long its only now in my 40th year (and as a chartered engineer!) that i have come to realise their magnificence. by that i mean they are portable, energy laden and reliable.”

“[Your Candace Owens interview] is the sanest thing I’ve heard on the topic of the environment! It was actually refreshing, instead of hearing the endless doom of our planet. 

“Hi Alex, I recently bought The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and wanted say thank you for writing such a clear and rational book. I can only hope that your message wins out over the nonsense in the media over the long term. Thank you.”

Accelerator update — empowering candidates

Thanks to everyone who has made an Accelerator contribution. As a reminder, Accelerator contributions help us invest in research, development, and promotion for four big 2020 projects:

  1. Providing revolutionary energy and environmental messaging for pro-freedom candidates.
  2. Creating a national media presence for the moral case for fossil fuels.
  3. Speaking and debating at leading universities.
  4. Completing The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels 2.0 and releasing a custom essay for the election, “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels in 2020.”

An example of project 1: This week I shared some energy and climate messaging with a Congressional candidate in a crucial race. He told me “This is some of the smartest articulated energy policy messaging I’ve read in a long time.” He asked for some messaging on additional issues, which my team will help him with this week.

Here are some new thoughts on why helping candidates with messaging is so important.

I believe that most fossil fuel-supporting candidates are catastrophically ill-equipped to withstand the assault they will face from the anti-fossil fuel movement this Fall.

What are they going to do when asked about their stance on climate change?

What are they going to do when asked why they don’t support “100% renewable”?

What are they going to do when their opponents pledge to support the Paris Climate Accords?

What are they going to say when their opponents claim that fossil fuels are leading to increased COVID-19 deaths?

Right now in most cases the answer is: They are going to say something meek and unpersuasive.

My team and I are helping pro-energy, pro-freedom candidates say something powerful and persuasive.

Here are some comments from new Accelerators:

“I love your book.  It’s a large part of what motivated me to make a contribution.  (The other part was seeing your interview with Onkar Ghate last week.)  I’ve long been in favor of fossil fuels and opposed to the irrational, anti-man fervor of environmentalists.  A couple of years ago, the actor Armie Hammer was a guest on a late-night talk show.  The host asked him about his great grandfather, Armand Hammer.  Armie’s response, which he tossed off glibly, was something like, ‘He was an oil tycoon, so you know he was corrupt.’  I don’t know whether that was, in fact, his opinion or he was simply parroting the leftist/progressive viewpoint of choice; either way, his answer disgusted me. Then I read your book.  Not only does it present useful ammunition, it does it in a sensible, nonhysterical, persuasive manner.  It’s a very important book.”

“My reason for contributing is because I understand the enormous impacts to our daily lives without the massive use of fossil fuels and I truly appreciate the movement and educational platform you are creating that was so sadly neglected! Cheers to you and the movement of awareness around fossil fuel use, as well as, energy use in general.”

“Having closely followed the AGW [anthropogenic global warming] debate for about fifteen years — and, without going into the credibility of the underlying evidence — I have been continually struck by the anti-human, misanthropic tone of the resulting policy recommendations, precious few of them, as you well note, giving due credit to what fossil fuels have done *for* humanity, particularly for the poor. Much like the current CoViD debate, costs and benefits must be weighed, one would have thought obviously, before enacting any broad-based policies. Yet tragically they aren’t.You though bring this desperately needed balance into the discussion and do so respectfully, intelligently, and without rancor. In this, you’re carrying the torch of Julian Simon, who long ago noted that humans are sometimes the problem, but always the solution. So thank you. It’s my privilege to help you keep at it. You’re doing the world a huge service with your advocacy.”

You can make an Accelerator contribution here.

To Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Energy,