How “The Experts” can be totally wrong about energy

In this issue:

  • The Energy Champions Network
  • How “The Experts” Can Be Totally Wrong About Energy
  • Quick updates

The Energy Champions Network

For the last 6 months I have, as part of my Energy Talking Points project, been sharing energy messaging and strategy with pro-energy, pro-freedom elected officials and staff in the US Senate, US House, and Governor’s offices. This project has exploded in popularity, with 97 members spanning 66 offices–including just about every energy-related committee and subcommittee in Congress.

In a few weeks, I will be starting a new Energy Talking Points group, this time for all “energy champions”–anyone who spends a significant portion of their time championing energy and energy freedom.

This includes:

  • Think-tank members
  • Activists
  • Trade group members
  • Lobbyists
  • Energy company representatives
  • Elected officials at any level

The goal of this group, which will feature regular Zoom calls, is to share my approach to energy messaging and policy with as many “energy champions” as possible so they can be far more effective–including creating far more valuable material. I have the conviction that there are a lot of people out there with so much valuable knowledge in their heads that I and others can use, but it is not communicated in anywhere near the most useful way. I want to help with that.

Membership in the Energy Champions Network is free but is only open to people who spend 5 or more hours a week on energy advocacy.

If you want to be added to the Energy Champions list and be invited to our meetings, please apply to me directly via email with the subject Energy Champions, and a few sentences on what you do and why you’d like to be a part of this group.

How “the experts” can be totally wrong about energy

An understandable reaction to my view that the world should be using more fossil fuels in the coming decades, not less, is “This is the exact opposite of what ‘the experts’ say. Almost every institution I trust says the expert consensus is that we need to rapidly eliminate fossil fuel use. How can you be right and they be wrong?”

On this week’s Power Hour (coming out this Friday) drawing on some brand-new material from my forthcoming book Fossil Future, I tackle this question head-on, explaining three ways in which experts are often wrong.

When we hear claims that “the experts” are wrong, we usually associate it with the claim that most experts in a field are factually mistaken. While this certainly does happen, there are two far more common ways in which “the experts” can be wrong–both of which are at work on the issue of energy.

The factual conclusions of experts can be misrepresented by those who claim to speak for all experts.

And the factual conclusions of experts can be misevaluated by those who claim to speak for all experts.

In this episode I will show definitively that our knowledge system is wildly irrational when it comes to not only fossil fuels but also other cost-effective forms of energy. And I will explain the mechanisms that cause so many smart people to be so wrong.

Power Hour will be available by the end of Friday at Apple Podcasts and on YouTube.

Quick updates

  • Here’s what I have to say about the Texas electricity problems:

    Texas’s inability to produce enough electricity when it’s hot or cold is an embarrassment.

    We know how to produce enough low-cost, reliable electricity for every situation. You just build a lot of reliable, resilient power plants and ensure a reliable fuel supply. That’s it.

    The energy policy of Texas and California is best described as “reliability chicken”: Try to add as many unreliable power plants as you can and shut down as many reliable power plants as you can. Then hope it doesn’t get too hot or too cold, and pray for no clouds and lots of wind.
  • Earlier this week I did a wide-ranging interview with Bitcoin podcast host John Vallis on energy and how to think about it.

    In this interview I name three irrefutable principles for evaluating fossil fuels’ CO2 emissions.
    1. We must factor in the benefits that come with them.
    2. We must factor in the climate mastery abilities that come with them.
    3. We must look for negative AND positive impacts.

    No one has ever even tried to refute my three principles for evaluating fossil fuels’ CO2 emissions. And yet almost no one practices these principles.

    Those who do tend to come to the same conclusion as I do: global human flourishing requires *increasing* CO2 emissions.
  • Economist Alan Moran, an excellent commentator on energy issues, has a valuable piece in the Spectator (Australia) entitled “The western world’s elites conspire to outlaw cheap energy.” In it he explains many of the dynamics I identified in my “ESG is immoral” thread last week.
  • I love it when other energy commentators are influenced by my framework and ideas. A couple weeks ago a highly influential energy advocate in Africa told me that The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels was his “bible”. Earlier this week an influential person on Republican energy messaging told me that my book shaped his thinking on energy. An example I saw earlier today was this recent Tweet from Chris Keefer, who hosts an energy podcast:

Energy is machine food. Machines free humans from drudgery, they wash our clothes, connect us via telecommunications, enable modern healthcare, and enable even hippy agriculture. There is a prominent anti-machine, anti-industrial tendency amongst the environmental left.Credit to @AlexEpstein for the concept of “machine food” and well, more broadly, the substance of this tweet.

To Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Energy,