In this issue:
- How to be a climate thinker
- From The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels 2.0
- The Human Flourishing Project: How no news leads to good news
- Upcoming speeches
- Hearts and Minds
- Spotlight on our speakers
How to be a climate thinker
Last Friday at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit I spoke to 2000+ students about “How to Be a Climate Thinker.”
You can watch my presentation on Facebook here. My segment starts about 40 minutes in. (We should have a better version next week.)
After the presentation I answered individual student questions for almost 90 minutes. You can check out the video here.
(FYI my presentation and Q&A were “reported” on, mostly inaccurately, by the socialist publication Mother Jones here. One lesson I have learned when dealing with journalists is to record everything I do.)
From The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels 2.0
Last week I shared an outline of all of Chapter 1 of the book. This week I want to share just a portion of Chapter 2 (“How to Think About Energy”) that explores why using scientists and other specialists as authorities so often fails.
The strengths and limitations of specialists
Specialists have the unique ability and responsibility to tell us what is known in a specific area, but if they overstep this they can easily make us worse than ignorant.
- To benefit from the unique knowledge of specialists and protect ourselves from their capacity to make catastrophic mistakes of judgment I need to better understand the strengths and limitations of specialists.
- The core strength of a specialist is the ability to spend time and energy studying one particular aspect of reality, and thus know what cause and effect relationships are demonstrated with what degree of certainty in their area.
- If specialists do not recognize and communicate that some of their views are highly uncertain, usually at the frontiers of their field, they can make predictions and evaluations that are worse than ignorant.
- If specialists do not recognize and communicate that they are amateurs or completely ignorant about other fields that are relevant to our decision-making, they can make predictions and evaluations that are worse than ignorance.
- If specialists do not recognize and communicate that their views on action are informed by values that have nothing to do with their expertise and might contradict ours, they can make prescriptions that are deadly.
- Unfortunately, the incentives of the media and government who determine the most prominent specialists are often to promote specialists who will dramatically overstate their expertise to provide desired certainty or support a desired position.
- Thus, there is no escaping the need and responsibility to think about the moral question of fossil fuels for ourselves, including figuring out a constructive way to use scientists and other specialists.
The Human Flourishing Project: How no news leads to good news
On the latest episode of The Human Flourishing Project I discuss my perspective on “news” and how avoiding it or time-blocking it can improve your ability to advance your own agenda.
Here are some of my upcoming speeches.
1/8 – Private event in San Antonio, TX
1/9 – Private event in Toronto, Canada
1/17 – Private event in Phoenix, AZ
2/6 – PROPEL Energy Tech Forum (register here)
If you’re interested in having me speak at a high level event, you can download a list of my new speeches here.
Hearts and Minds
From Emily Bujold:
Hi, you don’t know me but I wanted to reach out and say thank you.
I work in the sciences and often hear a lot about “finite resources” and global warming and those messages had a really negative influence on me. I was convinced that humans were destroying the planet, and overpopulation was going to end the human race. I thought it was my duty to not have children and live in a “sustainable” way.
I had been exploring Ayn Rand’s ideas and working to understand the world. This article you wrote [“The Truth About Sustainability“] made a really big difference.
In particular it helped me understand that progress is great, and sustaining is the same as stopping progress. I care about humanity and earth and now understand that the way for things to keep getting better is to promote human ingenuity wherever possible.
Thanks for your work.
Spotlight on our speakers
CIP now partners with some of the best speakers on human flourishing to offer you great speakers for almost any budget. Here is some recent work by several of the speakers we work with:
- Patrick J. Michaels — Is Greenland Melt “Off the Chart?”
- Robert Bradley, Jr. — Holiday Lighting Humbug
- Michael Lynch — The Oil Market Grinch Strikes! But Will He Linger In The New Year?
- Marian Tupy — The World’s Getting Better All the Time
If you are interested in a speech by one of our speakers, you can schedule a meeting with one of my team members here.