In this issue:
- Inauguration Day talking points
- Power Hour: the return of Pierre Desrochers
- My appearance on the new TALK.ENERGY podcast
- A reader question for the oil and gas industry
- Accelerator Call
Inauguration Day energy talking points
I’ve been sharing numerous talking points on Twitter about the new administration’s energy policies–from the notion of “build back better” to the Keystone XL pipeline.
Here are two quick ones:
Here’s what I find terrifying about the news that Joe Biden is planning to cancel Keystone XL. He doesn’t even acknowledge (or know?) that the heavy oil we get from Canada is particularly vital given how US refineries work and the state of global oil demand (more diesel needed).
Fallacy 2 of “build back better”: government builds better than free people.
Most of what has been built in the US has been built by free people under capitalist competition. That’s why it’s good. “Build back better” means: government bureaucrats dictate what and how we build.
Power Hour: the return of Pierre Desrochers
On this week’s Power Hour I brought back one of my favorite all-time guests, the encyclopedic, liberty-loving, human-loving Pierre Desrochers. Here’s the description.
Pierre Desrochers on the history of environmental catastrophism
On this week’s Power Hour Alex Epstein interviews Professor Pierre Desrochers of the University of Toronto, about the history of environmental catastrophism, including but not limited to climate catastrophism.
Today we are told that our use of fossil fuels is causing a global environmental catastrophe, and that the solution is for government to dictate what kind of energy we should use, namely solar and wind.
Both this prediction and this policy, we are told, are the conclusions of the best experts, especially environmental experts like climate scientists, and thus should not be questioned.
Pierre Desrochers explodes this idea by chronicling in depth the track record of our designated environmental experts.
For more on the history of environmental catastrophism, read Population Bombed, which Professor Desrochers wrote with collaborator Joanna Szurmak.
You can watch on YouTube or listen on Apple Podcasts.
My appearance on the new TALK.ENERGY podcast
As I approach a March 2nd manuscript deadline for my new book, I’ve been delaying most requests for interviews.
But the host of the new TALK.ENERGY podcast, Max Gagliardi, wrote an interview request that conveyed such a thorough understanding of my approach that I couldn’t resist joining him for one of the premiere episodes of his show.
One listener wrote: “Thanks for the great listen, Max. I always enjoy the opportunity to hear Alex Epstein share his increasingly important energy insights/philosophy; and this episode was no exception.”
Here’s the interview on his website and on YouTube.
A reader question for the oil and gas industry
A reader asked me a question that I think some of my readers will be able to answer better than I am.
I am a long time listener of Power Hour and a recent Accelerator. I have recently been considering a change of industry. I am a software engineer and I’ve been looking in the Oil and Gas field mostly because I’d like to (once again) be proud of the product I contribute to. This is largely inspired by your work.
…I’d be grateful for any advice you might have in terms of where the technological innovation is happening in Oil and Gas. Are there particular tech startups you’re looking after? Particular problems being solved? Must one live in either Houston or Oklahoma to contribute to this innovation? Anything that comes to mind, I’d be grateful.
If anyone in the industry has ideas for Yuriy, send them to me and I’ll pass them on (and maybe share them next week).
Last Sunday dozens of Accelerators joined me for the monthly Accelerator Call. In addition to taking a lot of great questions, I gave a presentation: “Changing the Moral Narrative on Energy Freedom (and other forms of freedom).”
I discussed the five elements that enable anti-freedom forces to control the moral narrative–values, causal generalizations, policies, stories, power facts)–and how pro-freedom forces can do the same thing, but better.
If you’re an Accelerator already, I sent you a link to the call. The link will be live for the next 10 days, so if you become an Accelerator soon I’ll send you a link to the presentation, as well.
Speaking of Accelerators, I particularly enjoyed this recent note from a new Accelerator:
I’ve been following your work since ~2017 when I first read your book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. Afterward, I began following your podcast, Power Hour, and through that podcast discovered The Human Flourishing Project. All have had a big impact on me and my thinking.
…everything related to human flourishing flows downstream from access to energy. When our machines stop, we stop. As I began to research energy issues over the last 2 years, I began to follow its impact culturally and politically. It quickly became clear this was going to become a big issue with the 2020 elections with so many people advocating for the Green New Deal or some version of it.
I remember you once saying that you weren’t afraid of the GND – we know that it can’t work – but that you were more afraid of some Western country being stupid enough to attempt the GND. Enter the United States. Once it became clear that Democrats were going to control the House and the Senate, I felt an urgent need to do something. I recognize there is only so much I can do on my own. I’m not in the industry, I have few followers on social media, I live in a state (Oregon) that would probably leap at the opportunity to become a “GND Champion” and so any impact I could create in my small corner of the country would likely be swallowed up and overshadowed by the prevailing culture. But I can amplify the efforts of people that already have a foot in the door, that have a voice, that have followers. So even though my monthly contribution is small, I think it’s the most efficient use of my energies – a fulcrum if you will – and the best way that I can have an impact is by supporting YOUR impact.
Keep up the good work!
To Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Energy,