Influencing the Bitcoin energy debate

In this issue:

  • Influencing the Bitcoin energy debate
  • Climate Scientocracy
  • Quick updates

Influencing the Bitcoin energy debate

Last night I was interviewed on the popular Bitcoin podcast by Stephan Livera. On the podcast, which should be out by Saturday, we discussed how to reframe the current energy debate surrounding Bitcoin.

This debate involves various people attacking Bitcoin for using too much fossil fuel energy, as well as other people defending Bitcoin on the (false) grounds that it mostly uses renewable energy. But it also increasingly involves articulate, highly regarded people in the Bitcoin community championing the morality of using energy in general and fossil fuels in particular.

Livera is one of these people.

There is also economist Saifedean Ammous, who posts great commentary on energy several times a week, and who has written:

I highly recommend Alex Epstein’s wonderful book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels to get a sober perspective on the importance of modern energy sources, and what our lives would be like without them.

There’s Marty Bent, another popular Bitcoin podcast host and a pioneer in using stranded natural gas to mine Bitcoin. Here’s one of his recent Tweets:

Converting energy into electricity and harnessing it to do work is one of the greatest achievements in the history of humanity. Those who use manipulated data and fear mongering to make this conversion more expensive and push humans to harness less electricity are evil.

Another, SG Barbour, recently wrote, in a thread about the problematic “Bitcoin Mining Council”:

Bitcoin miners who are using coal in North America should be PROUD of it. You are using a low-cost energy source, creating jobs, creating useful by-products (see coal ash) and generally helping the entire economy be more efficient.

I’m also seeing a lot of great commentary from lesser known people in the Bitcoin world—such as this recent essay on “Bitcoin Mining and the Case for More Energy,” which lists me at the end as one of the primary influences.

One Bitcoin commentator wrote to me recently, “it’s so amazing watching it all come together. We’ve got such a great team on the human flourishing side.”

Climate Scientocracy

On this week’s Power Hour I interview a longtime ally of mine, Pat Michaels, author of Scientocracy on the relationship between government and climate science.

Here’s the official description:

Alex Epstein interviews Dr. Patrick Michaels, climate scientist and policy expert, on how today’s climate “scientocracy”—the heavily government-funded and government-influenced field of climate science—works.

While those outside the field of climate science tend to think of it as consisting of independent researchers, free to pursue the truth wherever it leads them, Michaels argues that our climate scientocracy makes this impossible.

During the Michaels answers questions including:

  • How has government transformed climate research during Michaels’s career?
  • How does government impact what research gets does?
  • How does academic research get communicated with the general public?
  • How do “consensus” statements come to be?

For more on how government distorts science, see Dr. Michaels’s book Scientocracy.

You can watch on YouTube or listen on Apple Podcasts.

Note: This episode was recorded two weeks before its release, so it makes an outdated reference to my then-forthcoming Congressional testimony.

Quick updates

  • I was interviewed this morning on the Michael Berry Show, a popular Houston show, on what’s happening with gasoline prices—and where this administration is taking them.
  • Tomorrow I’ll be speaking at a private virtual event held by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. I’ll be giving a new speech “The Future of Energy—and How to Change it.” Here’s the description.
    • Alex Epstein, “energy philosopher” and author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, will discuss three competing accounts of our energy future: the mythical “energy transition” that leaders say we are going through, the energy regression we are actually going through due to bad policies, and the “flourishing fossil future” that is possible with the right policies. Drawing on his next book Fossil Future and his popular website, Epstein will explain what energy advocates can do to move us toward a better future.
  • Here’s a video of me calling out Elon Musk in my Congressional testimony. Also, thanks to everyone who has been sharing my full Congressional testimony and my 5-minute opening statement. Special thanks to Adam Anderson, the outspoken CEO of Innovex who wrote on LinkedIn:
    • This is a wonderful and succinct explanation of the benefits of the Oil and Gas Industry. This is an excerpt of Alex Epstein‘s testimony to the US Congress. It’s absolutely worth 5 mins of your time to watch. My favorite points in the video include:
      – Hydrocarbons are the only fuel that can currently provide the energy 8 Billion humans need to survive and flourish
      – The percentage of humans living in extreme poverty has decreased from 40% to less than 10% over the last 40 years as the developing world has harnessed low cost and reliable energy, aka hydrocarbons
      – Yes CO2 emissions are contributing to modest warming of the planet, but low cost reliable energy enables us to master our climate. Eliminating hydrocarbons to “save the environment” will make the environment unlivable for all 8 billion humans, as it was for the bulk of humanity’s existence.

One thing I love about Anderson’s statement is that he explains my points with exactness.

I’m finding that the better I get at explaining my ideas, the better other people get at sharing those ideas.

Some key elements here are simplicity and retainability: the more simple and retainable I can make my ideas, the faster and more accurately they will be spread.

Thanks to everyone who helps spread them.

To Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Energy,