In this issue:
- The five things Planet of the Humans gets (mostly) right — new video
- My new Candace Owens Show interview at 250K views and counting
- COVID-19 influence
- Reminder: The anti-fossil fuel movement has not shut down
- Book progress
- Double Accelerator continues
- Communications coaching
- Hearts and Minds
The five things Planet of the Humans gets (mostly) right — new video
This week’s Power Hour is devoted to the new, widely-viewed “documentary,” Planet of the Humans–backed by Michael Moore.
The movie is interesting because it combines a) some really important truths about “green energy,” often powerfully illustrated and b) a dreadful, deadly, anti-human overall perspective.
I’ve decided to divide my response into two parts.
This week I’m covering “The Five Things Planet of the Humans Gets (Mostly) Right.”
The 5 are:
- Green energy is a high-impact industrial process
- Green energy has many undesirable environmental impacts
- Green energy is hugely dependent on fossil fuels
- “100% renewable” is energy accounting fraud
- Leading green energy advocates are a terrifying combination of ignorant and dishonest
Lots of people are watching Planet of the Humans. If anyone mentions it to you I hope you pass on my video.
Next week I’ll be covering “The Five Things Planet of the Humans Gets Totally Wrong.”
My new Candace Owens Show interview at 250K views and counting
This past Sunday Prager University released the latest episode of The Candace Owens Show, featuring a 30-minute interview with me about energy, environment, climate, and policy.
I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on it (see “Hearts and Minds” later on in the newsletter).
If you’re willing to share this video, please do so as widely as you can. Not only will it expose new people to the moral case for fossil fuels, but the more views an interview with me gets, the more other hosts will want me on their programs.
Another interview of mine that just came out was, of all things, on a nutrition podcast. The podcast, called Science and Saucery, is hosted by two very thoughtful people, Ray Cronise and Julieanna Hever, who share my interest in pro-human thinking.
Here’s the description from Ray:
“What are the elements of critical thinking and how can we frame problems to optimize discussions? Alex Epstein is philosopher who analyzes popular thinking on numerous cultural, industrial, and political issues. Alex is the founder of the Center of Industrial Progress and a NYT Best Selling Author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. Today we will explore some of Alex’s methods for critical thinking and apply them to healthspan and other disruptive ideas.”
This was one of my favorite interviews I’ve ever done because it focused on how to engage in critical thinking in general, not just on energy issues. You can listen to the interview here.
As readers of this newsletter know, I’ve been devoting a lot of effort lately toward advocating for a pro-freedom path forward on COVID-19.
I’m happy to say that my work on the topic is having influence on several different state re-openings. Unfortunately I can’t disclose the specific people and states I’ve influenced but I still thought readers would enjoy knowing the positive news.
One resource I’ve created that’s been influential in at least one major state is last week’s 2-hour interview and discussion with philosopher Onkar Ghate.
I’ve gotten amazing feedback on that episode. While it’s long many have said it’s well worth listening to.
Also, I forgot to mention last week that my colleague Don Watkins wrote a new piece about COVID-19 that has been widely circulated. It’s called “The harsh truth about COVID-19: Opening the economy is a moral imperative.”
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have heard a great many government officials carelessly claim their actions are based on scientific evidence, without being too clear about whether their “evidence” really justifies their actions. I think it is time for all of us to think hard about how we evaluate the claims of “experts.” Just because someone at the CDC with a loud title says we should take a particular course of action, doesn’t mean they don’t owe us an explanation of their thought process, in terms we can understand.
I think what has really made this ordeal unbearable is that our political leaders have failed miserably to be upfront about what they know, what they don’t know, and in what ways they have screwed up, which has led to a lot of unnecessary panic, and made it nearly impossible for regular citizens to make rational decisions.
Bryan wrote to me: “I just wanted to share with you that I had a letter to the editor published in my local newspaper, and I owe a great deal of thanks to all of your recent commentary, especially your latest Power Hour with Onkar Ghate, for helping to give me the intellectual ammunition needed to write it.”
I hope other readers write their newspapers and elected officials. If you do, please let me know.
Reminder: the anti-fossil fuel movement has not shut down
The fossil fuel industry has understandably been preoccupied with the Corona Shutdown as well as other huge market challenges. Unfortunately, the anti-fossil fuel movement has not shut down. They are as aggressive as ever, trying to use COVID-19 to attack fossil fuels and push for a Green New Deal.
One high-leverage way to counter this is to give pro-energy, pro-freedom candidates better messaging. I want to reshare an offer I made two weeks ago in case any readers can connect me with candidates. On this week’s Power Hour I share some talking points on climate that I recommend pro-freedom political candidates use this upcoming election season. While I do not consistently identify with either of the major political parties, on energy and environmental issues today’s Republicans are generally far better. You can watch the segment here and read the sample climate talking points here. If you like these talking points, feel free to share them with any campaigns you are connected to and encourage them to reach out to me. I have talking points on many other energy-related issues (and more on climate) that I’d like to share with as many pro-energy campaigns as possible in this crucial energy election.
Thanks in large part to our generous Accelerators, I’ve been able to get back to work several hours a day on finishing The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels 2.0.
In this picture I am joined by my dog, Sherlock, who is giving me support.
Double Accelerator continues
As I announced two weeks ago, the Prometheus Foundation, founded by Carl Barney, has generously offered to match the next $25,000 in Accelerator contributions we receive. That means your contribution will be doubled.
You can make an Accelerator contribution here.
Thanks for all of you who have contributed so far.
Here are some of the notes I’ve gotten in the last week.
“I had a long drive yesterday and caught up on all the April Power Hour podcast episodes. I really appreciate your clear thinking in general, and on COVID-19 in particular, and heard you mention the matching donations for being an Accelerator, so it seemed an opportune time to chip in a little. It’s not much, but hopefully you’re receiving an outpouring of gifts large and small to get your message out to the widest possible audience.”
“Alex, i have been a supporter of your work for a long time, read your books, this is one the most crucial issues of our time, the left is relentless in trying to take over and bankrupt the energy industry, your appearance on Candice Owens show was exactly what we need to educate the masses in the profound effect that oil has played in the development of our standard of living.”
“Most important, I think your human-flourishing perspective is vital, and not just in the energy industry. I also think it’s under-appreciated, to the misfortune of those of us who wish to be free and to live in the best world possible. And more than anything, I’d like to live in a world where I’m only impeded by my own abilities and imagination. And I want everyone in that world to be as awesome as possible, too.”
“I was motivated to contribute because I think you, and the fellows at CIP, are the most effective communicators of critical philosophic principles. I think your approach to engaging with others and explaining principles has the best opportunity to affect change. Also, I really appreciate the amount of content you put out, and I hope this and future contributions will enable that to continue.”
“I’ve been following you for a couple of years since I discovered your book, and I really believe you’ve got the right way of looking at this whole climate/energy issue…I’ve been successful financially in my career so I’m happily in a position where I can contribute to things like this that I believe in.”
As part of our 2020 Accelerator campaign, those who contribute $1000 get a one-hour coaching session with me on any issue that I can be helpful with.
So far everyone who’s participated has asked for help with some communications-related project, whether working on a speech or coming up with a strategy to win hearts and minds.
I’ve never done this kind of short-term coaching before; traditionally I’ve done only long-term consulting projects. I’m happy to report that participants have been finding the sessions effective (and signing up for more) even when the topic is one unrelated to energy.
I’m enjoying seeing confirmation of what I’ve always believed, the principles of reframing that I use in energy and environmental issues apply to any good cause. If you have a communications project that might be a good fit for coaching, let me know.
Hearts and minds
I’ve gotten a lot of nice messages from this week from people new to my work, especially those who saw me on the Candace Owens Show.
“Hey Alex, just saw you in Candace Owens show. Thought you presented some great points that I think need to be heard by everyone. I’ll definitely be sending it to all my people. I wanted to know If you have a page or website to support your cause?”
“Just saw your *fabulous* interview with Candace Owens. Thanks for providing a well reasoned opposing view to the supporters of the “new green deal” (NGD) type ideas.”
“I very much enjoyed your interview with Candace Owens and I will soon buy your book.
“I agree with Candace that you should contemplate a run for Congress! (Your comment that you are not very partisan/political only strengthens that argument, in my mind). You spoke in a very calm, clear, and informed manner, which is exactly what our entire nation longs for, especially as we try to emerge from a perhaps devastating economic nightmare. Your arguments might lead the way towards a new embrace of nuclear energy as we struggle to come out of the pandemic. New ideas might be more welcome now that the world as we knew it has been turned upside down. As many are saying… America 2.0.
“I just sent the video of your interview to many friends and family so I hope your ideas spread quickly and that you sell a lot of books.”
This last note refers to a section of the interview where Candace Owens suggest I run for political office–something that I am very disinclined to do. But I do appreciate the sentiment.
This next note, from LinkedIn, is my favorite. (Warning: the student uses one expletive to make a point.)
That’s it for this week. Thanks as always for your interest in my ideas and work.
To Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Energy,