Obama’s wrong lesson on pandemic preparedness, the future of fossil fuels, COVID-19 recovery

In this issue:

  • Empowering pro-freedom candidates
  • A virtual speech on the future of fossil fuels
  • Why new green energy mandates would be a death blow to economic recovery
  • Obama draws exactly the wrong lesson on pandemic preparedness
  • What is our COVID-19 goal?
  • New interviews: The Tom Woods ShowThe Pholosopher, The Pursuit of Happiness
  • Hearts and Minds
  • The Human Flourishing Project: Flourishing during a massive disruption (part 2)

Empowering pro-freedom candidates

One of our 2020 goals at the Center for Industrial Progress, which our Accelerator program helps fund, is to “Provide revolutionary energy and environmental messaging for pro-freedom political candidates.”

One example of the kind of candidate I’m trying to reach is Meg Hansen, a candidate for Lieutenant Governor in Vermont who has clearly been influenced by our messaging in the past.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview of hers:

“When we have policies, whatever the policies are, what is the objective? For me, it is human flourishing.

“What does that mean? That means I want Vermonters or Americans or people to be empowered . . . with the freedom to make choices—in healthcare, in education, in the economy—to build the lives that they want. That, for me, is the objective.

“And so if that is the objective, it’s industrialization, it’s the economy, it’s expanding economic freedom. However, when you look at some of the extreme climate activists, their underlying philosophy is that nature should be pristine, nature is pure, and you want to minimize human impact.

“I understand that human beings, all of us, we survive by impacting the environment. And this is not to say that we want pollution. We don’t want pollution—we’re anti-pollution, because that hurts us, that goes against human flourishing. But, is it about human flourishing or minimizing human impact? What is the basic underlying goal?”

Starting today I’ll be reaching out to different pro-freedom campaigns with some messaging on climate issues—often a big stumbling block. If you know any national or state campaigns that would like this messaging, let me know.

A virtual speech on the future of fossil fuels

In a few weeks I’ll be delivering a speech on the future of fossil fuels for the Energy Infrastructure Council, “a non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing the interests of companies that develop and operate energy infrastructure.”

The future of fossil fuels was already a big and contentious topic 2 months ago, with the dominant narrative being that we should and likely will rapidly transition away from fossil fuels.

Now, with the COVID-19 fallout drastically reducing demand for energy while Russia and Saudi Arabia threaten to dramatically increase supply, the question is even more pressing.

In my speech I’ll be explaining why that for everything that has changed, the fundamentals of energy and human flourishing have not. Low-cost energy is still fundamental, the fossil fuel industry is still uniquely good at producing it, and the benefits of fossil fuel use will continue to dramatically outweigh their side effects.

I will also discuss how today’s situation presents opportunities for companies to make the case for fossil fuels to their employees and to the public.

While the speech and Q&A will be available live only to EIC members, it will be available on YouTube soon after.

If you’d like to schedule a virtual speech on the future of fossil fuels or any other topic—during the pandemic we’re discounting virtual speeches to $2500—click the button below or reply to this email. 

Ask About a Speaker 

Why green energy mandates would be a death blow to economic recovery

Many political officials are pushing for various green energy mandates, such as the Wind Production Tax Credit, to be part of “phase 4” of the COVID-19 response. In the first segment of this week’s Power Hour I explain why the worst thing we can do at this stage is dramatically increase the price of energy, which would have the “death blow” effects of 1) decreasing American productivity and 2) increasing consumer prices.

I offer a very different approach, energy freedom—including the decriminalization of nuclear energy.

Obama draws exactly the wrong lesson on pandemic preparedness

Former President Barack Obama recently tweeted the following to great acclaim.Screen Shot 2020-04-08 at 12.56.08 PM

On the second segment of this week’s Power Hour I explain why this is the wrong lesson, and look at how Obama’s and others’ “climate change fixation” took their eye off pandemic response and other urgent priorities.

What is our COVID-19 goal?

In the final segment of this week’s Power Hour, I ask: What is our COVID-19 goal? Is it to eradicate COVID-19 or to manage it? In my view most political officials keep switching between these two goals, leading to mass confusion and unnecessary destruction. I make the case that given the reality of COVID-19 today our goal should definitely be intelligent management and that the eradication goal is doing incredible unnecessary harm.

New interviews: The Tom Woods ShowThe Pholosopher, The Pursuit of Happiness

I’ve continued to get interest from different programs in my big-picture, human flourishing-based perspective on COVID-19. My favorite interview I’ve done on this topic is from Monday’s Tom Woods Show, where I explain in depth what a pro-freedom, pro-flourishing response to this virus would look like.

Those interested in pro-freedom political philosophy might enjoy my appearance on The Pholosopher show, where we did a deep dive into the proper role of government during a pandemic and during normal times. Note: The hosts had a choppy livestream feed so there are delays between their questions and my answers.

On the Ken Webster Jr’s Pursuit of Happiness I discussed my 6 filters for COVID-19 stories

Hearts and Minds

Here’s some recent feedback we’ve received.

“You actually inspired me to write my bachelor thesis. The topic was: ‘The impact on the Norwegian economy of leaving the oil in the ground.’ Keep up the great work.”

“Hi Alex! When I first started listening to Power Hour, maybe five years ago, it gave me sense of great awe for the world. I’ve likely now listened to every episode and I continue to be inspired every time I look at Manhattan from across the water. I really hope that your message can reach and inspire the masses and not only the industry.”

“Oilfield gets a bad rap for destroying the planet. Our industry knows that’s simply just not true and instead of arguing, we just put our heads down, move forward, and continue providing the world with resources it needs to improve human life quality.

“I once listened to Alex Epstein at a SPE session in Midland, TX and he discussed how our industry doesn’t do a good enough job of defending ourselves and that’s why we’ve essentially lost the ‘green movement’ battle against environmentalists. . . . 

“Thank you to all the frontline service men and women working to protect the people across the globe and thank you to all the oilfield workers who have made the world a better place by providing essential raw materials needed to improve the quality of human life!”

The Human Flourishing Project: Flourishing during a massive disruption (part 2)

On the latest episode of The Human Flourishing Project, I discuss a powerful question for coming up with creative ways to improve life during a massive disruption.

Alex