Poverty is “sustainable,” prosperity is progressive

In this issue:

  • Poverty is “sustainable,” prosperity is progressive
  • Power Hour on hiatus
  • My debate with Robert Kennedy, Jr.

Poverty is “sustainable,” prosperity is progressive

Earlier this week I was interviewed for a forthcoming documentary on climate. I’ll let you know once it’s available. In the meantime, here is part of our discussion.

Producer: We’re traveling to Arizona after this and Phoenix is considered the least sustainable city in the world. Do you agree with that?

Alex: “Sustainability” is not a good way to think about things. “Sustainability” implies that our goal should be repetition: that we want to do something that can be repeated over and over and over.

But I think of life in terms of evolution or progress. We don’t want to do the same thing over and over and over, we want to find better and better ways of doing things.

If we look at Phoenix, it has an incredibly high standard of living. And it actually has very few people who die from heat, because it has air conditioning and other forms of modern technology.

Phoenix isn’t a “sustainability” cautionary tale, it’s a role model. It shows us that if people are free, and they are free to use energy and to use technology, they can have really good lives even in places with naturally inhospitable climates.

I actually think it’s crazy to look at Phoenix and think of it as unsustainable. Is it sustainable to live in poverty for 10,000 years? Well, yeah, that’s sustainable, but it’s not progressive. So I want to be progressive, not sustainable.

Power Hour on hiatus

For the next several weeks, as my team and I work to finalize The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels 2.0 to the publisher, we won’t be doing any new Power Hour episodes. You can listen to back episodes here.

My debate with Robert Kennedy, Jr.

 This is a reminder that next month I will debate anti-fossil fuel activist Robert Kennedy, Jr. on the question: “Should the world radically restrict fossil fuel use to prevent climate change?” The debate is being hosted by the Free to Be Coalition at the University of Colorado Boulder on October 21, from 7-9 PM. If you’re in the area, you can attend for free or join us for a VIP gathering featuring me, Kennedy, and moderator Guy Benson. To register for VIP or General Admission visit www.free2beclimate.eventbrite.com.