In this issue:
- The campaign to silence climate debate on Facebook — an interview with Dr. Caleb Rossiter of the CO2 Coalition
- 3 reasons why the new House Climate Plan is terrible
- Response to my Michael Shellenberger interview
- Hearts and Minds
The campaign to silence climate debate on Facebook — an interview with Dr. Caleb Rossiter of the CO2 Coalition
The impetus for this interview is a campaign, led by billionaire anti-fossil-fuel activist Tom Steyer, to convince Facebook to remove the CO2 Coalition from its platform.
I wanted to discuss the state of this campaign with Rossiter, but I also wanted to learn about his background.
As a lifelong Democrat he is an unexpected leader of the CO2 Coalition.
On the episode we discussed:
- His decades-long work on African issues.Why fossil fuels, especially coal, are crucial to African prosperity.
- How he became suspicious of climate models.CO2 as a warming gas and a plant fertilizing gas.
- How challenging climate catastrophism hurt his career.
- How the “paid off by the fossil fuel industry” narrative is laughable.
- How Tom Steyer and other members of Climate Power 2020 are trying to suppress the CO2 Coalition on Facebook.
- What we can do to promote rational climate thinking.
I’ve been an admirer of Rossiter’s for some years so it was great to have him on the podcast.
3 reasons why the new House Climate Plan is terrible
Last week the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis unveiled a plan called “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America.”
I’ll write more about this soon, but in the meantime wanted to share my initial take, which I also posted on Twitter.
The House Climate Plan promises to protect us from a crisis by mandating unreliable, unaffordable energy–mostly solar and wind. This Plan is terrible for 3 reasons: 1) There’s no crisis, 2) It wouldn’t work if there was a crisis, 3) It would itself bring about a crisis.
1) There’s no crisis: Climate change is real, in the sense that rising CO2 levels have a warming influence on climate. But that influence is extremely manageable with adaption. That’s why, after 170 years of rising CO2 levels, climate-related deaths are at an all-time low.
2) It wouldn’t work if there was a crisis: “Climate change,” i.e., rising CO2 levels, is a *global* issue. Mandating unreliable, unaffordable energy in the US won’t lower global emissions, because most other countries aren’t dumb enough follow suit. Certainly not China and India.
3) It would itself bring about a crisis: The energy industry powers every other industry. The less affordable energy is, the less affordable everything is. Mandating unreliable, unaffordable energy would cause a Venezuela-level economic and environmental crisis.
Instead of committing unilateral economic (and environmental) suicide by destroying our energy industry, the US should double down on energy freedom–the key to prosperity, innovation, and adaptation. Start by decriminalizing non-carbon nuclear energy.
Response to my Michael Shellenberger interview
Last week’s Power Hour, “I apologize for the climate scare” with Michael Shellenberger, was the most popular so far this year.
My favorite comment from YouTube was from Adam Schlesinger: “I’m 15 and I’m really sick of my classmates because they always try to force their opinions on me about how we are going to die now I have something to show them. Thank you so much.”
Some of my other favorites were:
Let’s support Michael and his book. We need to get some of the environmental organizations on board with this kind of thinking. Maybe we can stop traumatizing our children with the threat of human annihilation.
Wow! I can feel the tide of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming changing! Wonderful interview!
great interview. Thanks to both of you. [You’re] giving those of us with a balanced concern for the environment hope.
I got many nice comments from readers of this newsletter about my influence on Shellenberger. My favorite was “Really neat how your work is influencing other influential people. You’re not mainstream–>you’re upstream! Nice place to be.”
I think the success of Shellenberger’s book is a good sign for what he aptly calls “environmental humanism.” The prominent thinkers in this camp–Michael Shellenberger, Bjorn Lomborg, Patrick Moore (cofounder of Greenpeace), Matt Ridley, and me–each reinforce the work of the others.
Next week I’m planning on having Patrick Moore on Power Hour and Bjorn Lomborg will be the guest the week after.
Hearts and Minds
Here are some of my favorite notes I’ve gotten from readers recently.
Hey Alex! I’m a college student at the University of Florida and I just finished your book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” and I wanted to reach out and say it was a fantastic book that has me calling into questions lots of the things I believed and just never questioned. I remember leaving elementary school one day in 5th grade thinking that my whole family was going to drown under the ocean because my teacher was propagandizing about global warming when we were to young to know any better. I really enjoyed your writing style and loved the book! Thank you for writing it.
Just finished reading your moral case for fossil fuels. One of the best books I’ve ever read. Thank you for putting it out there to prove that fossil fuels are, in fact, far less dangerous…than the media likes to portray it as.
Hey Alex, I’ve been a big fan of your work for a while now. I’m from Venezuela and I don’t know if you are aware, but we are about to face a collapse of what is still left of our productive industry as there is no more gas left in the country. The government is using the coronavirus as a cover-up to stop all production and forcing people to stay home but that can’t last as here 90% of people live day to day. I was just thinking about how this is like if the green new deal was implemented by force and how Venezuela is a good case to show what it would be like to ban fossil fuels without having a reliable backup… Well, Venezuela is the best worst-case scenario to show how many ideas go wrong. Anyways, thank you for your work, it gave me the tools to think about environmentalism correctly.
That’s it for this week. Once again, I continue to spend most of my time in editing mode for The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels 2.0, as well as helping pro-freedom candidates with their energy messaging. Thanks to all the Accelerators who help make this possible.
To Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Energy,