The evolution of my environmental philosophy, why greens hate nuclear, CA’s train to nowhere

In this issue:?

  • Power Hour: The evolution of my environmental philosophy, why greens hate nuclear, CA’s train to nowhere
  • Oklahoma professor teaches the moral case for fossil fuels
  • The Human Flourishing Project: The wisdom of Arnold Bennett (part 1)
  • Upcoming speeches

Power Hour: The evolution of my environmental philosophy, why greens hate nuclear, CA’s train to nowhere

In this week’s episode of Power Hour, Don, Steffen, and I cover six topics:

(1) The evolution of my environmental philosophy – In this segment, I discuss how I’ve come to a deeper appreciation of the fact that nature doesn’t give us the environment we need to flourish.

  • Key takeaway: If we assume that nature gives us a perfect environment, then we’ll assume that the only thing we can do is make it worse. If we recognize that nature gives us an imperfect environment we have to improve, then we’ll conclude that though we can have negative environmental impacts, our impacts are overwhelmingly positive.

(2) “Energy efficiency” boondoggles - Don discusses 2 government attempts to promote “energy efficiency,” how they ended up as expensive disasters, and the lessons we should draw about the Green New Deal. (For more check out the Wall Street Journal’s coverage here and here.)

  • Key takeaway: Whenever we hear vague proposals like the Green New Deal’s call to make every building in the U.S. more “energy efficient” we should ask: has this been tried before and what were the results?

(3) Tesla’s “largest battery in the world” insufficient for providing backup when it’s most needed – Steffen addresses the myth Tesla batteries are saving Australia from coal’s failures. The reality, he explains, is that Australia’s grid has become increasingly unreliable thanks to wind power, and when wind power recently flagged, the expensive Tesla battery provided less than 1% of South Australia’s total demand…fizzling out after 3 hours.

  • Key takeaway: The idea that we can back up an entire grid with batteries is simply not credible.

(4) The price of outlawing reliable energy - Don discusses how places like Los Angeles and New York are shutting down fossil fuel power and stopping fossil fuel projects with no plan for how they’ll be able to meet their future energy needs beyond the blind hope that solar and wind will somehow become reliable and affordable. (You can read more on this story here and here.)

  • Key takeaway: Just as we would oppose discontinuing a valuable pharmaceutical drug unless there was a proven reliable, affordable replacement, so we should oppose shutting down and stopping fossil fuel projects when there is no reliable, affordable replacement.

(5) California’s train to nowhere - Steffen discusses California’s decision to shelf a “high speed” rail project between Los Angeles and San Francisco after cost estimates ballooned to $77 billion. (You can read more on this story here.)

  • Key takeaway: In most places, high speed rail is vastly inferior to other modes of transportation. The Green New Deal’s fantasy of replacing air travel and gas vehicles with trains would be an expensive nightmare.

(6) Why do greens oppose carbon-free nuclear? - Don discusses an excellent article by Michael Shellenberger: “The Real Reason They Hate Nuclear Is Because It Means We Don’t Need Renewables.” (Read the entire article here.)

  • Key takeaway: Green thought leaders know that nuclear is actually safe and that solar and wind are far from “natural.” They oppose nuclear because they do not value the human mind, human freedom, and human flourishing.

You can listen to the episode here or on iTunes.

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Oklahoma professor teaches the moral case for fossil fuels

Earlier this week I did a Q&A for students at the University of Oklahoma College of Law Energy Center. I’ll be sharing video of the event next week.

In the meantime, the professor who put the event together, Joe Dancy, discussed our event in a recent interview. Be sure to check out the last 12 minutes where he talks about some of the concepts we discussed and how he’s made use of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels in his classes.

You can listen to the entire interview here.

The Human Flourishing Project: The wisdom of Arnold Bennett (part 1)

On the latest episode of The Human Flourishing Project I discuss why I love the century-old self-help writings of Arnold Bennett, a master of “wise ridicule.”

Visit our Facebook page and join in the discussion.

And for the latest news visit humanflourishingproject.com where you can sign up to receive email updates.

Upcoming speeches

Here are some of my upcoming speeches.

  • 3/4 – Private event in Cabo, Mexico
  • 3/14 – Private event in Youngstown, OH
  • 3/26 – Private event in Napa, CA

If you’re interested in having me speak at a high level event, you can download a list of my new speeches here.