In this issue:
- New talking points: California blackouts and “snappy answers”
- Two new documentaries I’m in
- Power Hour: How to Think About Consensus
- Hearts and Minds
Note: The rest of this newsletter was finished just before Gavin Newsom announced a ban of oil-powered vehicles in California starting in 2035. See my quick take on Twitter.
New talking points: California blackouts and “snappy answers”
EnergyTalkingPoints.com has new talking points on the California blackouts that cover many of the problems with “unreliables.”
Also, inspired by Rep. Chip Roy’s request for very quick answers to common questions, I’ve started writing “Snappy answers to energy questions” on Twitter. I’ll post some of them soon on EnergyTalkingPoints.com.
Here are some of the more popular ones.
Q: Do you believe in climate change?
A: I believe in climate change, not climate catastrophe. The world has warmed 1 degree C in the last 170 years. Humans have some influence. But because we are so adaptable, the climate death rate has fallen 98% over the last century.
Q: Are you a climate change denier?
A: I’m a climate thinker.
I recognize that climate is ever-changing, that humans have some influence, and that humans with abundant machine power can master any climate. That’s why as CO2 levels have gone up, climate deaths have plummeted.
Q: What will happen if we hit the dreaded 1.5 degrees C of warming?
A: A better version of what happened when we hit the 1 degree of warming we’re at now. It’ll be a little warmer, a lot greener, and, most importantly, the miracle of machine power will be even more abundant.
Q: What do we do about nuclear waste?
A: We keep storing it safely and compactly. Because nuclear is such concentrated energy its waste is tiny compared to the alternatives. A better question is: What do we do about solar panel, wind turbine, and battery waste?
Q: What is the biggest obstacle to low-carbon energy?
A: The green movement, including most of the anti-fossil fuel movement, which opposes reliable nuclear and hydro while insisting on unreliable solar and wind.
Q: Aren’t the CA wildfires proof that we need to switch to green energy as fast as possible?
A: The CA *blackouts* are proof that we need to *stop* switching to unreliable green energy. CA wildfires are proof that we need to remove huge amounts of excess fuel from CA forests.
Q: Aren’t solar and wind cheaper than fossil fuels?
A: Solar and wind are “unreliables” that depend on reliable fossil fuels, nuclear, and hydro infrastructure. They don’t replace the cost of fossil fuels, they add to the cost of fossil fuels. More solar+wind = higher prices.
Q: Isn’t @Apple 100% renewable? That’s what they tell us.
A: Apple is lying to you. They use mostly non-renewable energy, but pay utilities to give them credit for the renewable energy you use–and give you the blame for the non-renewable energy they use.
Two new documentaries I’m in
I am featured in two new documentaries: “Religion of Green” by Prager University and “Climate Hustle 2” by Marc Morano and CFACT.
Religion of Green, in which I am featured extensively, is a 20-minute mini-doc about “the origins, agenda, and motives of today’s environmental movement.” Also featured is Michael Shellenberger, author of Apocalypse Never.
I think the film does a good job on the issues Shellenberger and I focus on, namely the core tenets of the modern environmental movement, why it is religious in nature, and how its tenets lead it to pseudoscientific claims of doom.
The other film, Climate Hustle 2, features me only very, very briefly. However, I hope that my comments during the interview I did for the film—about how anti-human thinking influences the green movement—had a positive influence.
The value of Climate Hustle 2 is it has a lot of great examples on the authoritarian nature of the climate catastrophe movement. Two that stood out to me in particular were 1) the indoctrination of children with regard to issues they can’t possibly understand, and 2) the desire by many catastrophists for global government.
I think a weakness of the film is that it doesn’t examine the motives of the climate catastrophe movement beyond the usual status-based motives: the desire of catastrophists is for power and money. Another weakness is that its account of climate science isn’t sufficient enough to be persuasive to a layman immersed in the catastrophist view.
I’d recommend watching both films. Climate Hustle has a live global premiere on Thursday, September 24th.
Power Hour: How to Think About Consensus
A couple months ago, a young researcher named Emily Harari reached out to me about my views about the scientific consensus on climate change. She raised some interesting questions I hadn’t commented publicly on, so I agreed to do the interview if we could share it with my listeners.
This week’s Power Hour features that interview.
Some of the topics we cover are:
- The legitimate and illegitimate view of consensus
- How to learn the actual state of consensus
- The National Climate Assessment
- How consensus statements often misrepresent the state of consensus
- The role of the media in distorting science
- How transparent should consensus discussions be
- The obligation of scientists to stand up to false consensus statements
Hearts and Minds
It’s been awhile since I’ve shared some of the notes I get from new people discovering my work.
Here are a few of my favorites:
I am a dedicated follower of your thinking and writing on fossil fuels, energy issues, and the topic of climate change. I first encountered you by viewing your Google Talk. It was quite an experience – to have my understanding of fossil fuels completely transformed in less than an hour. Before I heard the talk I had read widely on energy, technology, innovation, tools, and even a little Ayn Rand, which may have been my path to the Google Talk.
Seven or eight years ago I was transfixed by the 1971 book, The Limits to Growth, and its sequels and was very concerned about the direction we were going as a civilization.
The most important thing I can credit you with is the relief I feel in knowing that we are not going to destroy the planet or even our advanced way of life by depleting our resources and “poisoning” the environment. At least, that is, by the use of fossil fuels. I continue to be concerned that well meaning green activists may wreak serious havoc but the best antidote to that is your idea of framing our discussions of civilizational issues with the human flourishing benchmark. You have identified and refined the most powerful tool I have seen anywhere for discussing, not just the moral case for fossil fuels, but just about any political or moral issue. Good luck in further refining and applying this tool. Let me know if there is anything I can do, as a deeply interested lay person, to help.
Your talks and interviews – I’ve watched most if not all of those that are publicly available, read your book and have the next one on order – have given me a deep appreciation for how hard it is to provide affordable, reliable power….I am a transplant from the Washington, D.C. area to the Los Angeles area and used to find the power lines that are visible in almost every community a serious eyesore. I now see them as things of beauty that underpin our way of life.
Alex, please know that besides the knowledge you share, your approach to advancing what gives your life meaning is an inspiration. It has been a huge help to me during a formative period in my life. Thank you for that.
I have always been a liberal up until about a year and a half ago. I wanted to learn my “opponents” side so that I could better defend my own…I came across a video you did with Prager U and then watched another you had done with them. Eventually I started searching you by name and stumbled upon your Google talk “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”. I then saw the McKibben debate…I’ve since re-watched many of those videos several times.
Just two days ago I had watched another video where you briefly discuss nuclear energy and I was always taught “nuclear bad” so I have since been on a 2-day binge of just incessant videos on nuclear reactors and nuclear fission and waste and it’s insane what I have learned in these past 2 days.
…you have also inspired me with your framing. In a few of your videos you discuss setting up the framework in the beginning which sets the tone for more productive discourse.
I read your book and found it extremely thought provoking, so thank you for writing it! I found it just as much an argument for the moral case for fossil fuels, as a masterclass in how to seek full context, challenge logical fallacies, question conventional wisdom, and think critically. Just in that regard, I feel better off for having read it.
Thanks for reading this week’s newsletter.
Every week I am getting more positive feedback on EnergyTalkingPoints.com. Please keep sharing them!
Thanks as always to the Accelerators who help support the talking points project, the new Moral Case book, and other projects that help us spread pro-human energy thinking.
To Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Energy,