For decades, environmentalists have told us that using traditional fuels is a self-destructive addiction that will destroy our planet. Yet at the same time, by every measure of human well-being, from life expectancy to clean water to climate safety, life has been getting better and better. How can this be?
Energy expert Alex Epstein argues in The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels that we usually hear only one side of the story and that most of what we do hear about traditional fuels is a myth. We’re taught to think only of the negatives of gas, oil and coal, their risks and their side effects, but not their positives – their unique ability to provide cheap, reliable energy for a world of seven billion people. And furthermore, the moral significance of cheap, reliable energy is woefully underrated. Energy is our ability to improve every single aspect of life, whether economic or environmental.
If we look at the big picture of traditional fuels compared with the alternatives, the overall impact of using these conventional fuels makes the world a far better place. We are morally obligated to use more of them for the sake of our economy and our environment.
Alex Epstein founded the Center for Industrial Progress to offer an alternative environmental philosophy to America, one that is anti-pollution but pro-development. A resident of Southern California, he has publicly debated leading environmentalists and is a popular speaker on college campuses.
More About the Speakers
Vice President for the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity