I’m writing this from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, contemplating just one small example of the wondrous, high-energy world we live in. This morning I swam in the Pacific Ocean. Tomorrow I will be snowboarding at Snowbird, a resort in Utah. I hope I never lose the ability to appreciate how magical it is that human beings can roam the earth so quickly and freely.
It will take just over two hours to take me and my fellow passengers to Salt Lake City. If you ask any of them how they’re getting to Salt Lake City, they’d say “I’m flying.” But what does that mean? What it really means is that certain people are flying us–not just the pilot, co-pilot, and flight attendants, but also the airline that coordinates flights, the manufacturers that build planes, and, closest to my heart, the people who work day-in/day-out to fuel the planes–the people who work in the oil industry.
It’s important to think about energy not just in terms of fuels but in terms of people because it helps us think about things more justly. Certain individuals are taking once-useless ancient dead plants and transforming them into a state-of-the-art liquid hydrocarbon fuel (jet fuel) that we voluntarily pay for because it is the best way (by a long shot) to get us anywhere we want with almost magical speed. Yet, in popular vernacular this is an “addiction to fossil fuels” or “Big Oil selling us dirty energy.” This wildly inaccurate vernacular enables opponents of fossil fuels to perpetrate a horrendous injustice, as occurred recently in Paris. They can fly on planes, which means–choose to use the products created by the virtuous fossil fuel industry, on the implicit premise that the positives far outweigh the negatives–while condemning those who are carrying them through the sky.
This is my view: either use a product and take full moral responsibility for it–or don’t. Invent something better or wait till someone else invents something better or live like the 99% of human beings who didn’t have fossil fuels. But don’t spit on the people who make your life magical.
I’m not directing that sentiment toward subscribers to this list but rather the people and ideas you may well encounter during the Christmas season. I hope that these thoughts serve as a good reminder that the high ground belongs to those who create, with all the challenges that entails, not those who simply consume and criticize. And when you do meet creators during the Christmas season, thank them. Without what they do, we could not have the comfort and enjoyment that typifies this time of year.
On a related note, I’ll repeat a message from last week and remind you of 3 potential gifts that one of your loved ones might enjoy—or that you might enjoy for yourself. Each of these gifts is designed to be, above all, empowering.
How to Talk to Anyone About Energy
As you gather around the table this holiday season, you’re no doubt going to hear some inflammatory comments about our addiction to fossil fuels, climate change deniers, a renewable future, and fracking earthquakes. And you know that these comments can lead to long, drawn out, and ineffective discussions.
What if there were a way to make your discussions far more enjoyable and effective? In “How to Talk to Anyone About Energy” I’ve broken down the exact method I use to turn almost any conversation into a pleasant, influential, and to-the-point experience. The course includes 6 easy-to-understand video modules plus a database of powerful talking points, a flowchart of how to have an effective conversation, a checklist of rules to follow in every conversation, and real-life footage of the principles in action.
If you want to buy yourself a Christmas present, this may be the one to get. Or if you know a couple friends or students who would like to feel more confident in conversation, you can change their lives. I promise it will. In the words of one enrollee, “every time I [had] a discussion with others about fossil fuels and the environment it still always seem[ed] to end in an emotional ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about’…. this course has provided me with a great framework with which to approach these conversations in a strategic way to persuade others without harming the relationship.”
The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels
You can also get large bulk discounts for your group or company—but you need to order this week.
I Love Fossil Fuels T-Shirts
I’ve found this shirt to be the perfect thing to wear to dozens of occasions—from anti-fossil fuel rallies to Presidential debates to family gatherings to beach parties. Get your own—I highly recommend green—make a confident statement and provoke lots of interesting conversation.
Power Hour: Dr. Richard Keen on the Truth About Temperature
On the latest episode of Power Hour, I talk to Dr. Richard Keen, Meteorologist Emeritus at the University of Colorado and an official temperature measurement collector. Ever wonder where the numbers on global temperature graphs come from–and how accurate they are? Dr. Keen gives you an insider’s view.
As always, if you’d like to suggest a new guest for Power Hour, or have me appear on your show, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org