From COP23 in Fiji to COP24 in Katowice the heart of Polish coal country

COP 23, the UN climate conference in Bonn, Germany, ended with a coal-powered whimper.

The point of the meeting was to write the rule book for the Paris Climate Agreement that President Obama signed the U.S. onto.

President Trump then declared that the U.S. would exit Paris and make no future payments to the UN’s Green Climate Fund upon which President Obama lavished $1 billion on his way out the door.

Paris calls for developed nations such as the U.S., Europeans, Japan, Canada and Australia to redistribute $100 billion starting in 2020.  That doesn’t seem very likely.  China and India don’t have to pay, by the way.

The island nation of Fiji chaired the COP and joined a host of poor countries in calling for the cash to start flowing.  They wanted “accelerated payments” even before Paris begins.  That money is, after all, the reason the poor nations signed on.They also want the developed world to assume liability for their “loss and damage” when they experience weather-related losses. It is important that we never agree to pay compensation for what, in reality, are naturally occurring weather events.  President Trump and the U.S. team were effective here in leading Europe and the rest in once again keeping loss and damage out the Paris Agreement.  COP 23 agreed to create a panel to “study” the issue and to make much smaller amounts available to developing nations.  That line must be held going forward.

Another key issue is the degree to which national reporting of emissions efforts will be transparent and verifiable.  The COP adopted some language on this, but China, the largest and fastest growing CO2 emitter, continues to resist verifiable standards.  They claim verification would be “too expensive.”  The satirical news site The Onion posted a brilliant headline on this a few years ago, “China Vows To Begin Aggressively Falsifying Air Pollution Numbers.”  Satire has a way of becoming all too real.

The level at which the rhetoric at COP 23, even from official negotiators, heads of state and elected officials, is divorced from the scientific facts on climate continues to astound.

When the President of Fiji tells the world that his island is already hard hit by global warming, and that last year’s Cyclone Winston was a product of climate change, he is way off.  It is tragic that 42 people lost their lives last year in Fiji.  However, they did not die because we drive cars and use electricity.

When disaster strikes the U.S. helps, not because, we are to blame, but because we are good neighbors.  Attributing natural weather to climate change as a rationale for redistribution of wealth needs to stop.

Climate pressure groups put out this nonsense, left-wing climate campaigners chant it in the halls, an unquestioning press prints it, and it ends up part of the official UN climate dialogue.  These narratives are unsupported by facts.  Check out Climate Depot’s extreme weather report for substantial details.

Next year’s COP 24 will be in Katowice, Poland.  The Poles underbid and won the right to host the COP.  We couldn’t think of a better venue.  Katowice is in the heart of Poland’s vital coal mining industry.  Local Poles are keenly aware that the UN is targeting their livelihood and Poland’s energy independence for extinction.  Like the coal miners in The Hunger Games District 12, they are ready to revolt.

Poland has a unique perspective.  The Poles experienced the tragedy of Socialist central planning up close and personal.  They’ve had enough and are shocked when spoiled westerners come back for more.  They certainly don’t want to depend on Russian natural gas to keep their lights on.

We look forward to ensuring the UN hears the real facts on global warming from CFACT and the Poles loud and clear.

VIDEO: Alex Epstein — Harvard Business School Fireside Chat

A few weeks ago I was joined by my favorite energy economist, Michael Lynch, for a fireside chat hosted by Harvard Business School. It was a great discussion and the audience asked a lot of thoughtful questions. You can now view the video of that event:

Mr. Epstein Goes to Washington

I’ll be in DC the week of November 27 to share my approach to reframing the energy debate with some high-level officials. It looks like I’ll be speaking to the Congressional Coal Caucus on Wednesday, November 29. On November 30, I’ll be speaking at the Crossroads IV: Energy and Climate Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. The event is presented by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Heritage Foundation and includes some of the world’s leading scientists, policy makers, entrepreneurs, and energy experts. I will be speaking on the moral case for fossil fuels. The event is nearly sold out, but there will be a waiting list. You can find more information at

ALSO: Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help your organization turn non-supporters into supporters and turn supporters into champions.

  1. Hire me to speak at your next event.
  2. Fill out the free Constructive Conversation Scorecard to assess where you are and where you want to be in your one-on-one communications. Email it back to me and I’ll send you my step-by-step Constructive Conversation System that will enable you to talk to anyone about energy.
  3. Hold a Constructive Conversation workshop.

For the last two years I have been testing and refining an approach to one-on-one conversations that anybody can use. I call it the Constructive Conversation Formula. If you have between 5-20 people who interact frequently with stakeholders and want custom guidance on how to win hearts and minds, just reply to this email and put “Workshop” in the subject line.

The Real Scandal in the Alabama Senate Race [Video]

Scandals take many forms. If you could be transported back to antebellum times, for example, would you not find the desire to perpetuate the legal institution of slavery scandalous? This brings us to the Alabama special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ vacant Senate seat, a contest now front-and-center with the recent sex allegations made against GOP hopeful Judge Roy Moore. Moore denies the charges, but there are certain things that can’t be denied.

Democrat Doug Jones, Moore’s opponent, has some noteworthy positions. He’s pro-prenatal infanticide. It’s not a stance he took 40 years ago but has since abandoned, and it doesn’t mean he’s accused of once having kissed an underage girl.

It means he believes in the murder of underage girls — and boys. That’s beyond scandalous.

Jones supports de-facto amnesty, meaning, he wouldn’t even require illegal aliens to return to their home countries before being granted citizenship. This undermines the rule of law and exemplifies the treasonous attitude that subordinates the good of one’s countrymen to the good of invading foreigners — and all because they’ll vote Democrat after being naturalized. Selling out your culture for political power is scandal on steroids.

Jones supports the regulation of carbon dioxide, otherwise known as plant food, because he pushes the dubious global-warmingclimate-change, uh, “global climate disruption” agenda. Since it’s average Americans who’ll pay these regulations’ costs, this serves to further impoverish the struggling. That’s scandalous.

Jones advocates the unscientific, socially disastrous “transgender” agenda. First, he said President Trump was “wrong, wrong, wrong” to return to the longtime status quo of banning so-called “transgender” people from the military; this means he supports social experimentation in the armed forces.

Second, he also supports allowing boys masquerading as girls to use girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms. In fact, he said that Trump’s rescinding of Barack Obama’s school guidance to that effect was “wrong, wrong, wrong!” (Because, you see, when you say that way it makes the other guy three times as wrong.) By the way, below is a video of Jones expressing these sentiments just last month.

Oh, yeah — the above is scandalous, too.

In addition, Jones advocates using taxpayer money to fund fanciful, economically nonviable energy schemes such as solar, wind and thermal energy. Apparently, he’d like to repeat Obama’s “green energy” boondoggles (e.g., Solyndra), which only turned out green in that they wasted 2.2 billion worth of Americans’ greenbacks.

But Jones loves spending other people’s money. While he doesn’t believe in cutting your taxes to spur economic growth, he thinks having government give away your tax money will do so.

Lastly, despite the fact that ObamaCare is unconstitutional, has caused millions of Americans’ healthcare premiums to rise and created co-ops that have collapsed right and left, Jones opposes rescinding the program. Well, no matter. He’ll have great healthcare through the Senate if he wins December 12.

As for the last four positions, some would say calling them scandalous is a stretch, so you can apply your own adjective (stupid comes to mind). And whatever you might prefer for characterizing all his positions, “old” and “repudiated” don’t fit. “Current” sure does, though.

So killing babies, killing the rule of law, killing with regulations, killing tradition and kids’ right to privacy, killing our pocketbooks, killing the economy and killing healthcare (sounds like an alternate-universe Bill O’Reilly book series). In the scandal department, Roy Moore has a long way to go to have a chance of keeping up with the Joneses.

Simply put, Doug Jones is the most scandalous of creatures: a leftist radical who is “wrong, wrong, wrong” on the issues. It’s a wonder he isn’t seeking office in California, New York, Massachusetts or North Korea. Running someone whose positions are so wholly contrary to Alabaman culture is a slap in the face to the state. Is this a political version of Punk’d?

If I lived in Alabama, on December 12 I’d vote for Judge Roy Moore while holding my nose — but only because the stench from Doug Jones’ name would be rising right from the ballot.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to


Hey Mitch, 63% Of Alabama Voters Still Support Judge Roy Moore ⋆

Alabama ABC Affiliate Can’t Find One Voter Who Believes WaPo Report About Roy Moore in Man-on-the-Street Segment – Breitbart

Ukraine Turns to American Coal to Defend Itself Against Russia

KYIV, Ukraine—Sometimes, wars aren’t won by tank battles and infantry assaults. Sometimes, it comes down to keeping the heat on.

As Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine nears its fifth calendar year—and as Ukraine’s infamously cold winter draws near—American companies are incrementally cutting into Russia’s de facto monopoly as a supplier of nuclear fuel and coal to Ukraine, thereby undermining a longtime coercive lever of Russian influence over Kyiv.

“In recent years, [Kyiv] and much of Eastern Europe have been reliant on and beholden to Russia to keep the heat on. That changes now,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in July, announcing an $80 million deal to ship more U.S. coal to Ukraine.

“The United States can offer Ukraine an alternative,” Perry said.

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has often leveraged its power over Ukraine through the energy economy. Particularly, by cutting off gas supplies in winter. Consequently, energy security remains a linchpin for Ukraine’s fight for sovereignty from Moscow.

“Energy for years has been and continues on a daily non-military basis to be the prime Russian instrument for corrupting and subverting Ukraine,” Stephen Blank, senior fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council, told The Daily Signal.

The war in Ukraine is approaching its fifth calendar year. (Photos: Nolan Peterson/The Daily Signal)

In the past year, the U.S. has upped its coal exports to Ukraine by more than 40 percent. The $80 million coal deal announced in July was for Pennsylvania-based Xcoal Energy & Resources to ship 700,000 tons of thermal coal to Ukraine by the end of the year—in time for the country to stockpile its energy reserves before the winter.

“It is a significant contribution to our energy security and a vivid proof of mutually beneficial strategic cooperation between our two nations,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wrote in a Facebook post in September, following the first delivery of U.S. coal to Ukraine under the deal.

“While it continues to steal Ukrainian coal from Ukrainian Donbas, Russia has lost yet another tool for its energy blackmailing,” Poroshenko said, referring to Ukraine’s embattled southeastern Donbas region, where Ukrainian forces remain in combat against a combined force of pro-Russian separatists, foreign mercenaries, and Russian regulars.

On Tuesday, Kyiv announced it had introduced sanctions against Russia’s Yuzhtrans LLC, part of the Yuzhnaya Coal Co., which is one of the largest suppliers of anthracite coal from Russia to Ukraine.

Still, even after 43 months of de facto war between the two nations, Russia remains Ukraine’s top supplier of coal and nuclear fuel. Yet, U.S. companies are slowly chipping away at Russia’s dominance in Ukraine’s energy economy.

In 2014, 100 percent of Ukraine’s nuclear fuel came from Russia. By 2016, Russia’s share was down to 55 percent.

The U.S.-based nuclear power company Westinghouse now supplies nuclear fuel for six of Ukraine’s 15 nuclear reactors, generating about 30 percent of Ukraine’s overall energy needs.

In June, Poroshenko announced plans to further reduce Russia’s share of nuclear fuel supplies to Ukraine to 45 percent—with Westinghouse providing the remaining 55 percent.

“This will increase nuclear security,” Poroshenko said, according to a statement on his administration’s website.

Many ex-Soviet states like Ukraine rely heavily on Russian energy supplies spanning the gamut from coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear fuel. A key means for the U.S. to thwart Russian coercive control over Ukraine and other post-Soviet states is to provide an alternative to Russia for energy security.

Increasing U.S. coal shipments to Ukraine will “allow Ukraine to diversify its energy sources ahead of the coming winter, helping bolster a key strategic partner against regional pressures that seek to undermine U.S. interests,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement about the July coal deal.

According to Blank, however, eroding Russia’s leverage over Ukraine in the energy domain will require more than U.S. coal and nuclear fuel imports.

“I do see energy security as a key piece of the puzzle, but Ukraine also must do more to reform its entire energy economy beyond the impressive steps that it already has accomplished to keep it from becoming a Russian political football,” Blank said.

“Transparent markets will do a lot to effectuate such movement over time and restrict, though not terminate, Russian influence,” Blank added. “The point is to depoliticize Russian energy.”

Pressure Points

This November, after 43 months of nonstop combat, Ukrainian troops remain hunkered down in trenches and ad hoc forts along a 250-mile-long front line in the country’s embattled, southeastern Donbas region. There, Ukraine’s military continues to fight a grinding, static war against a combined force of pro-Russian separatists and Russian regulars that began in April 2014.

The conflict has, so far, killed more than 10,100 Ukrainians and displaced about 1.7 million people. The war has also dealt Ukraine’s economy a body blow—particularly when it comes to the energy economy.

When Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March 2014, it cost Ukraine about $1 billion in energy production assets. Russia’s subsequent proxy war in Ukraine’s southeastern Donbas region—the heart of Ukraine’s coal industry—also hit the country’s economy hard.

Russia’s proxy territories in the Donbas region amount to about 5 percent of Ukraine’s overall landmass, but accounted for about half of Ukraine’s coal and all of its anthracite extraction prior to the conflict.

Consequently, overall Ukrainian coal production dropped by 22 percent in 2014, the year Russian launched its proxy war in the Donbas. In the following, and despite the de facto state of war between the two countries, Russia was Ukraine’s largest coal supplier and coal shipments still traversed the front lines out of the Donbas into the rest of Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine began in April of 2014—daily fighting is ongoing.

Blocking coal supplies has become a key domain of Russia’s hybrid war on Ukraine.

In 2014, Ukraine’s energy economy faced near disaster. Russia had blocked its coal supplies, forcing 22 Ukrainian power plants to shut down temporarily.

That year, Ukraine purchased about $1.77 billion worth of coal, of which roughly $1.14 billion, or about 64 percent, came from Russia.

From January to October of 2017, Ukrainian coal imports jumped up to $2.15 billion, according to the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine.

Russia was the top coal supplier this year, accounting for 55.7 percent of total supplies, worth $1.2 billion. At 25 percent of the market, or $546.8 million, the United States was the second-leading supplier.

“This administration looks forward to making available even more of our abundant natural resources to allies and partners like Ukraine in the future to promote their own energy security through diversity of supply and source,” Perry said.

Ukraine has also turned to the European Union to divorce itself from Russian energy supplies.

In 2014, almost 100 percent of Ukraine’s natural gas supply came from Russia. Today, it all comes from the EU.

“Only three years ago resolute measures were taken. As a result, in 2016 and 2017 Ukraine did not consume Russian gas,” Poroshenko said in the online statement, adding: “Having carried out revolutionary measures, we buy all our gas in Europe today and do not let anyone blackmail Ukraine.”

Close Call

In February 2017, combined Russian-separatist forces shelled power lines supplying the Avdiivka Coke Plant in the front-line town of Avdiivka. The attack cut off all power to the facility.

All power and heating for Avdiivka and its 16,000 residents comes from the coke plant. And so, as temperatures plunged double digits below zero Celsius, Avdiivka went dark and cold. Poroshenko called the situation a “humanitarian disaster.”

It was not, however, a unique situation.

During 43 months of constant combat, combined Russian-separatist forces have often fired artillery and rockets at other power plants in the war zone. And Russian cyberattacks have repeatedly targeted Ukraine’s power grids well beyond the front lines—including in Kyiv.

Power lines leading to the combined Russian-separatist stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Collectively, these attacks underscore Russia’s strategy to target Ukraine’s energy economy and infrastructure with both conventional military attacks and cyberwarfare to exert diplomatic pressure on Kyiv.

Such attacks, when they affect the day-to-day lives of normal Ukrainians, play into Russia’s ultimate ambition in Ukraine, which is to delegitimize the ruling government and to spread chaos.

The energy economy has also become a domestic political liability for Kyiv.

Last winter, Ukrainian political activists and volunteer battalion soldiers established a rail blockade in eastern Ukraine, cutting off the shipment of goods from the separatist territories into the rest of the country, including coal deliveries.

The blocked coal shipments spurred an energy crisis in February that led lawmakers in Kyiv to declare a national state of emergency.

Piece of the Pie

In January 2009, Russia cut its gas exports to Europe through Ukraine, plunging the Continent into an energy crisis almost overnight. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was then Russia’s prime minister, ordered Russian energy company Gazprom to cut its exports through Ukrainian pipelines by about three-fifths. The move came amid one of the lowest recorded winter temperatures in London in a century, sparking fears of a sharp increase in oil and gas prices.

In 2014, the year Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and launched its proxy war in Ukraine’s coal-rich Donbas region, global oil prices fell from more than $100 a barrel to below $50 a barrel.

At that time, approximately 60 percent of Russia’s government revenue came from taxes on oil and gas exports. And about 80 percent of the gas Russia sent to Europe went through Ukraine’s pipelines.

In 2014, as the military conflict in the Donbas escalated, Russia and Ukraine were also locked in an energy dispute, with Russia threatening to cut off gas to Ukraine unless Kyiv recouped its debts to Moscow. In return, Kyiv threatened to block Russian oil and gas from reaching Europe.

Winter on the front lines in eastern Ukraine.

Last year, the Russian energy company Gazprom used Ukrainian pipelines to deliver about 46 percent of the gas it sent to Europe, according to Naftogaz, the national oil and gas company of Ukraine.

To bypass Ukraine, Russia is pushing to build the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany along a pre-existing pipeline route.

If realized, Nord Stream 2 would be an economic body blow to Ukraine.

“Nord Stream 2 would decrease gas transit through Ukraine and cost Ukraine up to $2.7 billion in lost revenues, or almost 3 percent of [gross domestic product] every year,” U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch said at an energy forum in Kyiv in October.

U.S. sanctions on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine have hindered financing for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The Russian oil company Gazprom has a majority-financing stake in the project.

Russia is also working on another route into Europe through Turkey and the Black Sea.


Control over hydrocarbon reserves in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov are another potential flashpoint for Russo-Ukrainian relations—which, some say, could escalate the simmering military conflict into a wider war.

In 2013, the year prior to the war, Ukrainian energy firms in Crimea extracted 1.651 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Ukraine’s Black Sea and Sea of Azov basins. That extraction rate was projected to increase to about 5 billion cubic meters annually—still only a fraction of what the region could potentially produce, according to a 2017 report by the National Institute for Strategic Studies of Ukraine.

Battle damage at a gas station in eastern Ukraine.

That was all lost when Russia invaded and seized Crimea in 2014. Additionally, Ukraine lost control of 10 stationary sea extraction platforms, four drilling rigs, 1,200 kilometers of pipelines, and 45 gas distribution stations.

Altogether, the loss of Crimea’s offshore energy extraction infrastructure cost the Ukrainian economy about $300 billion, the report said.

There are approximately 7 trillion cubic meters of methane hydrate deposits within Ukrainian waters in the Black Sea. And, according to a 2010 U.S. Geological Survey study, there are an estimated 218 million barrels of recoverable crude oil and 4,093 billion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas in the Sea of Azov, on which Russia and Ukraine both have coastlines.

“Competing energy claims in these areas might be a minor part of a new casus belli, but not the main ones,” Blank said. “The issue is Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity, not energy.”

Portrait of Nolan Peterson

Nolan Peterson

Nolan Peterson, a former special operations pilot and a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, is The Daily Signal’s foreign correspondent based in Ukraine. Send an email to Nolan. Twitter: @nolanwpeterson

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Energy Day: A New Analogy

Earlier this week I gave the keynote speech at Energy Day, the most significant annual energy event in Peru.

The event was hosted by the firm Laub & Quijandría, led by Anthony Laub. One of the highlights of my trip was meeting Anthony’s team before my speech and discussing The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels; they conveyed an understanding that the book’s method is even more distinctive and important than the book’s conclusion.

During the speech I made an analogy I’ve never made before. I thought you might enjoy it.

“The fossil fuel industry is the only industry in history that has figured out how to produce cheap, plentiful, reliable energy for billions of people. Even if there are costs, I think we should be really grateful to the people who’ve done this. I think it’s offensive that we say things like, ‘I hate fossil fuels.’

“I was flying in yesterday on Avianca, and it made me think: what if there had been someone on the plane who had said to the pilot, ‘You know what? I think what you do is evil,’ and they were wearing an ‘I hate pilots’ shirt, and they just spent their whole life denouncing pilots. What would you say to them if you were the pilot? You’d probably say, ‘Get off the damn plane.’ What kind of person takes advantage of this amazing human being that’s allowing him to fly, and then says, ‘I hate you, and I want to destroy you’?

“How is it any different to do that to the pilot than to do it to the person who fuels the plane or the person who created the fuel?

“There’s only one industry that allows us to fly. It’s the fossil fuel industry. We tell the industry, ‘Hey, we want to do the most amazing thing ever. We want to fly, so we can get from point A to point B really fast.’ Only one industry has raised its hand and said, ‘Yeah, we figured out a way to do that.’ Then we say, ‘We hate you. You’re horrible. The earth would be better off without you.’”

Earlier this week I told you about the online version of my course, “How to Have Constructive Conversations About Energy,” part of my brand new Energy Champion program. One of the things I’m most excited about is the live version of this course.

This is a one-day live training program, taught by me, where I will take your team through:

  • The positive impacts of fossil fuel use
  • The negative impacts of fossil fuel use
  • Energy policy
  • Having constructive conversations about fossil fuel use

This course was developed in consultation with training specialists and focus-group tested to ensure that companies get the best possible results. It also features some of the best material we’ve ever created:

  • High-quality videos and other visuals
  • Exercises that will help participants own the material
  • In-depth handbooks, handouts, and other material to maximize employee retention
  • Lifetime access to the online version of our “How to Have Constructive Conversations About Energy” course

If you’re interested, reply to this email and put “Energy Champion Live” in the subject line.

ALSO: Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help your organization turn non-supporters into supporters and turn supporters into champions.

1. Hire me to speak at your next event.

If you have an upcoming board meeting, employee town hall, or association meeting, I have some new and updated speeches about the moral case for fossil fuels, winning hearts and minds, and communications strategy in the new political climate. If you’d like to consider me for your event, just reply to this message and put “Event” in the subject line.

2. Fill out the free Constructive Conversation Scorecard to assess where you are and where you want to be in your one-on-one communications.

Email it back to me and I’ll send you my step-by-step Constructive Conversation System that will enable you to talk to anyone about energy.

3. Hold a Constructive Conversation workshop.

For the last two years I have been testing and refining an approach to one-on-one conversations that anybody can use. I call it the Constructive Conversation Formula. If you have between 5-20 people who interact frequently with stakeholders and want custom guidance on how to win hearts and minds, just reply to this email and put “Workshop” in the subject line.

PS: I got this feedback in response to a workshop I recently conducted: “It is very encouraging to receive useful tools to help us deal with all-too-common situations we find ourselves in that make us feel very uncomfortable and that we know are just not right…the Constructive Conversation Formula…is fantastic. Doing the role playing and providing examples was absolutely essential.”

New Ambassador Course: “How to Have Constructive Conversations About Energy” [Video]

I’m excited to announce that you can now sign up for my universal and comprehensive training program for employees in the moral case for fossil fuels and the art of constructive conversation. “How to Have Constructive Conversations About Energy” is the best method I know of for creating motivated, effective ambassadors.


Click on the image to see the Ambassador Course videos.

In this course, you’ll find:

  • The most effective energy ambassador material ever created
  • 20 slideshow video lessons, 7 animated video lessons, 50 email lessons
  • Quizzes with individualized feedback from me and other experts at the Center for Industrial Progress
  • Certification as an “Energy Champion Level 1” after completing the entire program

The program is available online and in-person. Visit the sign up page for more information including the full curriculum, pricing, and a sample video.

Sample video: 1.0 From frustrating fights to constructive conversations

1.0 From frustrating fights to constructive conversations from Alex Epstein on Vimeo

RELATED VIDEO: How to Talk to Anyone About Energy by Alex Epstein

My talk at Google on the Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had spoken at Google on the moral case for fossil fuels. My talk just went up on their YouTube​ page! You can watch it here.

If you watch it and like it I hope you click thumbs up and make a comment. It would be really cool to get this video to ascend the ranks of the Google Author talks

Thanks again to Dan Hackney for getting me the invite.

Two Great Videos from Kansas Strong

Recently, I received the following note from Warren Martin, Executive Director of Kansas Strong, “a nonprofit organization voluntarily funded by oil and natural gas producers in Kansas” that “works to educate and inform people about the important role our industry plays in their live.”:

“As a philosophy graduate myself, I found Alex Epstein’s book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels very compelling and informative. His book and additional resources have played a major role in my efforts with Kansas Strong to promote the Kansas oil & gas industry. Alex’s perspective, initiatives and data have been a tremendous asset in our efforts to reframe the issue and emphasize the importance oil and natural gas have on our day to day lives. We have developed videos, articles, print campaigns and keynote presentations that delve into the everyday lives of everyday people to show how vital oil and natural gas is to how they live. It is far more than the price at the pump. It enables people to maximize their lives. Whether you look at life expectancy, infant birth rates, quality of life or numerous other data points, oil and natural gas have played a major role in improving our lives and enabling, as Alex says, ‘human flourishing.’ Alex’s work has proven to be an extraordinary resource for our efforts to engage the public in creative ways to begin conversations, facilitate education and challenge misconceptions about the industry!” -Warren Martin

Kansas Strong has done an outstanding job of putting these ideas into practice in two of their recent videos.

In this video, they take the moral high ground on environmental issues, pointing out that “the issue is not a choice between the environment and the industry. Nor is it about protecting the environment from the industry. The real issue we should be discussion is how is the oil and gas industry working to create the best environment for humanity?”

One of the tactics I use to get people to appreciate the vital importance of fossil fuels is I take them on an “oil walk,” where I go step-by-step through their day, pointing to all of the things in their lives made from petroleum. This video does a great job of visualizing the omnipresence of oil products, ending with the tagline “Petroleum. It’s Part of Everything We Do.”

I hope you watch both videos. This is the sort of impactful content that’s possible when you learn how to reframe the debate in pro-human, whole-picture terms. I’m excited to see much more of this kind of messaging from the industry in the future.

ALSO: Whenever you’re ready,here are 3 ways I can help your organization turn non-supporters into supporters and turn supporters into champions.

1. Hire me to speak at your next event.

If you have an upcoming board meeting, employee town hall, or association meeting, I have some new and updated speeches about the moral case for fossil fuels, winning hearts and minds, and communications strategy in the new political climate.

If you’d like to consider me for your event, just reply to this message and put “Event” in the subject line.

2. Hold a free Lunch-and-Learn (inside or outside the industry).

This program contains one of my favorite debates along with some “cheat sheets” to help you make the moral case for fossil fuels in your professional and personal life more easily than you thought possible. You can have access to the entire program right now. By the end of the session you and your team will:

  • gain a deeper sense of meaning from their work
  • be able to turn fossil fuel skeptics into fossil fuel supporters
  • learn the secrets to having constructive conversations about energy instead of frustrating fights

Click here to sign up for the free program.

3. Fill out the free Constructive Conversation Scorecard to assess where you are and where you want to be in your one-on-one communications.

Email it back to me and I’ll send you my step-by-step Constructive Conversation System that will enable you to talk to anyone about energy.

Three years to save the Earth? [This time]

Former UN top climate official Christiana Figueres just told the world we only have “three years” to save the planet … and all it will cost is $1.5 trillion per year.

Gee, guess we should hurry and jump on that deal … not.

Call us suspicious, but this is the same Figueres who infamously in 2015 announced the UN’s intention to replace free-market capitalism with bureaucratic control saying:

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”

That Figueres would now make such a doomsday prediction and then ask for such large sums of money, especially in light of her ambitious stated goal to control and direct the economic path of the whole earth, should be enough to make anyone roll their eyes.

But not so with Fake News media. They eat this all up.

If they bothered to look, they’d see there’s a long history of these so-called climate “tipping points” made by alarmists – all of which harmlessly passed without incident.

For those of us old enough to remember, the UN announced a 10-year tipping point way back in 1982, and then did so again in 1989. In both cases, these dates passed without any of the predicted doom-and-gloom taking place.

In 2006 Al Gore told us in An Inconvenient Truth the Arctic would be ice-free by 2014. He gave the planet only 10 years to escape before what, as Jim Morrison of TheDoorsmight say, would be “The End.”

Not surprisingly, as CFACT’s undercover film review operative found out at the Sundance Film festival earlier this year, Al doesn’t like it much if you ask him today how we survived.

Of course there’s more.

In 2008, ABC’s Bob Woodruff hosted a program where scientists told us that agriculture would collapse by “2015,” that a carton of milk would be $12.99, a gallon of gas $9 and large portions of NYC would be underwater.

And in 2009, Prince Charles declared we only had 96 months to save the Earth.  That same year NASA’s James Hansen said we only had until the end of President Obama’s first term, though U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said we only had 50 days until the global warming apocalypse took place.

It goes on and on.

You’d think the embarrassment of potentially being labeled “false prophets” would make them, well, shut up. But no, the soothsaying doesn’t stop. It just gets more insane.

Marc Morano does a great job of keeping track of all the climate tipping points that came and went at CFACT’s Climate Depot.

Our advice: If warming campaigners want to keep doing this Nostradamus gig, perhaps they should at least wait until they get one of their prophecies right before demanding a $1.5 trillion ransom.

RELATED ARTICLE: Don’t Believe the Hysteria Over Carbon Dioxide

EDITORS NOTE: Read the facts at

Eco-Summit 2017: The future belongs to the ‘Skeptics’

In a recent interview, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” predicted climate science will advance once so-called “climate deniers” die out.

Nye may be convinced younger generations will grow up sold on alarmist lies, but the remarkable student leaders I met at CFACT’s 14th annual Eco-Summit last week beg to differ!

These collegiates from all across the country just finished attending CFACT’s “eco-summit” leadership conference in Baltimore, Maryland, and are now getting ready to return to their campuses fully equipped to battle radical Greens and climate alarmists.

“This was one of the most informative and engaging conferences I’ve ever been to,” said Marcus Swentkofske, a senior at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. “The global warming narrative is all about government control. It reminds me of The Road to Serfdom by Hayek.”

Hailing from California, Washington State, Nevada, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey, these young leaders are certain to have an incredible impact on their peers when they return to their campuses this fall.

The speakers they heard from at the Eco-Summit were impressive, and certainly gave them much ammunition.

Marc Morano addressed the long history of climate change hysteria, while CFACT policy expert Paul Driessen spoke about the harmful effects Green policies have on the developing world.

Property rights advocate Martha Boneta and leading scientist Dr. Kelvin Kemm from South Africa spoke respectively about protecting farmers and the benefits of the free market in animal conservation.

CFACT president David Rothbard also presented our organization’s vision to the students, notably highlighting the Committee’s “Adopt a Village” work in the developing world.

“I loved hearing about the mission of CFACT and how fighting climate alarmism fits into the goal of uplifting the poor,” said Maya Maley of Azusa Pacific University in California. “This is a message I can take back to my campus where many students care about helping the least fortunate around the world.”

The summit wasn’t all hard work though. Students attended a Baltimore Orioles game and went to dinner on the beautiful Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore, giving them the opportunity to network and grow friendships that will last beyond the conference.

Christian Spears, a sophomore at Seattle University, was fired up to bring what he learned back to campus. “We’ve planned out our club agenda for the coming year and are really excited to work more with CFACT, especially after the summit!”

I was impressed by the questions, enthusiasm, and genuine interest that our student leaders exhibited at the Eco-Summit. These collegians are brave, sometimes risking their reputations and grades on “politically correct” campuses to publicly fight for the truth.

I know you will join me in applauding their tenacity and expectantly waiting to see what they can achieve on campus this coming academic year.

The Fossil Fuel Industry’s Millennial Problem — and How to Solve It

Today I am releasing a new whitepaper on the challenges the fossil fuel industry faces with its millennial workers.
Here’s a summary.

  • Millennial workers are the future of the fossil fuel industry, and they are extremely concerned with the moral meaning of their work.
  • Unfortunately for the industry, these millennials have been exposed to hundreds of hours of claims that their work is immoral because it is destroying the planet.
  • While many companies are ignoring this challenge and others regard it as insurmountable, in my experience it is possible to overcome the “moral case against fossil fuels” and turn non-supporters into supporters.
  • The key to turning non-supporters into supporters is to reframe moral conversations about the industry in pro-human, whole-picture terms.
  • Companies that give employees a thorough pro-human, whole-picture education about their impact on human flourishing will see tremendous increases in motivation and desire to become “ambassadors” who champion the industry and its freedom.
  • Companies that also give employees an education in reframing energy conversations will see a tremendous increase in the effectiveness of their ambassadors.
  • Given that these forms of education are now freely available, every company should seriously consider offering them to their employees—especially to the millennial leaders of the future.

I hope you’ll read the article.

If you are interested in using my curriculum (including a freely available version of it) to empower your team, you can contact me at or go to the website for more information.

Discussing fossil fuels with The Disgruntled Millennial

I recently appeared on “The Disgruntled Millennial,” a podcast aimed at conservative millennials, for a really interesting, in-depth discussion of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. The hour-long interview covers a lot of territory and includes a number of points I haven’t made elsewhere. You can listen to it here.

COMING NEXT WEEK: My response to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel

ALSO: Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help your organization turn non-supporters into supporters and turn supporters into champions.

1. Fill out the free Constructive Conversation Scorecard to assess where you are and where you want to be in your one-on-one communications.

Email it back to me and I’ll send you my step-by-step Constructive Conversation System that will enable you to talk to anyone about energy.

2. Hold a free Lunch-and-Learn (inside or outside the industry).

This program contains one of my favorite debates along with some “cheat sheets” to help you make the moral case for fossil fuels in your professional and personal life more easily than you thought possible. You can have access to the entire program right now. By the end of the session you and your team will:

  • gain a deeper sense of meaning from their work
  • be able to turn fossil fuel skeptics into fossil fuel supporters
  • learn the secrets to having constructive conversations about energy instead of frustrating fights

3. Hire me to speak at your next event.

If you have an upcoming board meeting, employee town hall, or association meeting, I have some new and updated speeches about the moral case for fossil fuels, winning hearts and minds, and communications strategy in the new political climate.

Coal got knocked out in California, now natural gas is on the ropes…

Donald Trump’s election sent shock waves through the American liberal, progressive (code for European Socialists), and global Elite fraternities. Within days of Mr. Trump’s election a concerted, well organized and funded assault began to render Mr. Trump and his administration ineffective, and even impotent to change the Socialist Agenda seductively introduced since Bush, Sr. took the reins from Ronald Reagan. The percolating socialist/Marxist minions of the Democrat Party have boiled over into a spectacle of considerable venomous hatred since the national elections this past November. No longer even maintaining an appearance of civility, the progressives across America are in full speed ahead mode implementing their agenda; which agenda, is not remotely similar to the beliefs and values of the America many of us have known and loved. The State of California is such an example.

Over the past five months, I have been involved with multiple and complicated dimensions intrinsic to the energy industry; not on the technical side, but bringing together elected and appointed officials, as well as First Nation leaders – all with a common purpose: Save the economies, employment, community fabric, and energy production across the western states. The bullseye is the Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona. The environmental cabal targeted the largest coal-fired energy producing plant west of the Mississippi for a total shutdown. Upon closure…five additional plants in Arizona, and then across seven western states are targeted for quick shuttering. The mantra is the same from east coast to west; “coal is bad…coal is a severe pollutant…coal is criminal.”

The answer according to whacked-out environmental ideologues is natural gas, and throw in some solar for good measure. Do NOT concern yourself with the falsehoods of such reason and language just do it, and do it now! This is part of the movement to collapse America’s economy and relocate Americans. These well-funded and rabid environmentalists seek elected officials of the same mind-set to process their agenda through legislation and the governmental system. Do NOT confuse me with the facts of true science and double blind studies, simply listen to my rage and see my tears, and then do it!! Shut down the mines, the coal fired energy producing plants, and all other facets of conventional energy production. These same near out-of-control ideologues shout, “We want gas…we want natural gas…throw in some solar and wind power, and enjoy what we have created!”

Well…look at what now has emerged in California. This is not a laughing matter; although, some of the protesters are quite a site. California elected officials are following a socialist/Marxist script in so very many ways running that once magnificent state into the abyss. Shutting down energy production is one more example of the out-of-control, ideologue only focus, and lack of reasoning people who have gotten their hands on the levers of power.

Pray President Trump is successful returning America to her foundational beliefs and principles. Pray he is able to ride the political storms and withstand the character assassination diatribes, and help make America Great Again! The alternative is way too unimaginable, and we were well on our way to the abyss as a nation, as a people.

Coal got knocked out in Calif. Now, gas is on the ropes

Debra Kahn, E&E News reporter

Energywire: Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A wave of regulatory reconsiderations of natural gas-fired power plants in California has renewables advocates cheering.

The state’s grid operator is expected to release a study next month on whether the Puente Power Project, a gas-fired plant planned for the Southern California coast 60 miles west of Los Angeles, might be supplanted by solar panels, energy storage or demand response.

The California Public Utilities Commission approved Southern California Edison’s contract with NRG Energy Inc. to build the 262-megawatt plant in June 2016 as a replacement for a larger plant on the same site. The Puente plant fit into the state’s goal to boost renewables to 50 percent; as a fast-ramping facility, it could smooth out intermittent wind and solar power, which has a tendency to produce choppy resources.

Now, as politicians are considering moving to 100 percent “zero-carbon” resources by 2045 — as a bill being considered this week in the state Legislature would do — regulators are tapping the brakes on Puente and a number of other gas-fired plants planned for the Southern California region.

Since the state has no coal-fired plants and is already planning on shutting down its remaining nuclear plant, natural gas is the next resource in line to be phased out in favor of renewables.

“In general, it’s going to be renewables in, gas out, so you’ve got that sort of long, slow good-night of lots of gas,” said Jim Caldwell, a senior technical consultant with the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, a Sacramento think tank that has been advocating for regulators to reconsider their grid policies to better account for renewables and climate change. “We think Puente is right at the tip of that spear. … The gas industry and the gas generation industry is facing a big problem, and they know it.”

Read more.

President Trump Proposes Solar Panels on Top of Border Wall — Greenpeace and Sierra Club outraged!

President Donald Trump tells supporters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that he is considering mounting photovoltaic panels atop his proposed Mexican border wall would allow the project to pay for itself.

President Trump stated, “We’re thinking of something that’s unique, we’re talking about the southern border, lots of sun, lots of heat. We’re thinking about building the wall as a solar wall, so it creates energy and pays for itself. And this way, Mexico will have to pay much less money.”

If approved this would be the largest alternative energy project in the world. But wait…

You would think that organizations who favor alternative power sources such as solar panels and wind power would be pleased with this unique and innovative idea. You would think that they would encourage companies to bid on the Department of Homeland Security contract to build the wall and give those living along both sides of the wall access to renewable energy. Well you would be wrong.

Proposed section of green border wall with solar panels submitted by Thomas Gleason, a Las Vegas construction materials supplier.

In The Daily Signal article titled How Environmental Groups Are Responding to Trump’s ‘Solar Wall’ Pitch Fred Lucas reports:

President Donald Trump’s idea of putting solar panels on his long-promised border wall hasn’t gained a lot of support among top environmental lobbying groups—even though the organizations have long backed solar power as a key renewable energy.

“The problem with talking about solar panels on Trump’s border wall is that it’s science fiction,” Travis Nichols, a spokesman for Greenpeace, a liberal environmentalist group, told The Daily Signal. “Just like clean coal does not exist and will never exist, Trump’s wall with solar panels won’t exist, so it’s irrelevant to discuss climate issues.”

A spokesman with the Sierra Club referred to a tweet storm by the Sierra Club executive director, Michael Brune, reacting to Trump’s proposal for solar panels on the border wall.

Read more.

If solar panels on the border wall is “science fiction” then isn’t the same true for all uses of solar panels?

Here’s a discussion on President Trump’s new green border wall with solar panels designed by Thomas Gleason. He is a construction materials supplier up in North Las Vegas. He says he has submitted a bid for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico.:

President Trump is a builder and entrepreneur. He also keeps his promises. Building the wall is one of those promises. Time for environmentalists and Democrats to jump at this chance to build some big and bold. As President Trump has said, “If your going to think might as well think big.”

It appears those opposing this unique opportunity are small thinkers, or maybe politically motivated?


Lawmakers Cite Evidence Russia ‘Colluded’ With U.S. Green Groups to Block Fracking

Homeland Security Will Start Building Border Wall Prototypes This Summer

GOP Senator Proposes Transferring Sanctuary Cities’ Federal Funds to Border Wall Budget

Pittsburgh Not Paris: And That’s The Way We Like It

President Donald Trump withdrew from Obama’s anti-American Paris Climate Agreement saying, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” 

The Paris Accord was one of many anti-American agreements made by the most lawless anti-American president ever to hold office.

Obama is a Globalist whose “hope and change” for America was/is the destruction of American democracy and sovereignty in favor of socialism and internationalism.

Oama’s anti-American Paris agreement was another attempt to internalize laws in preparation for an internationalized world and imposition of one-world government ruled by the globalist elite. Obama joined the Paris Agreement in 2016 without Senate approval, pledging to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) explains,

“The Agreement endangers America’s capacity for self-government. . .It empowers one administration to make  legislative commitments for decades to come, without congressional authorization, and regardless of the outcome of future elections.” 

Of course it does. That was Obama’s purpose and was his intention for his globalist legacy Hillary Clinton. The unexpected defeat of Hillary Clinton threw Obama’s eight year Globalist march into disarray. No matter. True to his radical Leftist training, Obama followed mentor Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and reconstituted himself as the leader of the “resistance” movement to overthrow our Constitutionally elected President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump is an unapologetic America-first nationalist and the single greatest obstacle to one-world government in the world today. In spite of intense lobbying efforts from globalist corporations, globalist green lobbyists, globalist U.N. bureaucrats, infamous globalists like Al Gore, and even some family members, Trump recognized the Paris Accord as a very bad deal for American sovereignty and jobs and he kept his campaign promise to withdraw.

Staying in a bad deal for “diplomatic” reasons is absurd. Donald Trump was elected precisely because he does not play diplomatic political games. Trump is an anomaly in politics because he actually means and does what he says.

Surrendering control of the Internet to the United Nations was another one of Obama’s anti-American effort to internalize laws in preparation for an internationalized world and imposition of one-world government ruled by the globalist elite. 

The Obama administration surrendered American control of the internet to Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) without getting Congress approval, another example of Obama executive overreach. Assigned names and numbers refers to the Domain Name System (DNS) on the Internet which is how a specific web address, the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), connects to the correct server and opens a specific website. All of the information including names, numbers, and any other data that DNS needs to do get to the specific website is stored in one central file known an the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

Before the surrender ICANN’s function was to oversee how web addresses on the Internet were passed out and to regulate the IANA. Now, ICANN formally owns the IANA. It is not difficult to see how internationalizing the operation of the Internet could be used to help the globalist elites impose one-world government by manipulating information or access to information worldwide.

Obama surrendered United States technical management of the Internet to ICANN which is a global organization of governments around the world. ICANN includes a Government Advisory, which has representation from 111 states around the world, including 108 UN members and the Holy See, the Cook Islands and Taiwan. Many of these governments are anti-American and pro-globalism.

In the sixties Americans openly criticized Communist countries for propagandizing their citizens with exclusively government controlled information – we prided ourselves on our freedom of speech and open access to information. In the 21st century after 9/11 Americans openly criticized Islamic countries for propagandizing their citizens with exclusively government controlled information – we prided ourselves on our freedom of speech and open access to information. Obama’s surrender of Internet control to ICANN makes it possible for the United States to lose our freedom of speech on the Internet – Obama sacrificed American interests to the international community he supports.

Ted Cruz has argued that online freedom is now in jeopardy and that authoritarian governments who are members of ICANN can inhibit freedom of speech on the Internet. Cruz observes, “foreign governments and global corporations will have an increased voice within ICANN moving forward,” which can allow them to censor speech.

It is no surprise that the giant globalized technology companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Cloudflare and Yahoo all support a more globally controlled Internet – of course they do. These giant corporations are run by Globalists whose businesses are global and whose self-interest is in internationalizing the world for greater profits and marketshare. They are using a business profit prism not a human rights prism for policy decisions even though their owners talk of humanitarianism, altruism, social justice, and income equality.

There must be no confusion between global trade and Globalism. Global trade is simply the sale of goods around the world between nations. Global trade can be fair or unfair among nations. If the New World Order of one-world government is imposed then global trade will be a meaningless concept because there will be only one nation, one marketplace, and one government.

Globalism and the New World Order has been romanticized and dishonestly marketed as the international system that will provide the world with income equality and social justice. Songs have been written about Globalism. John Lennon’s “Imagine” is the globalist anthem. Consider its lyrics:


John Lennon

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Lennon’s lyrics clearly describe a Utopian New World Order of peace and harmony. So far so good. The problem with Lennon’s dreamscape as the anthem for Globalism  is that it has no relationship to objective reality. The essential quality of dreams is that they are not encumbered by time, space, gravity, people, or any other consideration in objective reality. Dreams are the epitome of subjective reality.

In objective reality all groups large and small have some organizing principle. Families, communities, states, countries – the larger the group the more important the organizing principle becomes.

Lennon’s dreamscape is not encumbered by an organizing principle even though the world is the largest conceivable group. The New World Order most definitely has an organizing principle even if John Lennon does not sing about it. The left-wing liberals singing John Lennon’s song are imagining their own personal dreams of one internationalized world at peace in harmony with all people of the world equal in every way. The problem is their imagined universe has nothing whatsoever to do with the reality of one-world government imagined and described in unapologetic chilling detail by elitist aristocrat Lord Bertrand Russell in his 1952 book The Impact of Science on Society.

Russell’s one-world government is a binary socio-political system of the ruling few and the enslaved population whop serve them. The left-wing liberals, progressives, and anarchists lobbying for Globalism are the useful idiots unwittingly advocating for the regressive return to a master/slave society of tyranny.

Globalism is a very old song being sung anew by the naive Left and the laughing globalist elite who have successfully duped them.

Americans who wish to preserve their national sovereignty and individual freedoms understand Pittsburgh is the priority not Paris – and that’s the way we like it!


Trump Withdraws U.S. from Paris Climate Accord

Trump’s EPA Chief Backs Approach to Science That Could Upend the Global Warming ‘Consensus’

The Global Warming-Climate Change Scam: One of the Great Soviet/Russian Deceptions

EDITORS NOTE: Here is KC & The Sunshine Band singing their 1975 hit single That’s The Way (I Like It):

Energy & Environmental News – 6/12/17

The newest edition of the Energy and Environmental Newsletter is now online.

Despite all the news you’ve heard over the last few weeks, you’re probably unaware of one of the most significant national developments. Last week Texas (the most wind friendly state in the US) signed into law a bill that effectively prohibits wind projects from being closer than 30± miles to a military facility. (See this and this.) This law should give encouragement to similar federal legislation, as well as military-protective measures in NY and NC.

You’ve also heard a lot about the US bowing out of the Paris Agreement — most of which is rather irrational. The Newsletter has a special section on worthwhile articles (like here) on this important international topic.

Some of the more interesting Global Warming articles in this issue are:

“Climate Change” used to Create Totalitarian State

Anatomy of a Deep State

Renounce Climate Alarmism

Can we discuss the climate without the hysteria?

Lindzen: In the future, people will marvel how hysterical mankind has been

CO2 Can’t Cause the Warming Alarmists Claim it Does

CO2 Facts vs Alternative Facts

58 New Papers Invalidate Claims Of Unprecedented Modern Global Warming

mgh, Not Greenhouse Gases, Provides a Warm Earth

Some of the more informative energy articles in this issue are:

The Princess and the Pea

Human Health, Rights and Wind Turbine Deployment

A startling case of two schools in proximity to wind turbines

Wind company dealt blow by Indiana Supreme Court

Why There’s No Such Thing As a Free Market for Electricity

Offshore Wind Turbines Blamed For Killing Family Of Whales

The Private Benefit of Carbon and its Social Cost

Scientific Peer-Review is a Deeply Tainted System

PS: Our intention is to put some balance into what most people see from the mainstream media about energy and environmental issues. As always, please pass this on to open-minded citizens, and on your social media sites. If there are others who you think would benefit from being on our energy & environmental email list, please let me know. If at any time you’d like to be taken off the list, simply send me an email saying that.

PPS: I am not an attorney, so no material appearing in any of the Newsletters (or our website) should be construed as giving legal advice. My recommendation has always been: consult a competent attorney when you are involved with legal issues.

The Amazing Arrogance of the Paris Climate Agreement by Jeffrey A. Tucker

It was December 12, 2015, when headlines in the world’s leading newspapers, in implausibly bold type, celebrated the “historic” agreement in Paris between all nations of the world to curb carbon emissions and thereby stop climate change: or so they said, as if elites get to say what is and is not historic.

The spin, like the agreement itself, was crammed down our throats.

I read the stories that day, and the next and the next, and the continuing coverage for weeks that nearly every reader – apart from a few dedicated activists and permanent regime bureaucrats – ignored. The stories appeared on the international pages and didn’t touch the business pages. Energy stocks weren’t affected in the slightest.The stories had all the signs of dutiful public service announcements – “fake news,” as they say today – and they contained not a single quote from a single dissenting voice, because, of course, no respectable news outlet would give voice to “climate deniers.”


Let me pause to protest this “denial” language. It attempts to appropriate the widely shared disgust toward “Holocaust denial,” a bizarre and bedraggled movement that belittles or even dismisses the actual history of one of the 20th century’s most egregious mass crimes against human rights and dignity. Using that language to silence questions about an attempt to centrally plan the energy sector is a moral low that debases the language of denial.

This rhetorical trick reveals all you need to know about the desperate manipulation the climate planners are willing to engage in to realize their plot regardless of popular and justified skepticism concerning their regulatory and redistributionist policies.

And what are the specifics of that agenda? The Paris Agreement is a “voluntary” agreement because its architects knew it would never pass the US Senate as a treaty. Why? Because the idea of the agreement is that the US government’s regulatory agencies would impose extreme mandates on its energy sector: how it should work, what kinds of emissions it should produce, the best ways to power our lives (read: not fossil fuels), and hand over to developing world regimes billions and even trillions of dollars in aid, a direct and ongoing forcible transfer of wealth from American taxpayers to regimes all over the world, at the expense of American freedom and prosperity.

And you wonder why many people have doubts about it.

The Trumpist Reaction

Consider what else was going on December 12, 2015. Donald Trump was in the midst of a big battle for the Republican nomination. He started with 16 challengers to beat. He was widely considered to be a clownish candidate, a guy in it just to get press attention to build his business brand. Surely the American system of electoral politics, largely but imperfectly managed by responsible elites, would resist such demagogues. Besides, the media that trumpeted the Paris Agreement would be on hand to shame anyone who supported him. He couldn’t win.

The press mostly pretended that he wasn’t happening. The Huffington Post put coverage of his campaign in the humor section.

And so President Obama came home from the Paris meetings to the acclaim of all the right people. He alone had made the responsible choice on behalf of the entire country: every business, every worker, every consumer, every single person living within these borders who uses some measure of this thing we call energy. He would be our master and commander, ruling on our behalf, fresh off cocktail parties in Paris where the best and brightest – armed with briefcases full of government-funded science – decided to give the Industrial Revolution its final comeuppance.The exuberant spokespeople talked about how “the United States” had “agreed” to “curb its emissions” and “fund” the building of fossil-free sectors all over the world. It was strange because the “United States” had not in fact agreed to anything: not a single voter, worker, owner, or citizen. Not even the House or Senate were involved. This was entirely an elite undertaking to manage property they did not own and lives that were not theirs to control.

The Backlash

And then Trump spoke. He said that this Paris bit was a bad deal for Americans. We are already in a slow-growth economy. Now these global elites, without a vote from Congress, are presuming to mandate massive controls over the economy, hampering its productive sector which benefits everyone and transferring countless billions of dollars out of the country, with the acquiescence of the party in power.

He spoke about this in a way that bested all his opponents. The entire scenario fed his America First worldview, that the global elites were operating as parasites on American prosperity and sovereignty. His answer was to put up the wall: to immigrants, to trade, to global managerial elites, and reclaim American sovereignty from people who were selling it out. It was another flavor of statism (globalism and nativism are two sides of the same coin), but it tapped into that populist vein of the voting public that looks for a patriotic strongman to save them from a distant ruling class.Everything about the Paris Agreement seemed structured to play into Trump’s narrative of how the world had gone mad. And then he won the nomination. Then he won the presidency. None of this was supposed to happen. It wasn’t part of the plan. History took a different course from what the power elite demanded and expected to happen. Not for the first time.

How Dare Anyone Dispute Our Plans?

But the “globalists” of the type that tried to make Paris work have a stunning lack of self-awareness. They pretend to be oblivious to the populist resentment they breed. They act as if there is not a single legitimate doubt about the problem, their analysis of cause and effect, the discernment of their selected experts, or their proposed coercive solution. And there certainly isn’t a doubt that their mighty combination of power, resources, and intelligence can cause all the forces in the universe to adapt to their will, including even the climate that King Canute himself said could not be controlled by kings and princes.

As with countless other statist plans over the last hundred years, they figured that it was enough to gather all the right people in one room, agree to a wish list, sign a few documents, and then watch the course of history conform to their wishes.The Paris Agreement is no different in its epistemological conceit than Obamacare, the war on drugs, nation-building, universal schooling, or socialism itself. They are all attempts to subvert the capacity of society to manage itself on behalf of the deluded dreams of a few people with power and their lust for controlling social and economic outcomes.

Rejecting Elite Politics

How far are the Democrats from recognizing what they have done? Very, very far. John C. Williams, writing in the New York Times, has decried the “The Dumb Politics of Elite Condescension”:

“As a progressive, I am committed to social equality – not just for some groups, but for all groups… Everyone should have access to good housing and good jobs. That’s the point… Too often in otherwise polite society, elites (progressives emphatically included) unselfconsciously belittle working-class whites. Democrats should stop insulting people.”

That would be a good start. But it is not only about rhetoric. Policy preferences have to change. A global agreement that somehow binds entire countries to centrally plan and regulate the whole of a crucial sector of economic life that supports all economic advances of our time – at the very time when the energy sector is innovating its own solutions to carbon emissions in the cheapest possible way –  is certainly going to breed resentment, and for good reason. It is a bad and unworkable idea.

Continued reliance on undemocratic, uneconomic, imposed strategies such as the Paris Agreement will only further feed the populist revolt that could end in the worst possible policy combinations of strong-man nationalism, nativism, protectionism, closed borders, and backwards thinking in general. No good can come from this. The backlash against globalism can be as dangerous as globalism itself.You might think that the election of Trump would offer some lessons. But that is not the way the arrogant minds behind the climate agreement work. They respond by merely doubling down on disdain, intensifying their commitments to each other, heaping more loathing on the workers and peasants who have their doubts about these deals.

Trump and his ilk abroad, backed by voting masses with pitchforks and torches – and not a managed transition from fossil fuels to clean energy – are their creation.

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education. He is also Chief Liberty Officer and founder of, Distinguished Honorary Member of Mises Brazil, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, and author of five books. He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles appearing in the scholarly and popular press.

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