Entries by Alex Epstein

Protecting environmental quality

Last time we saw how technology allows us to use more fossil fuels and have a cleaner environment. Now let’s turn to the role of laws in protecting and improving environmental quality. The importance of thresholds One of the motivators of the technology improving environmental quality is having laws that protect individuals from having their […]

More fossil fuels, a cleaner environment

It is certainly true that fossil fuel use can cause significant harm to environmental quality, but as you can see from this chart, as fossil fuel use has gone up in the US, concentrations of air pollutants have gone down, which contradicts the catastrophic pollution narrative. We can use more fossil fuels and have a […]

The 3 Concerns About Fossil Fuels

As we learned last time, the three alleged unique risks of fossil fuels are: catastrophic resource depletion catastrophic pollution catastrophic climate change In this column I want to briefly elaborate on each of those potential risks. The catastrophic resource depletion argument This argument claims that because fossil fuels are nonrenewable, because they don’t replenish automatically […]

What about the risks?

In the next few columns we will be looking at concerns about the fossil fuel industry and how to discuss those concerns. A quick review So far we’ve discussed the unique benefits of using fossil fuels. The big idea there was that the fossil fuel industry produces cheap, plentiful, reliable energy on a scale that […]

Oil is everywhere

On top of the many benefits that fossils fuels provide, including the ability to use machines to amplify our productivity and improve our lives and the ability to provide cheap, plentiful, and reliable energy on a scale of billions, we have yet another set of benefits. Our hydrocarbon world Using oil and gas, the hydrocarbon […]

What are fossil fuels?

The hydrocarbon industry has developed a highly resource efficient process to find, extract and harness a naturally concentrated, plentiful and stored source of energy. It’s the only industry that has come up with a process that is cheap, plentiful and reliable. To understand why that is, it’s important to understand what fossil fuels are and […]

The greatest energy technology of all time

Earlier we discussed that for energy to be useful, it must be cheap, plentiful, and reliable, and to be cheap, plentiful, and reliable, every element of the process to create energy must also be cheap, plentiful, and reliable. We saw how this can be difficult to achieve with some alternative energy sources, such as solar. […]

VIDEO: Steven Pinker’s Un-Enlightened Writing on Climate and Energy

I am generally very excited about Steven Pinker’s new book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. Unfortunately, the book’s treatment of climate and energy is deeply problematic. A few nights ago I recorded a 20 minute analysis [BELOW] of the climate section of the book. You don’t need a copy of the book to follow […]