Thursday, September 8, 2016

Epstein-Negin 'Debate' Exposes Cowardice and Hypocrisy of Fossil Fuels’ Enemies

Below is an excerpt from "Why We Need to Stop Burning Fossil Fuels" By Elliott Negin, from the Bloomberg article Fossil fuels find a friend in Barack Obama. Negin’s article is a response to Alex Epstein’s article “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” in the section titled “Up for Debate.”  

On this exchange, Epstein wrote:

It wasn’t exactly a debate, in part because there was only one presentation by each side, and the other participant was given a chance to see my argument in advance and not vice-versa--but this has an unexpected benefit: I think it illustrates that the big-picture, pro-human framework of The Moral Case is effective even in adverse circumstances because it cements a proper method for which to conduct the discussion. Notice that my opponent, who works for the Union of Concerned Scientists, the rabidly anti-nuclear group that branched into anti-fossil fuel (and anti-any practical technology) activism, has to commit numerous fallacies, misrepresent what I said, etc to be even semi-plausible.

You can read both articles in full here by scrolling down toward the bottom.

I found the concluding paragraph of Negin’s one-sided arguments very telling:

The fact is, we have the technology today to dramatically curb carbon emissions. What we need is political will, which all too often is undermined by undue fossil fuel industry influence. Finally, Epstein has the nerve to wrap his argument in the mantle of morality. Please. Would it be ethical to condemn future generations to the worst possible consequences of climate change when we have the means to mitigate them? And given the disingenuous claims Epstein makes in his column, I also would argue it is unethical for a reputable news organization to publish it. It is long past time the news media stopped indulging climate science deniers and focused on solutions to what is arguably the biggest crisis facing mankind. We don’t have time to waste.

I emphasized those two passages because of what they say about the climate catastrophist/anti-fossil fuel movement. Let’s take them in turn.

"What we need is political will."

“Political will” means force. Why does the “green energy” industry need the government’s guns, in the forms of regulations, mandates, subsidies, and various “incentives,” to force us away from fossil fuels and into solar and wind? Digital photography didn’t need government help to overtake once-dominant film photography. The whole history of free markets is a history of superior technologies overtaking entrenched older technologies. If “green energy” is a superior energy technology in economical and reliability terms, why not rely on the free market? Because they know that their green technology as a means of reliably supplying the energy vital to human life is crap and that, left free, people would continue to choose reliable, affordable fossil fuels.

"It is long past time the news media stopped indulging climate science deniers."

Demonizing, ridiculing, and silencing the opposition is a growing tactic of the “green energy” movement (e.g., see here and here). Why does the climate catastrophist/anti-fossil fuel movement need to silence the opposition? Because they know their case is crap and they can’t refute Epstein’s moral case. What cowards.

The climate catastrophist/anti-fossil fuel movement has no confidence it can win in a free marketplace for energy or in the free marketplace for ideas. That says it all.

And notice the complaint about the alleged “undue fossil fuel industry influence.” What about the influence of the fossil fuel industry’s environmentalist enemies? Apparently, only people who agree with Elliott Negin and his Union of Concerned Scientists have a right “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” What hypocrites.

Related Reading:

Ad Hominem No Substitute for Reasoned Criticism


Mike Kevitt said...

But the 'green movement' might answer this way: "Our technology is superior, but, in the market, people need time to discover that. We don't have time. Climate change, and catastrophe, won't wait. So we need gvt. force to hurry things along before it's too late. Later on, when people finally see its superiority, they'll be glad it was rammed down their throats.

Michael A. LaFerrara said...

First, there's no evidence to back up climate catastrophism (defined as catastrophic for humans).
Second, the reliable energy industries (fossil, nuclear, hydro) could respond, "Our technology is superior, and in the market people have already discovered it. So we don't have to risk economic and human disaster by banning our technologies by government force while we wait and hope that 'green' energy will somehow replace it."