Wednesday, January 20, 2016
"Nature doesn't give us a safe climate that we make dangerous. Nature gives us a dangerous climate that we make safe."
— Alex Epstein, author of "The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels," speaking to the Mississippi Energy Institute Jan. 19
Why it stinks: Alex Epstein loves fossil fuels—and has the T-shirts and buttons to prove it—because, he argues, coal and crude oil make the Earth a better place. Hospital incubators, powered by coal-fired or nuclear electric plants, to use one of his examples, help keep premature babies alive. However, Epstein's analysis ignores the moral dimensions of kids growing up in communities (to say nothing of the underfunded schools they might attend) polluted by the production of fossil fuels. Most of all, it ignores the immorality of clinging to finite resources instead of investing in cleaner, alternative—and safer—forms of energy.