Alex Epstein Profile picture
Philosopher and energy expert who believes that our goal should not be to eliminate human impact on Earth but to advance human flourishing on Earth.
Hecate's Crossroad #QVArmy Profile picture Cheri Stahl Profile picture Stan Kerr Profile picture Liberty58 Profile picture Michael Birmann Profile picture 10 added to My Authors
4 Aug
Supporters of today's "infrastructure" spending-spree say that it will create endless, well-paying "green jobs" to replace the fossil fuel jobs that our government plans to destroy. In reality, green jobs schemes will destroy, not create, millions of well-paying American jobs. 🧵
A largely "green," solar-and wind-based, energy system will necessarily destroy far more well-paying US jobs than it creates because the "green jobs" will be 1) far less productive, 2) largely in China, and 3) cause job losses in other industries via skyrocketing energy prices.
Reason #1 why green energy "infrastructure" policies will destroy productive US jobs: "green jobs" are far less productive than the fossil fuel jobs that our government is destroying--so they cannot possibly pay as well.
Read 15 tweets
31 Jul
If today's world lacked the bias that human impact on nature is inherently immoral and self-destructive, what would be our expectation about the badness or goodness of rising levels of CO2--a warming gas and a fertilizing gas--during a very cold period of the planet's history? 🧵
I think the reasonable baseline expectation about a slow rise in CO2 levels during a cold period of the planet's history is that it's significantly net positive, especially if you factor in global greening. An argument that it's 75% negative would require a huge burden of proof.
Given that rising CO2 levels have obvious warming and greening benefits, it is an obvious sign of anti-human bias that media reporting on the impacts of rising CO2 levels is >99% negative. This bias involves the dogma that Earth is a "delicate nurturer" that human impact ruins.
Read 7 tweets
23 Jul
The rise of the commercial space industry is a truly exciting development that we should be celebrating and liberating. Instead, a huge portion of the reaction is to condemn the ultra-productive people leading this industry as well as trying to loot this new industry.🧵
Looting the space industry: US Congressman @RepBlumenauer's immediate reaction to recent space triumphs was call for a hefty tax on trips to space that he deems to "produce nothing of scientific value." But every step of commercializing space travel is of crucial long-term value.
We should be getting out of the way of space innovators so that they can bring the benefits of space travel--including the wonders of space tourism--to the masses. I know I certainly would love to be able to afford a trip to space--the ultimate vacation destination.
Read 6 tweets
22 Jul
In my career studying energy, I have never been more scared of a government policy than I am of the Federal Government's push for a "CES"--"Clean Energy Standard" that would dictatorially mandate 80% "clean," including 50+% unreliable solar and wind, electricity, by 2030. 🧵
Thanks to government mandates and subsidies, solar and wind--"unreliables"--provide about 10% of American electricity. This 10% has already caused big electricity price increases and huge reliability problems. Politicians should admit their failure, apologize, and reverse course.
Instead of admitting that the US's 10% solar+wind electricity is causing huge cost and reliability problems, our government, led by @SenTinaSmith, is *quintupling down* on this disaster by pushing a "Clean Energy Standard" that would require minimum 50% solar+wind in 8 years!!
Read 22 tweets
18 Jul
Observe that whenever there is a problem, some people want to *solve* the problem and some people want to *use* the problem to advance an agenda that is irrelevant to the problem or that would actually make things worse. 🧵
"Solving the problem" with climate danger means advocating for better climate adaptation/mastery practices.

It can also mean liberating cost-effective non-carbon alternatives like nuclear energy--but recognizing that CO2 levels will not decrease for a long, long time.
"Using the problem" with climate danger means using problems with extreme temperatures, storms, floods, wildfires to advance policies that prohibit people, especially poor people, from using the low-cost, reliable energy they need to deal with those ever-present problems.
Read 7 tweets
15 Jul
Most smart people have taught to ignore the massive benefits of fossil fuel use and catastrophize its side-effects. This renders them dumb and, worse, dangerous on this issue. A good case study here is the latest NYT article by the very smart @EzraKlein.

nytimes.com/2021/07/15/opi…
One way in which @EzraKlein and most other thought leaders both ignore the benefits and catastrophize the side-effects of fossil fuels is by denying the fossil fueled *climate mastery* that has occurred as temps have risen 1 degree in 170 years.

Image by @ShellenbergerMD
The climate mastery denial of @EzraKlein leads him to the unbelievable conclusion that "three degrees" of warming--which really means two, because one has already occurred--"is still a catastrophe of truly incomprehensible proportions" for the most adaptable species ever.
Read 5 tweets
15 Jul
I love fossil fuels. They alone provide low-cost, on-demand, versatile energy for billions of people in thousands of places.

Over the years, readers of mine have created many #ILoveFossilFuels memes like this one. Here are 5 more of my favorites. 🧵
Read 7 tweets
14 Jul
Former CA Assemblyman @ChuckDeVore, one of my favorite energy commentators, has a great new piece in @FDRLST explaining how CA's pro-unreliables policies not only hurt us but our neighbors.

THREAD
thefederalist.com/2021/07/12/as-…
"California’s politically driven renewable energy mandates are likely to cause more blackouts this summer outside of CA after a remarkable ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that allows CA to hijack electricity that Arizona already contracted to receive."
"Fearful of blackouts this summer that might affect the Sept. 14 recall election targeting Gov. Gavin Newsom, California’s grid operators are buying up power around the West. This prompted Arizona officials to warn that California’s actions may lead to blackouts in Arizona..."
Read 8 tweets
14 Jul
Observe the parallels between this 1970s prediction of catastrophic global cooling and today's prediction of catastrophic global warming.

This doesn't mean there is no global warming, but it does illustrate how our trusted knowledge institutions are prone to catastrophizing. 🧵
A 1976 @NyTimes feature on catastrophist Stephen Schneider falsely described him as "reflecting the consensus of the climatological community": "The climate is going to get unreliable. It is going to get cold. Harvest failures and regional famines will be more frequent."
"Climatologists....can predict what temperature averages and extremes to expect over the next 10, 20, or 30 years...And they are predicting greater fluctuations, and a cooling trend for the northern hemisphere."

--@NyTimes, 1976

Does this confidence feel familiar?
Read 7 tweets
13 Jul
It is wonderful to see courageous Cubans fighting for freedom from their oppressive socialist regime. One of many areas where freedom would transform Cuba is in the realm of energy, where socialist policies are destroying enormous potential.

THREAD
Cuba holds over 7% of the proven reserves of cobalt, about 500,000 metric tons, the third largest known deposit after Congo and Australia. Yet In 2020 it mined less than 5,000 metric tons.
Cobalt is traded internationally for about $50k per ton. Increasing Cuba’s output with free enterprise investment could create hundreds of millions to billions of dollars in export revenue and create productive, well-paying jobs for Cubans.
Read 6 tweets
12 Jul
I live in CA, a state that, as a result of its "clean energy standard," which favors unreliable electricity, just announced a Stage 2 Power Grid Emergency.

And yet The @Guardian assures us that a far more aggressive nationwide "clean energy standard" will work out great.
For my debunking of the "fossil fuels cause mass death from air pollution" myth, read this: energytalkingpoints.com/1-in-5-myth/
To learn about California's disastrous electricity policy and why it's a terrible to do a doubled-down national version, read this:
energytalkingpoints.com/california-bla…
Read 16 tweets
9 Jul
I held a contest to refute this @BernieSanders claim:
“The USA put people on the moon 50 years ago. We can sure as hell transform our energy system away from fossil fuels to 100% renewables today and create millions of jobs in the process.”

These winners get a signed book. 🧵
This response captures my essential answer, which is that BS's statement conflates a technological achievement (making something work at any cost) with an economic achievement (making something work cost-effectively for the masses).

I love this response, which cracked me up and saddened me at the same time. It alludes to the difference between a technological and economic achievement, but does so with a devastating depiction of a "100% renewable world."
Read 13 tweets
5 Jul
I have yet to meet one single person who, if tasked with finding a CEO for a business, would choose Joe Biden or Gavin Newsom. Yet we now have a political system in which such people can dictate the goals and strategies of every business. Why does anyone think this is good?
I think many people have misinterpreted my point. I am not in favor of people "running the government like a business." *I am against the government running businesses.* That is not what the Federal and State governments used to do.
Thanks to everyone who pointed out that Newsom is a problematic example because he has had business success. I should have done my homework.

Newsom came to mind immediately when thinking of people who clearly do not understand or care about the *freedom* that business requires.
Read 4 tweets
4 Jul
What has made America great?

Today, it is considered American for government to pursue "the common good" by dictating how we live or by taking huge portions of our earnings. I disagree.

I agree with philosopher Ayn Rand that *individual rights* are what make America America. 🧵
"America’s founding ideal was the principle of individual rights. Nothing more—and nothing less. The rest—everything that America achieved, everything she became...unprecedented in human history—was the logical consequence of fidelity to that one principle." -Ayn Rand
"All previous systems had held that man’s life belongs to society, that society can dispose of him in any way it pleases, and that any freedom he enjoys is his only by favor, by the permission of society, which may be revoked at any time." -Ayn Rand
Read 14 tweets
3 Jul
Read 4 tweets
2 Jul
At our Congressional hearing on Wednesday, @AOC confidently said that a @Siemans report supports shutting down "tomorrow" the coal plant that provides 20% of Puerto Rico's power.

100% false. The report *does not even consider* a shutdown before 2027.

The smoking gun quote @AOC attributes to @Siemens is "No adverse impacts were identified on the transmission system with the retirement of AES coal." But I couldn't find any phrase like that in the report Siemens prepared for Puerto Rico.
In fact I can't find @AOC's "quote" of @Siemens--"No adverse impacts were identified on the transmission system with the retirement of AES coal"--anywhere on the Internet.
Read 7 tweets
1 Jul
At today's Congressional hearing, Rep. @AOC advocated shutting down "tomorrow" the reliable, resilient coal plant that provides *20%* of electricity-challenged Puerto Rico's electricity.

I tried to convince her that this would be beyond devastating to the people of Puerto Rico.
I tried to make clear on my Whiteboard of Justice to @AOC, @RepKatiePorter, and others advocating a rapid shutdown of coal--a reliable 20% of electricity--in favor of "renewables," that "renewables" provide a mostly-unreliable *2.5%* of PR electricity.
Written testimony: "To provide low-cost, reliable electricity in Puerto Rico, fossil fuels are...crucial--along with massive regulatory reform that enables low-cost natural gas and/or coal to replace the very expensive oil-based power plants that dominate Puerto Rico today."
Read 15 tweets
30 Jun
Today I will testify at a Congressional hearing about energy in Puerto Rico. The hearing begins at 10 am ET.

While the hearing's organizers seek to rapidly eliminate fossil fuel use in PR, I will make the case for liberating and expanding it.

THREAD
youtube.com/user/NaturalRe…
"Thank you for the honor of testifying before this committee. What I will say today may shock many of you. My views on energy are indeed unconventional, but I hope you will hear me out with an open mind since we share the same goal: a prosperous and flourishing Puerto Rico."
"I want to make the case that the one thing that will most help the people of Puerto Rico lift themselves out of crushing poverty is the thing many of you believe should be eliminated: low-cost, reliable, fossil fuel energy."
Read 22 tweets
23 Jun
I am a big believer that we should not just criticize terrible things but also offer a positive alternative.

So today I am offering a positive alternative to the terrible phenomenon of ESG.

Introducing LVC -- Long-term Value Creation.

THREAD
The primary purpose of a publicly-traded company, according to LVC, is to increase shareholder value by *engaging in long-term value creation*--including mutually-beneficial relationships with one's trading partners and communities, as well as high ethical standards.
ESG says companies should serve "stakeholders"--an overly-broad term that includes committed enemies.

LVC says companies should pursue mutually-beneficial relationships, specifically with trading partners and communities, *in order to serve shareholders.*
Read 8 tweets
10 Jun
The ESG divestment movement poses as a long-range, financially savvy, and moral movement. In reality it is a short-range, financially ruinous, and deeply immoral movement that perpetuates poverty in the poorest places and threatens the security of the free world.

THREAD
Over the last 5-10 years, "ESG"--standing for Environmental Social Governance--has gone from an acronym that virtually no one knew or cared about, to a cultishly-embraced top priority of financial regulators, markets, and institutions around the world.
The preposterous financial pretense of "ESG investing" is that the promoters of it have so accurately identified universal norms of long-term value creation--Environmental norms, Social norms, and Governance norms--that imposing those norms on every company is justified.
Read 27 tweets
4 Jun
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (@NARUC) has published a damning study of California's embrace of unreliable solar and wind, which has caused blackouts and will cause many more.

But the study's language is way too mild. So I will translate.

🧵
"California’s rapid and ongoing growth of intermittent resources like wind and solar has flourished, while baseload and dispatchable resources have declined."

= California cannot produce much of its needed electricity on demand.
"Significant loss-of-load events...often result from a combination of factors…. including: actual loads exceeding forecasts; significant variability in wind and solar output; reduced imports from neighboring states"

=

Many more blackouts as other states embrace unreliables.
Read 8 tweets