When it comes to global warming. I agree with the deniers. I deny that because of an increase in carbon dioxide by one one‐hundredth of one percent, that we will see an increase in catastrophic weather.
Droughts have been the cause of more deaths in this world than any other climate related cause. Worldwide drought deaths have substantially gone down because of fossil fuels used in agriculture, fossil fuels used for irrigation, and in extreme cases fossil fuels used in drought relief convoys. And yet, we constantly hear that the use of fossil fuels is making it worse.
In the last 80 years CO2 has increased. However, the annual rate of climate related deaths has gone down dramatically, 50 times less than 80 years ago. The reason for the drop is helping people relocate in fossil fuel vehicles. Using fossil fuel machinery to build better quality buildings that can stand up in bad weather.
But we seem to be looking at the potential risks of fossil fuels without looking at the benefits.
If you want to look at extreme temperatures, look at frigid Alaska compared to baked out Arizona. The life expectancy in both states is 75. Why is that? Because both use fossil fuels to make homes and businesses liveable.
The use of God‐given fossil fuels to adapt to weather makes more sense than reducing fossil fuel use to “somehow?” control the weather. We will always have bad weather. The question is can we adapt to it. Fossil fuels can help us do that. Climate freedom allows us to go skiing in blizzard prone areas knowing we can adapt. Climate freedom allows us to go to the ocean where hurricanes can occur knowing we can adapt. We either control our climate with heating and air conditioning for places like Alaska and Arizona, or we make the most of the climate we’re in like we do when at the ocean or skiing.
But what about the rising oceans? Al Gore’s original book Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit predicted a likely 20 foot rise in sea levels. That was 23 years ago.
So how much have sea levels risen? Over the past century the world’s sea level rose about 8 inches. Al Gore in his book also predicted that Arctic sea ice would be gone by 2013, yet today there is over 4.8 million square miles of unmelted ice.
My industry has been accused of promoting a self‐destructive addiction of fossil fuels that is destroying our planet which is fundamentally immoral. If we don’t refute this idea, we accept it, and if we accept it, we accept that fossil fuels are destroying the planet, and we must stop using them.
But fossil fuels are not destroying our planet. They are God‐given, making our planet more livable, doubling the average life span in the past 200 years. I like Alex Epstein’s analogy in his book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, he said “Imagine that we transported someone from 300 years ago, from essentially a fossil fuel‐free environment, to today’s world, which has fundamentally been shaped by coal, oil, and natural gas, and then took him on a tour of the modern world, good and bad, clean and dirty. What would he think about our environment overall?” “How is this possible?” he would ask. “The air is so clean. Where I come from, we’re breathing in smoke all day from the fire we need to burn in our furnace. And the water. Everywhere I go, there’s this water that tastes so good, and it’s all safe to drink. On my farm, we get our water from a brook we share with animals, and my kids are always getting sick. And the weather. I mean the weather isn’t all that much different, but you are so much safer in it; you can move a knob and make cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. And what happened to all the disease? Where I’m from we have insects all over the place giving us diseases – my neighbor’s son died of malaria – and you don’t seem to have any here.”
I’d tell him that the secret began with an invention 300 years ago: “a method of transforming a concentrated, stored, plentiful energy source into cheap, plentiful, reliable energy so we could use machines to transform our hazardous natural environment into a far healthier human environment.”
Next week we’ll discuss some of the positive effects of fossil fuels for human life.