When it comes to global warming, I agree with the deniers. What are they denying? They are denying that our goal for this planet is to “minimize our impact on our environment at all costs”. One who supports this idea is David Graber, research biologist for the National Park Service summarizing McKibben’s book The End of Nature. He said “We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the earth. Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”
So if minimizing our impact on the environment is not our goal, what is our goal? Alex Epstein suggests that the goal should be extending human life. He says, “The moral case for fossil fuels is not about fossil fuels; it’s the moral case for using cheap, plentiful, reliable energy to amplify our abilities to make the world a better place for humans.” I agree. In other words, do you want to “save the planet” from humans or improve the planet for humans?
It is machines run by fossil fuels, such as the ultrasound machine and incubators for babies that extend lives. One of our linemen just had a premature baby that weighed less than 3 pounds. This precious little girl would have had no chance 100 years ago.
Reliable electricity gives us vaccines and antibiotics that require refrigeration. We have a moral responsibility to use fossil fuels to extend and save lives. One fourth of our world lives with partial electricity where refrigeration is not possible. It makes no sense for us to go backwards so we can “save the planet”. We have to be clear: Is human life our standard of value or is “lack of impact on nature” our standard value.
Obviously dumping toxic waste in a river threatens human life and must be stopped, but likewise failing to offer our citizens affordable electricity using affordable fossil fuels to blunt the life shortening effects of climate is also wrong. Extended life around the world is a result of fossil fuel use.
The bubonic plague, small pox, and malaria have killed over a billion people. Yet in our modern world, the power plants some seem to hate, have helped mass product pharmaceuticals and vaccinations that have greatly diminished these diseases.
Using high energy machines to sanitize our water has helped eradicate cholera. And if making trips to see natural scenic parks is your thing, you will need either a fossil fuel car or an electric car which is charged through the use of coal and or natural gas. Fossil fuels gives us the mobility to get to your favorite park, the adaptability to be safe in it, and the time to enjoy it. The more productive we are, the more time we have for leisure. Fossil fuels makes us more productive.
Alex Epstein said it best, “The green movement continues to exaggerate the negatives of fossil fuels and ignore the positives of fossil fuels. They keep claiming without evidence, that expensive, unreliable, unscalable energy will somehow become cheap, reliable, and scalable – unconcerned by what will happen if and when they are wrong and nothing can make up for the energy they’ve taken away from us. They claim to care about the environment but have nothing but scorn for the industry that gave us the ability to create the cleanest healthiest environment in history.”
Now here’s the kicker. “If fossil fuels created no waste, including no CO2, if they were even cheaper, if they would last forever, the Green Movement would still oppose them.” Hydro‐Power is just such an energy, yet many of their websites brag about the dismantling of America’s hydropower dams, which produces no waste and no CO2.
Throughout this great country, there is a group of people who work every day to make sure you’ve got gas for your vehicle and electricity for your home. They work in the natural gas fields, in the oil fields, they produce and deliver propane, and yes they work high up on power lines, risking lives in storms so we can be comfortable in our climate. I am proud of our linemen who are always ready to drop what they’re doing to repair downed power lines so your energy is reliable. That energy is produced by fossil fuels which are a gift from our creator. It just makes good sense to use them.