“I Love Fossil Fuels”

“I Love Fossil Fuels”

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My new t-shirt (bought from the Center of Industrial Progress e-store) has “I Love Fossil Fuels” printed on the front. I do love fossil fuels because they contribute tremendously to human survival and well-being. Life without the energy and products derived from fossil fuels would be unimaginable for most of us today and certainly much harsher. Think about living without electricity, heating fuel, power tools and appliances, cars, trains, airplanes, plastics, and synthetic fabrics. It would be a much less productive, comfortable, and enjoyable existence—to which only those who hate life and humans want us to return.

We now have evidence to love fossil fuels even more. In a recent, well-researched column, “Renewables not sustainable,” Executive Director of Energy Probe Lawrence Solomon shows the superiority of fossil fuels over wind and solar, both on environmental and economic grounds. Despite what the environmentalists want us to believe, Solomon shows that “…wind and solar complexes are generally incapable of helping humanity progress today or in the foreseeable future. Fossil fuels, in contrast, have gone from success to success for several centuries now, with no end in sight.”

Unlike the man-hating environmentalists, Solomon’s standard of value is human progress and well-being, long-term. Unlike the environmentalists, he is not advocating the preservation of the environment as an end itself. Instead, he is reporting the benefits of fossil fuels to humans and to the natural environment of humans and the hazards of the renewables, wind and solar, to both. For example, wind turbines kill not only birds but also hundreds of thousands of bats annually in the United States alone, causing billions of dollars of damage to farmers who depend on bats for pest control. Production of solar power also has harmful effects, creating significant toxic waste that the solar companies that survive only on government subsidies are apparently not disposing properly.

What about the pollution caused by fossil fuels—isn’t that harmful to human life, too?  Solomon reports that because the fossil fuel industry (oil, natural gas, and coal) has employed technology to “clean up,” fossil fuels are generally more benign to human health and environment than wind and solar. (He also points out the often devastating air pollution caused by ethanol, another renewable energy source commonly considered “clean,” and flooding by government hydroelectricity projects that cause forced displacement of people).

The most frequently cited objection to fossil fuels is probably carbon dioxide emissions which many people consider the cause of “harmful climate change,” thanks to continual, persistently biased media reporting. Solomon reports that most scientists, according to a major survey, consider carbon dioxide emissions as beneficial, having led to greening  of the planet.

Kudos to Lawrence Solomon for consistently being the voice of reason in environmental reporting and for upholding the standard of human well-being rejected by the environmentalists and much of the media. Fossil fuels are good for us and for our environment—therefore, I love them. To read more about the moral case for fossil fuels, download an e-book by Alex Epstein of the Center of Industrial Progress here.

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Jaana Woiceshyn teaches business ethics and competitive strategy at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Canada.

She has lectured and conducted seminars on business ethics to undergraduate, MBA and Executive MBA students, and to various corporate audiences for over 20 years both in Canada and abroad. Before earning her Ph.D. from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, she helped turn around a small business in Finland and worked for a consulting firm in Canada.

Jaana’s research on technological change and innovation, value creation by business, executive decision-making, and business ethics has been published in various academic and professional journals and books. “How to Be Profitable and Moral” is her first solo-authored book.