The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

Book - 2014
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The author believes that "we're taught to think only of the negatives of fossil fuels, their risks and side effects, but not their positives--their unique ability to provide cheap, reliable energy for a world of seven billion people. And the moral significance of cheap, reliable energy, Epstein argues, is woefully underrated. Energy is our ability to improve every single aspect of life, whether economic or environmental"
Published: New York, New York :, Portfolio/Penguin,, 2014.
ISBN: 9781591847441
Branch Call Number: 333.82 EPS
Characteristics: 248 pages :,illustrations ;,24 cm


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Oct 21, 2017

Millions of third world inhabitants have only animal dung to burn for their cooking , and also
for heat. Did you know that burning coal is much healthier than burning dung?
Extreme environmentalists want no coal to be mined for these people ( or oil ) thus saving
"Mother Earth", people be damned. Positive result : millions of people die. ( Margaret
Sanger would be pleased. )

Oct 20, 2017

Please read the Library Journal review of this book above. It is excellent. As the Library Journal suggest; don't waste your time reading this preposterous book. Read instead "The Burning Question" by Mike Berner-Lee it is available from Seattle Public Library.

Oct 19, 2017

This is a fantastic book that calmly and logically provides a counter argument to our climate-alarmist-gone-wild societies' never ending wailing about the sky falling. Epstein provides plenty of data to reference, and not only that but a great opinion on the human struggle and condition. This book should absolutely be required reading for every single student (and person) in developed societies specifically. I am ecstatic about being armed with some irrefutable logic the next time some snowflake starts whining about how dirty cars are that run on gasoline.

2.12 edit - I have had this book on request for 2 months now and there appears to be only ONE COPY in the entire system! (another copy is "lost") How suspect.. the theory the author presents seems to fly in the face of popular opinion so they are essentially burning the book? Quaint. I will happily go and buy it to support the author.

May 21, 2017

Regardless of the data itself, Epstein's overall philosophy expressed in this book is an important turn on mainstream thought biases. He plays devil's advocate with many of the arguments we've taken for granted since public school. Epstein isn't a climate change denier, nor does he claim that fossil fuels have no dangerous side effects. He simply emphasizes that if we hold human life as our standard of value, then fossil fuels are at this moment in time, the most efficient way to increase the quality of life for the most amount of people.

The same philosophy can be applied to many different arguments where costs are weighed over benefits in relation to the quality of human life. For instance, the government ought to ban automobiles, due to their enormous death tolls, reliance on fossil fuels, and destruction of the environment, and we could revert back to walking; or we could accept the costs in return for the invaluable benefits we receive from automobiles, and hope that in another twenty years when they are fully automatic, road fatalities will be almost non-existent.

Of course, even admitting that human life is the most important thing on earth is a disgusting and immoral thought to some. In that case, Epstein will be unreadable. In an upsetting case of irony, some of us who live with the highest quality of life in a thriving modern world strongly believe that 'improvement' can only consist of going back to 'natural, organic, and green'. We inherit a world with low infant mortality, free of tuberculosis, polio, smallpox, and yet we trash Big Pharma for destroying our lives. We take our heated hockey rinks and 1-hour work commute, and trash Big Oil for destroying the world.

For the rest of us, accepting our present world of fossil fuels as, at this moment, the single most efficient way to increase the quality and happiness of the most amount of people worldwide, is not immoral.

Dec 22, 2016

“Fossil Fuels : Debating the Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”
by Stephen Lacey, posted February 12, 2015, at The Energy Gang – A Greentech Media Podcast
“Top 10 Garbage Climate Change Stories From The Koch Brothers’ Favorite Right-Wing Website”
by Denise Robbins, posted June 29, 2016, at Media Matters For America
“Climate truthers are losing it: Conservatives’ anti-science crusade stoops to a new low”
by Lindsay Abrams, posted September 26, 2014, at Salon


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