This book presents a new and different approach to the “catastrophic global warming problem”. This approach is philosophical, meaning it features a systemic view that includes a cost/benefits analysis of fossil fuels and their role not only as one of the essential sources of electricity but also as one and only viable source of transportation energy. The main inferences are:
- Fossil fuels are cheap and effective, and the benefits of their use far exceed all conceivable negative consequences of the resulting increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
- Whatever these negative consequences are, there is no reason to believe that they would match the catastrophic predictions of quasi-scientists with a long history of failed catastrophic predictions such as Paul Ehrlich and political hacks such as Al Gore, which make big bucks off these predictions.
- Using fossil fuels provides humanity with effective technological methods to control microclimate with heating and air-conditioning that allow humans to habituate in all environments, from the extreme cold of the Arctic to the extreme heat of Equatorial deserts.
- Nuclear power can not only match but exceed the effectiveness and efficiency of electricity production but there is no alternative to fossil fuels as the energy source for mobile machinery.
- Using fossil fuels is highly moral because it supports the well-being of billions of people. In contrast, suppression of such use is highly immoral because it deprives billions of people of good lives or even causes large-scale suffering and death.
- Philosophically, the movement against all forms of human impact on the environment derived from philosophical ideas of humans being parasites on nature and Earth and, therefore, should be restricted, suppressed, or even eliminated in the name of some kind of supreme environmental justice.
MY TAKE ON IT:
I find the approach of this book very interesting, and I mainly agree with the author’s philosophical and technological ideas. I think humans are creatures with big brains that were evolutionary developed to handle rapid climate changes that the genetic evolution could not handle due to its slow processes that mainly rely on random changes in DNA. The only thing that I would like to add is that one should not underestimate environmental warriors’ political, careerist, and profit motivations. The benefits include tenured positions in universities, money made from governmental transfers to multiple “clean energy” boondoggles, and the ability to use government coercion against competitors in the academy, politics, or business. I see this struggle as a small part of the global ideological and political war between supporters of the Hierarchical form of human organization when resources are concentrated under the control of government bureaucrats and distributed from the top down and the Cooperative form of human organization when resources distributed between private owners and then reallocated via voluntary exchange.