Thank goodness for fossil fuels
Your Sunday morning thought piece
When I look at the things fossil fuels have made possible for mankind, I sometimes shake my head and wonder why we loathe them so much.
The energy created by fossil fuels have opened up so many possibilities for so many people. We can go just about anywhere, quickly and safely. It really is possible to experience the whole world. The trading opportunities that have opened us mean the whole world can be brought to us, without our having to leave our warm, safe, well lit homes.
We live longer, better, safer lives thanks to fossil fuels. We can communicate with anyone anywhere. We have instant access to unlimited information. Billions have been brought out of poverty thanks to this unique, low-cost, reliable energy source. We enjoy lives and luxuries even the most decadent figures in history from Marie Antoinette to Caligula could never have dreamed of. Life expectancy has rocketed, As Alex Epstein says, and poverty has plummeted.
We still have a long way to go, of course. Perfection has not yet been attained.
I question the morality of trying to abandon these energy sources when there are still billions of poor in the world who have yet to experience the luxuries we now take for granted that have been made possible. It’s like pulling up the ladder after you’ve climbed, so that others cannot climb too.
And we have got so much better at consuming these energy sources too. Even in my lifetime the smoggy air of London has got cleaner. Stone Age man would burn down a whole chunk of forest just to trap an animal. As human beings progress we get consume more energy and we consume it better.
I know this is a view that many will not hold, but wake up to the benefits of fossil fuels, embrace them, celebrate them, don’t denigrate them, and for the good of man invest in them too. It’s your moral duty!
They are even making the transition to renewable energy possible. That’s what so few seem to get. To get your green revolution, all the metal that’s required for wind turbines, lithium batteries and solar panels, to then manufacture and transport them on site, you’re going to have to burn a heck of a lot of fossil fuel.