Fossil Fuels

Ronald Bailey Reviews The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

Does energy equity trump climate moralizing?


Energy Poverty

The climate crisis, Al Gore declared in 2007, is "not a political issue, it's a moral issue." It's "a clear moral issue," the climatologist James Hansen said in 2011. "We should think of global warming in a different way—as the great moral crisis of our time," the environmentalist Bill McKibben wrote in 2001. What has supposedly provoked this great moral crisis? Chiefly the burning of fossil fuels, which is increasing the concentration of planet-warming greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, Alex Epstein aims to turn this moral argument on its head. Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey finds that this intriguing book strongly makes the case, moral or not, that increasing energy abundance in whatever form is crucial to enhancing the human prospect.