With climate change being a current topic of debate, many people believe fossil fuels are destroying the planet and ruining the climate. In reality, fossil fuels are why modern society has been able to develop to its current state. In this episode of "You Are Here," Elijah and Sydney, joined by Alex Epstein, discuss the necessity of fossil fuels in the future and their beneficial role.
Alex explains that when we approach energy, the environment, and our climate, we must look at the entire context and consider both the benefits of fossil fuels and the adverse side effects.
The benefits of fossil fuels, Alex explains, should be measured by the planet's livability without them. He says that the earth is not a naturally livable place. Instead, it's a deficient and dangerous place. Only when we use machines to help us be productive is the planet prosperous and abundant and safe to inhabit.
Many modern machines that help us be productive only work if you have low-cost, reliable energy and can scale that energy to reach billions of people in thousands of places. According to Alex, fossil fuels for the foreseeable future are the only way to get that energy where it needs to go.
"There's simply nothing that can come close," Alex said. "Nuclear comes closest, but interestingly, it's demonized and criminalized by the same people against fossil fuels."
Alex believes the discussion should not be about solutions, but rather a change in method of thinking to look at the best way to make the world livable.
People think climate change is the current largest threat to our planet. But Alex says the reduction and elimination of fossil fuels is the biggest threat to our planet because we rely on low-cost energy for the world to be livable.
Alex points to a current problem we are seeing as fertilizer and fuel prices go up. It causes the cost to produce food to become too expensive. Our eight billion people depend on low-cost food production to feed their families. When the agriculture industry cannot afford to grow food, people starve.
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