Should America Rapidly Eliminate Fossil Fuel Use to Prevent Climate Catastrophe?

March 11, 2022

“Should America Rapidly Eliminate Fossil Fuel Use to Prevent Climate Catastrophe?”


Alex Epstein

President and Founder of the Center for Industrial Progress Author of Fossil Future: Why Global Human Flourishing Requires More Oil, Coal, and Natural Gas–Not Less

Andrew Dessler, Ph.D.

Professor at Texas A&M University Author of Introduction to Modern Climate Change

(Moderated by Dan Njegomir – Editorial Page Editor at Denver Gazette)

View Alex Epstein’s presentation slides HERE. View Andrew Dessler’s presentation slides HERE. Return to the main Energy and Climate Summit page HERE.

Professor Andrew Dessler kicks off the debate by laying out his key points: the claim that we are on track for five degrees of warming, which would remake the earth’s surface; that oil and gas price variability hurts small business owners and ordinary Americans; and that wind and solar energy are the cheapest energy sources.

Alex Epstein responds to Dessler’s arguments with the following claims: climate scientists overstate warming problems and understate carbon dioxide benefits; many alarmists fail to acknowledge how humans have adapted to changes in the environment and climate; and those who argue that renewable energy is cheaper fail to factor in the total cost of energy unreliability. Dessler argues climate mastery is very costly and is further complicated by political hurdles for funding. He asserts everyone will be driving electric vehicles within a few decades and argues that there is a physical solution to the problem of climate change. Epstein highlights how fossil fuels provide power to people across the globe. Fossil fuels provide approximately 80 percent of the world’s energy, showcasing how critical they are for human flourishing. Epstein argues that, if renewable sources of energy were efficient and reliable, incentives for their use would not be needed. KEY POINTS: • Epstein states there is no climate catastrophe and “Net Zero” is a misguided idea. • Dessler calls for a revolution of our climate system by engaging wind and solar as primary energy sources.  

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