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Endorsements vs. Integrity

In a recent Center for Industrial Progress newsletter, Alex Epstein bragged about the prestigious people he'd gotten to sanction his upcoming book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.

Alex writes that they "endorsed" the book. I think that's accurate. They're siding with him. You understand.

One endorsement reads:
"Alex Epstein has written an eloquent and powerful argument for using fossil fuels on moral grounds alone. A remarkable book.”

--Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist
Today I saw an article by Ridley about global warming. Note this is the same person from the book endorsement. His article takes roughly the same side as Epstein: it disagrees with the "settled science" of the "climate consensus" (scare quotes, not article quotes).

The article was OK, but at the end something stood out to me:
... concentrate on more pressing global problems like war, terror, disease, poverty, habitat loss and the 1.3 billion people with no electricity.
"[H]abitat loss" is not a pressing global problem in the same company as war, disease, etc...

This is not just my view. It's Epstein's view. Epstein disagrees with environmentalist views like this. He values people over animals. He's really strongly at odds with this kind of thinking.

Ridley endorsed Epstein's book, but actually disagrees in a huge way with Epstein's worldview.

What good are endorsements like that? Shouldn't Epstein reject endorsement by his philosophical opponents? Agreeing on a few particular conclusions about fossil fuels isn't enough. Epstein's book is fairly philosophical, and says he cares about about principles and philosophical reasoning (in line with his Objectivist philosophy). He shouldn't gloss over major philosophical differences to get dishonest but prestigious book promotion.

Elliot Temple on September 8, 2014

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