I caught up with human flourishing advocate Alex Epstein shortly after he previewed Al Gore’s new movie, An Inconvenient Sequel. Here is what Mr. Epstein had to say about the film. —Craig Biddle
Craig Biddle: Alex, welcome, and thanks for making time to chat with me again.
Alex Epstein: Thanks, Craig. I’m always happy to share my ideas with the TOS audience.
Biddle: Last time I interviewed you, we discussed your methods for improving the world. This time, alas, the subject is not so cheery.
Today I’d like to talk about Al Gore’s methods for deceiving the world. In particular, I’d like to hear your thoughts on his new movie, An Inconvenient Sequel, the follow-up to his 2006 movie, An Inconvenient Truth.
Having written the best-selling book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, and having immersed yourself for several years in research about the benefits and risks of using these fuels, you are in a unique position to analyze Gore’s claims about the use of fossil fuels and the alleged catastrophes that will befall us if we don’t abandon them and embrace so-called renewables.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on both the content of Gore’s new movie and the methods he uses in making his assertions.
First, what are the central claims in An Inconvenient Sequel? And how do they relate to the claims in Gore’s first movie?
Epstein: The majority of the movie focuses on vindicating Al Gore’s two chief predictions from his first film, An Inconvenient Truth: 1) That we could replace fossil fuels with cheap solar- and wind-powered “renewables”; and 2) that continued use of fossil fuels would lead to catastrophic temperature rises, catastrophic sea-level rises, catastrophic flooding, catastrophic drought, catastrophic storms, and catastrophic disease proliferation. His basic conclusion in An Inconvenient Sequel is, “I was even more right than I thought.”
But if you look at these claims empirically, they are both false. If you ask, “What’s the actual percentage of solar and wind around the world?,” you see it’s still at 2 percent—an expensive and unreliable 2 percent. And if you look at how many climate-related deaths we have had from different things like drought and flood, we see actually those are at an all-time low.
Biddle: How does Gore support these claims—or feign support, as the case may be? . . .