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Page 12 of 59

➤ continued, Pg 14 THE MORAL CASE AGAINST FOSSIL FUELS You might say that it's offensive to compare the fossil fuel industry to the tobacco indus- try—and you'd be right. But in the battle for hearts and minds, you are widely viewed as worse than the tobacco industry. Your attackers have successfully portrayed your core product, fossil fuel energy, as a self- destructive addiction that is destroying our planet, and your industry as a fundamentally immoral industry. In a better world, the kind of world we should aspire to, they argue, the fossil fuel industry would not exist. President Barack Obama has described the oil industry as a "tyranny." President George W. Bush coined the expression "America's addiction to oil". In a 2006 speech he said: "America is addicted to oil, which is often im- ported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology…. And we are on the threshold of incredible advances." There is far more public hostility to the fossil fuel industry than to the tobacco industry. And it is accused of being far more damaging. As Keystone pipe- line opposition leader Bill McKibben put it to widespread acclaim, the fossil fuel industry is "Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization." Your attackers have successfully portrayed your core product, fossil fuel energy, as a self- destructive addiction that is destroying our planet. Why is the industry viewed as immoral? Be- cause for decades, environmentalist leaders have made a false but unanswered moral case against the fossil fuel industry—by arguing successfully that it inherently destroys our planet and should be replaced with environ- mentally beneficial solar, wind, and bio-fuels. According to this argument, it destroys our planet in two basic ways: by increasing en- vironmental dangers (most notably through catastrophic global warming) and depleting environmental resources (through using fossil fuels and other resources at a rapid, "unsus- tainable" pace). Like any immorality or addiction, the argu- ment goes, we may not pay for it at the begin- ning but we will pay for it in the end. Thus, the only moral option is to use "clean, renewable energy" like solar, wind, and bio-fuels to live in harmony with the planet instead of exploit- ing and destroying it. And we need to do it as soon as is humanly possible. THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY'S MORAL SURRENDER There is only one way to defeat the environ- mentalists' moral case against fossil fuels— refute its central idea fossil fuels destroy the planet. Because if we don't refute that idea, we accept it, and if we accept that fossil fu- els are destroying the planet, the only logical conclusion is to cease new development and slow down existing development as much as possible. Unfortunately, the fossil fuel industry has not refuted the moral case against fossil fuels. In fact, the vast majority of its communications reinforce the moral case against fossil fuels. For example, take the common practice of publicly endorsing "renewables" as the ideal. Fossil fuel companies, particularly oil and gas companies, proudly feature windmills on web pages and annual reports, even though these are trivial to their bottom line and wildly un- economic. This obviously implies that "renew- ables" are the goal—with oil and gas as just a temporarily necessary evil. Read online @ B A K K E N O I L B I Z . C O M / d i g i t a l - j o u r n a l 13

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