November 2014, Vol. 241, No. 11

Features

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

Popular opinion about fossil fuels can be summarized in one word: addiction. The industry’s attackers have successfully portrayed its core product, fossil fuel energy, as a self-destructive addiction that is destroying our planet, and your industry as a fundamentally immoral industry. Like any immorality or addiction, the argument goes, we may not pay for it at the beginning but we will pay for it in the end. Thus, the only moral option is to use “clean, renewable energy” like solar, wind, and biofuels to live in harmony with the planet instead of exploiting and destroying it. And we need to do it as soon as is humanly possible. This is the moral case against

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