40 questions that Fossil Future answers
Podcast, TV, and radio hosts who interview me about Fossil Future can pick and choose from these questions to create a unique, entertaining experience for their listeners.
One common pitfall of author interviews during a book launch is repetitiveness: interviews cover basically the same subject matter over and over.
Hosts don’t like repetitiveness because their shows are too similar to everyone else’s shows, and authors don’t like repetitiveness because it’s boring.
I believe there’s no reason to have repetitive interviews—at least not if you’re dealing with a dense book like Fossil Future that answers literally hundreds of questions that you could fill an hour with.
To create a great interview experience for hosts and for me, here are some of the many questions that Fossil Future answers. Hosts: pick the ones that will be most interesting to you and to your audience, so that we can create a unique, fun experience for your listeners—one that is also super-easy for you to prepare for. The Fossil Future media tour begins in April; the book will be released April 19th. To book me, DM me on Twitter @AlexEpstein.)
Readers: Let me know in the comments which questions you’d most like me to answer during the launch of Fossil Future. I’ll answer five of them on an upcoming episode of my podcast Power Hour. If you find any of these conclusions particularly compelling, please share this list with your favorite TV or podcast hosts.
Why are fossil fuels so dominant—providing 80% of the world’s energy, even after a century of aggressive competition from alternatives? (Pages 20-23, 179)
Why is oil the hardest-to-replace fossil fuel? (Pages 33-34, 181)
How much fossil fuel is left on Earth? Is there any chance of running out soon? (Pages 53-56, 199)
Will increases in energy efficiency decrease demand for fossil fuels and other forms of energy going forward? (Pages 178-179, 206)
What is the “secret sauce” that has made fossil fuels the dominant source of energy despite a century of aggressive competition? (Page 179-182)
What are the three remarkable physical attributes of fossil fuels that make them so hard to replace? (Pages 184-188)
Alternatives to fossil fuels
Are solar and wind actually cheaper than fossil fuels? Why do the places that adopt the most solar and wind see rapid rises in price? (Pages 209-217)
What is the full cost of solar and wind, when you factor in the cost of backup? (Pages 221-223)
How much would it actually cost to power the world with solar, wind, and batteries? (Page 223)
What are the actual prospects of solar and wind to outcompete fossil fuels in the decades to come? (Pages 217-226)
Why has nuclear energy stalled so much after rapidly growing in the 1970s? (Pages 60-63, 234-237)
Why has nuclear gotten many times more expensive in the last several decades? (Pages 389-390)
Why is geothermal so successful in Iceland and so rare in the rest of the world? (Pages 229-232)
Can capturing CO₂ allow us to use fossil fuels without CO₂ emissions? (Pages 237-240)
The environmental and climate effects of fossil fuels
How much warmer has it actually gotten since fossil fuel use began? How much warmer can we expect it to get in the future? (Pages 13, 334-336)
Why have climate-related disaster deaths dramatically decreased over the last 100 years as fossil fuel use has increased and the global climate has gotten warmer? (Pages 47-49, 260-261)
What is the “greenhouse effect” and how does it work? (Pages 325-329)
What are the dangers and the benefits of global warming? (Pages 251-252, 324)
Is fossil fuel use causing catastrophic drought? (Pages 266-269)
Is fossil fuel use causing catastrophic increases in storm intensity and frequency? (Pages 275-280)
Is “ocean acidification” a deadly problem? (Pages 346-347)
Is fossil fuel use causing mass species extinctions? (Pages 339-340)
Do 97% of climate scientists believe in catastrophic climate change? (Pages 305-307)
Is it true that air pollution from fossil fuels causes millions of premature deaths? (Pages 390-391)
What is “climate mastery,” and why do you say it is the most important variable in determining the livability of the global climate system? (Pages 49, 250-251)
Why do you claim that fossil fuels have made our water far cleaner? (Pages 58, 110, 122)
What do you say are the three key variables that are necessary to analyze rising CO₂ levels—and which you say most “experts” fail to consider? (Pages 319-320)
In your book you say that most people make the mistake of approaching experts either with blind obedience or blind dismissal. What’s your approach to finding and learning from good experts? (Pages 316-318)
The anti-fossil fuel movement
Why does the anti-fossil fuel “green” movement claim to want to lower CO₂ emissions at all costs, yet oppose the two most proven, cost-effective ways of doing so: nuclear energy and hydroelectric energy? (Pages 78-80, 87-88)
Why do our leading institutions care more about the displacement of polar bears than they do about the fact that 3 billion people use less electricity than a typical American refrigerator? (Pages 75-78, 85-86)
How do we know when what we’re told “the experts” think is right—and how do we know when it’s wrong, as it has been so many times throughout history (e.g., eugenics, racism)? (Pages 8-9)
Why have environmental “experts” been making false catastrophe predictions for 50 years—and have they learned from their mistakes? (Pages 63-64)
Why have predictions that fossil fuels will run out come false over and over again? (Pages 54-56)
What are the similarities and differences between the anti-fossil fuel movement and the Covid lockdown movement? (Page 18-19)
What do you claim is the fundamental flaw in 90% of arguments against fossil fuels that’s impossible to “unsee” once you learn it? (Chapter 1)
Why do you believe that if solar and wind ever become practical on a large scale, its biggest opponent would not be the fossil fuel industry but the “green” movement?
You have had a lot of success persuading people who were opposed to fossil fuels to become in favor of fossil fuels. How do you do this, and how can others do it? (Pages 401-405)
What is “reframing the conversation” and what is “arguing to 100,” and why do you say these are key to changing the narrative in any field? (Chapter 11)
What is the “energy humanist” movement, and why do you say it’s changing the narrative on climate change? (Pages 421-422)
Why are you against using the expressions “protect the environment” and “save the planet”? (Pages 81-82, 83-86)
“Energy Talking Points by Alex Epstein” is my free Substack newsletter designed to give as many people as possible access to concise, powerful, well-referenced talking points on the latest energy, environmental, and climate issues from a pro-human, pro-energy perspective.