Introduction Upon learning that I considered his recent comments on my book Fossil Future to be a severe distortion of the book’s conclusion and arguments, prominent economist Tyler Cowen offered to feature my objections on his popular blog Marginal Revolution
Here's Tyler's posting/response to this piece.
I wonder if Tyler even read your book in any meaningful way? He's boasts of reading over five books a day which indicates to me that he barely chews the ideas he comes across. His initial and subsequent reviews of your work would seem to support my argument. He claims that you don't address climate in your response which you clearly do. Philosophically, he seems to treat climate as an intrinsic value and he's an advocate of effective altruism. Both of these stances are concerning and lead me to think that arguing with him is futile.
People like simple narratives. Do you all remember Y2K? Alex and others like Michael S. And Bjorn L. are trying to integrate facts to an otherwise quasi-mystical belief that the end is nigh. Many have done the same with the many fables around COVID. It’s not easy to be rational in such a religious era as the present. Instead of meeting in Rome or Constantinople, today’s high priests meet in Davos. They don’t destroy Gutenberg printing presses, they just ban you from social media. Monsignor Tyler is just doing the church’s bidding, and Alex is right to defend his position. At the end of the day, the facts will steamroll the clergy.
Alex, thank you for being courageous and bold to speak truth to power ... something a majority will no longer do. Press on, keep the faith. I predict you will ultimately be proven right, recent energy crisis proofs already demonstrate the end game reality. Great book. And as someone alludes to in the comments above, this is really no longer about science; one has to conclude that the dismissive refusals to actually consider alternative facts and perceptions indicate the ‘anthropogenic warming zealots’ are effectively adherents to a warped new religion. One that worships nature to the detriment of humanity.
Glad he is publishing your analysis. Most climate zealots avoid any debate because it’s their religion. ESG is a demoralized social credit score: https://yuribezmenov.substack.com/p/how-to-raise-your-esg-score
The response to Tyler Cowen’s blog was thorough and enlightening. It reminded me of why I read Fossil Future twice. Its logic and well-written arguments present the truth in a way that is truly damning to what seems to represent the bullies who are claiming to represent the only possible responses to manmade greenhouse gases.
I can't take any member of the climate death cult seriously
Fossil Future is on my coffee table--illness has put it on hold for a few months. My step-daughter came to visit, and her first question was, “who got that book?” She went home and ordered her own copy, which her husband will also want to read. The rebuttal is a good introduction. Thank you.
Alex, you mastered Roger Pielke Jr, Tyler has no chance. Whether straw or soft he was weak and you are logical. Keep on trucking my man
Great post! Love the rigorous application of critical thought. But I was getting dizzy with all the 'manning' going on. Someone from the woke language police department oughta be on the case! ;-)
I was watching your debate with Professor Desslor with a curious detachment. I understand that your mantra was that you would debate anyone any time at least that is what your introduction said. I would like to accept that challenge. RSVP 315-294-3297
Great rebuttal to Tyler’s piece, Alex. As a corollary to what you’re writing about, it is really sobering to acknowledge the headwinds we in your camp are up against. Robert Bryce has a great discussion titled “The Climate Aristocracy” and it is the 13 Feb episode of Chris Keefer’s “Decouple” podcast . I encourage people to listen to it....as I said, sobering.
What is so funny to me is how blind the climate catastrophists and renewables cult members are to how much fossil fuels are utterly the base for how the wind and solar equipment are manufactured and transported (which I learned from your book). They are so far from an efficient, realistic long term solution, but I guess it’s sunk cost fallacy holding them in their grips. I just read in Apocalypse Never the account of how nuclear was scrapped in CA, to our detriment and increased emissions. The renewables ppl are either in denial or in cahoots to want to do anything to actually promote a viable alternative to ff.
Thank you for your work!
Alex, I understand your desire to defend your work. You’ve spent so much time researching it, and I'm sure I cannot imagine how emotional it is to read criticism of my book on a widely-read blog.
Tyler used his review of your book to think through difficult questions and find issues that he thinks are still unanswered — not unanswered just by you, but by anyone. I think he believes that you should reply by thinking through the issues he poses and add more insight where you can. This is what would benefit us.
I agree that, due to Tyler’s review, a substantial portion of MR readers concluded “nothing to see here” about your book. And given how vociferous your reaction here is, and your extensive knowledge on the topic, Tyler maybe should have considered rereading certain parts. But almost certainly your reaction here made him more confident that the points he brought up are salient. That was the takeaway others had too, as you saw in MR comments.
I think Tyler just wanted you to use your expertise to give us all more clarity — and use this opportunity to bolster your own case. He will have only been happy had you done so.
Great post Alex, Tyler's response to this is pretty pathetic.
Your book does not offer prescriptions for the distant future, but instead principles for how to approach these issues when the time comes. This makes a lot of sense to me, since what the political, economic, energy and climate situation will look like a hundred years from now is very uncertain. Which leads me to wonder, why does Tyler say "we cannot simply keep on producing increasing amounts of carbon emissions for centuries on end"? Perhaps this is true, perhaps it is not, but how can he make a statement about the far future so confidently? Who knows what humanity will look like at that time? Policy must be based on reasonable time horizons.
Tyler is very well informed, but the information comes with a price. He was encouraged to talk about UFOs - surveillance- balloons in a way that seemed very prescient. BUT he shut down the covid debate by saying that he knew he wasn't going to like to hear what people said after they noted the differential COVID rates based on age. ie dont do a DALY or QALY analysis - because ??????. Economists whole schtick is to do that analysis and make medical choices based on it. Why not then.