The push for alternative energies like wind and solar power continues, but so does the pushback.
Individuals, organizations and think tanks want wind and solar power for various reasons. To some, it would end the billions of dollars oil companies bring in every year. To others, it is a means of getting off foreign oil. Even with recent advancements that are bringing in additional supplies of domestic oil and gas, the U.S. still brings in oil from other countries, some of which are not fond of the United States.
Then there is the environmental argument that the U.S. and other nations need to curb heat-trapping emissions from fossil fuels to combat what some are calling "climate change" or "global warming."
Alex Epstein, president and founder of Center for Industrial Progress and author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, believes that "the thing everyone needs to understand about energy, is that energy is not a single material."
"Energy is a manufacturing process by which you take a form of energy that isn't naturally useful to you,” he explains. “So the sun isn't naturally giving you electricity. It's there, but you have to have a manufacturing process to convert it to cheap, plentiful, reliable energy."
He continues: "The problem with solar and wind sources is that it takes lots and lots of resources to try to concentrate the energy ... and then, even worse, because it comes in unreliably, you need some way to get reliable energy from it."
One way would be to store it and then redeploy it, but Epstein says that's so expensive that "there is not one plant in the world that does that."
"So what they do instead is they just act as parasites on the regular network,” he explains. “They force people to use the solar and wind electricity when it's available, and then they cycle down the gas or the coal plants. So that makes the gas and the coal plants less efficient, and it doesn't add any value. It subtracts value.
"It's just like you bring in a bunch of unreliable workers to your company and then tell your reliable workers, Oh, when these unreliable ones come, you have to stop working. I mean, what kind of nonsense is that?"
As for questions about emissions from fossil fuels, Epstein isn't concerned.
"What we have found is that it hasn't been the runaway warmth that people claimed, although I think they baselessly claimed that and made some baseless models that have completely failed,” he tells OneNewsNow. “It has been a very mild and inconsistent warming effect, as evidenced by the fact that we've had the biggest increase in atmospheric CO2 in the past 18 years or so, and there's been almost no warming."
While others may beg to differ, Epstein finds that level of warming to be a very mild and manageable phenomenon.