The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

Summary of Study

Bottom Line: In the fossil fuel-era over the past 150 years, humans have lived much better, safer, and longer lives. Unfortunately, the industry itself has not adequately defended itself and now has a communications problem similar to what the tobacco industry faced back in the 1990s. Environmentalists have made a false but unanswered moral case against fossil fuels. And the industry has only one way to respond: refute the central idea that fossil fuels destroy the planet.

Over the past 150 years, fossil fuels have supplied the energy needed to advance human civilization to previously unimaginable heights.

Today, the environmental movement and numerous politicians have been successful in their attack on the fossil fuel industry as immoral.

According to this argument, fossil fuels destroy our planet in two basic ways: by increasing environmental dangers (most notably through catastrophic global warming) and depleting environmental resources (through using fossil fuels and other resources at a rapid, “unsustainable” pace).

Similar to what the tobacco industry faced in the 1990s, the fossil fuel industry has a fundamental communications problem. It has too easily accepted this false premise of the immorality of its products.

And the idea of pushing that fossil fuels are just “less destructive of the planet than it used to be” is not a winning strategy.

The fossil fuel industry must now regroup. It must deploy a combination of collaboration and education to win the hearts and minds of the American public to understand just how beneficial fossil fuels have been for our lives.

Read the full study here.