“Explosive” – AOC on Exxon Reveal

July 1, 2021

Newly revealed conversations with Exxon insiders are roiling the energy legislation landscape.

23 Responses to ““Explosive” – AOC on Exxon Reveal”

  1. Alex Epstein can set her straight:

    • smurfix Says:

      Huh. Your definition of “set her straight” doesn’t seem to fit mine. Or my dictionary’s, for that matter.

      The fact that Exxon did that (and still does) is widely known. Nice of one of them to admit it.

      • jimbills Says:

        Epstein is the the author of ‘The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels’, a former member of the Cato Institute and Ayn Rand Institute, and the founder of the for-profit Center for Industrial Progress, with clients like the Kentucky Coal Institute:

        His arguments about carbon emissions include lines like, “It’s good for plants.” The only people who would find him convincing are those that already think like him.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      I’d love to ask Randians like Alex Epstein what he thinks of inherited wealth.

      • I’m sure he finds it disgusting when John Kerry flies around on a private jet paid for by his wife’s inherited wealth or Jerry Brown being part of one of California’s richest families (from an Indonesian oil monopoly no less) and leaving California energy poor.

        • J4Zonian Says:

          Tu quoque nonsense, although the point that rich people are the cause of climate catastrophe is valid. The most rational response is to banish billionaires, millionaires, and hundred thousandaires and provide for the good of all members of society including non-humans, cooperatively.

          But at least you right wing nutcases are off blaming Al Gore for every problem you have. Guess when so many people don’t even know who he is now, that wasn’t working any more.

          • Banishing billionaires and millionaires is the dumbest thing on Earth! Human progress is created by the Howard Rourkes of the world:

            We would not have Apple or Teslas if Steve Jobs and Elon Musk couldn’t become billionaires!

          • J4Zonian Says:

            Dombroski has now posited 2 grossly nonsensical theories about the origin of good things, refusing to recognize or admit that the foundations of civilization were constructed one tiny part at a time, over centuries or millennia, almost exclusively by regular, non-rich people, and in civilizations (and band and tribal societies) with no fossil fuels.

            The Rise of Anti-history
            The Trumpist wing of the GOP uses history as a bludgeon, without regard to context, logic, or proportionality. [or truth]

        • J4Zonian Says:

          Also, for those interested, California’s energy is OK, and moving along pretty well. No country or state on Earth is doing what it needs to (although Norway and Iceland…) but California is one of the most energy-efficient states, with one of the highest (and most diverse) percentages of renewable energy and one of the strongest energy transition plans (without actually being adequate) in the US. That’s because it has an even higher percent of progressive citizens and a more progressive government than almost any other state, such as it is.

        • J4Zonian Says:

          Ha ha ha ha ha ha hahahahahaha ha! Good one.

          Ayn Rand’s pretentious and self-righteous attempts to justify psychopathy is the most weasely and repulsive literary crimes in a century, written by exactly the kind of disturbed person you’d think. The unhagiographed Rourkes of the real world are destructive malignant narcissists who have made civilization the monstrous force for twisting human psychology that it is.

          Mbillionaires and the mental derangement that accompanies wealth and privilege are main proximal contributing factors to the crisis that will probably end civilization and most life on Earth within a century. The ethical behavior and business practices of most are reprehensible; probably the most useful of the lot to humanity is Musk, but his treatment of employees and rash behavior toward society are inexcusable, as is his ego-driven/anthropocentric fantasy of (and expenditure on) Mars travel at a time humanity is so close to collapse.

          Even when the celebrity spoiled and deprived children try or pretend to help, their views are so warped by wealth and need that they pour billions into mostly-counterproductive ratholes and dead ends. Everything good they’ve accomplished (and I would say most of what they’ve accomplished is a wash at best, even the things people like) could have been done by others motivated to do good, not accumulate money. They almost certainly would have been done sooner and better without mbillionaires, and the mbillionaires are the ones keeping humanity from acting fast enough to improve chances of survival. Again, when are you going to address the mental disturbance that’s compelling you to excuse and collaborate with the criminally insane?

          Money isn’t the motivation. It’s the power, acclaim, domination, success, and other things represented by money that are the motivation for people with serious unmet childhood needs, and it’s driven by a society that creates insecurity as a way to feed the illnesses and addictions of the oligarchs. Healthier people, especially those in a healthier society, respond better to other rewards—people like Jonas Salk, who gave up millions to give the polio vaccine to the world. To solve those interrelated problems we need to 1. outlaw outsized wealth, and 2. provide better childhoods. The world cannot afford rich people any more.

        • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

          Libertarians embrace property rights on the laughable premise of people earning them by doing the work themselves (Galt’s Gulch, anyone?), but too often they also say that money should go untouched to heirs that didn’t do anything to earn it.

          (Personally, I’m a big fan of policies that severely reduce dynastic wealth, and would rather death taxes be based on how much individual heirs inherit rather than on the value of the estate as a whole.)

    • neilrieck Says:

      Alex Epstein is the exact kind person that scientist Micheal Mann warned about in Mann’s latest book. People who will push their pro-fossil-fuel narrative wrapped in a new semi-green argument (Epstein pushes the rational use of burning fossil fuels while ignoring the fact that humanity is in the last decade where we are able to take action on global warming). Meanwhile, early Summer temperatures all around the world broke new records. At the same time, planet Earth has broken CO2 records for the last 2-months. https://gml.noaa.gov/ccgg/trends/

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        Nowadays when I see the Keeling Curve I wonder how much melting permafrost is starting to contribute. A miniscule bit right now, most likely, but soon we won’t be able to attribute all of it to human activity. 😦

  2. J4Zonian Says:


    Alex Epstein is “a [philosopher] with no science background who is also a blogger at Master Resource (the “Free Market Energy Blog”) and a past fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute.” Desmogblog

    There is no moral case for fossil fuels; anyone who tries to make one can only do it by lying. Epstein proves this over and over in the stream of contradictory bile he spews here, brought to us by one of the serial treasonists we’ve come to know here. Fossil fuels are now destroying civilization, and will without any doubt continue to accelerate that process, while also destroying most life on Earth. Anyone trying to argue that the readily observable scale of global destruction could possibly be anywhere near balanced by the benefits of fuels is insane—whether they’re committing this felony mass murder professionally or as a hobbyist.

    Sure signs of Epstein’s insanity abound in the statement on climate catastrophe here:

    “At [Epstein’s dark-money-funded] Center for Industrial Progress (CIP), we celebrate man’s [sic] impact on nature, just as our ancestors celebrated Americans’ ability to ‘tame a continent.’

    Epstein’s contradiction-filled spew puts property rights over survival and celebrates genocide and massive ecological destruction, fueled not by fossils but by their moral equivalent, slavery. It destroys all rights including property rights, since destroying nature—as fossil fuels are now doing—will result in collapse of civilization, global chaos, and unimaginable genocide, dwarfing all previous attempts by orders of magnitude. Epstein et al celebrate taking the third option only, in the climate triangle of mitigation, adaptation, and suffering. What Epstein’s ilk celebrate is the psychopathic reduction of life to a never-ending hierarchical struggle for dominance reached for by the 20th century fascists and by every malignant narcissist and 2-bit Wetiko-infected Genghis Khan in history. To learn about the motivations for that, one can read:

    For Your Own Good: hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence
    by Alice Miller, German Psychologist
    which among other cases looks at how precisely the events and circumstances of Hitler’s and other top Nazi’s early lives determined what they did as adults.

    The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and the Problem of Domination
    by Jessica Benjamin

    Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection
    by Deborah Blum
    Monkey experiments based on the attachment theory of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth

    The Mass Psychology of Fascism
    by Wilhelm Reich

    Here’s Epstein’s statement on climate catastrophe:

    “The movement to convince the public of catastrophic global warming is fundamentally unscientific.”
    That is simply wrong. And projectile.

    “Its leaders do not, as true scientists would, objectively study and relay the full evidence about what drives the climate, Wrong. The scientists informing climate activists do exactly that, and the third leg of the trio is government forced to act by shaming and (in other countries) democracy. That trio is one of the most potent forces of change in the modern world, second only to the psychopathy-and-narcissism affliction of the wealthy.

    “they fixate obsessively on CO2.”
    Wrong. Sensing a pattern from this science-ignorant right wing propagandagoon? Those interested in learning more about what science has discovered about this should read Gaia’s Body: Toward a Physiology of Earth, by Tyler Volk.

    “They do not share how poorly understood climate drivers are;” Wrong. Science is open about what it knows and doesn’t know.

    “they act as if they can predict the climate with certainty.”
    No. They don’t. Anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention to the scientific debate rather than the fossil fueled morons and right wing extremist hatchet men (like TVMOB and Marc Morano, respectively) knows that’s complete nonsense.

    “Through manipulation of government agencies, a credulous media,”
    what blatantly offensive projection; this of course is exactly what the anti-science climate-denying delayalists do.

    “and many of their cloistered colleagues in academia”
    He’s talking here about the scientists who have done the work to show beyond a reasonable doubt that climate is warming, people are causing it, it’s very dangerous, and the only way out is a crash program of efficiency, wiser lives, clean safe renewable energy, regenerative forestry and agriculture, ecological industry, radical political and economic equalization, and psychological healing. Nobody’s being manipulated except the poor fools who fall for the right wing’s lies.

    “they have managed to take over much of the field of climatology and the vast majority of its public relations.”
    Well, let’s see… The people doing the science and thus originating the warnings ARE the field of climatology; they’ve collectively examined several centuries worth of science—hundreds of thousands of studies—and are essentially in unanimity. Corporate media have responded with unforgivably criminal ignor-ance and false balance, giving a tiny number of irrational, anti-evidence climate deniers, mostly with no more science background than Epstein, more weight and attention than the actual scientists. So it’s exactly the opposite of what Epstein is claiming. Again.

    Almost every statement in Epstein’s 2 minute ad pushing fossil fuels is a lie. The fossil and fissile trolls here are always trying to push the lie about energy density but this video is an even more falsehood-dense piece of garbage than Michael Moore’s friend’s digital dogpile or TVMOB’s egregious slide show.

    Here’s a better one. At least McKibben is there to counter the offensive deception by mini-MOB:

    • J4Zonian Says:

      Super super hard to find any truth in Epstein’s coal sludge or any redeeming quality in this polite despicable psychopath.

      Debating liars in real time is almost always a bad idea, as good liars can produce a Gish gallop on any subject, (Duane Gish was an anti-evolutionist) and refuting the relentless regurgitation of lies with facts in real time is time-consuming, difficult or impossible without an eidetic memory, and not as dramatic as the lies themselves, especially when they’re chosen to appeal to the baser instincts, as Epstein’s are.

      Once you take out the dishonest cherry picking (ignoring >26,000 data sets showing Earth is warming, and an equal body of evidence showing it’s fossil fuels and other GHGs, and many others), the straw people (making fossil fuels illegal, e.g.—repeated here literally dozen of times), the outright lies (Faux Pause, expense of fossil and fissile fuels vs RE, Germany, climate science being only based on models, mischaracterizing sets of projections by climate scientists that have actually turned out to be many many times more accurate than predictions by denying delayalists… and on and on, most of which, btw, depend on cherry picking) Epstein has no arguments at all. Everything he says is a lie, even the things with a tiny kernel of truth. Most of his arguments have been used for decades; in fact almost all the denying delayalists have moved beyond them to other, non-climate arguments (attacks on clean safe renewable energy, e.g.)

      Epstein makes no attempt to differentiate fossil fuel energy from energy. Energy, including that from clean safe renewable sources, would have done the same things fossil fuel energy has done, but with 9 million fewer deaths a year from air pollution and no risk of climate catastrophe.

      At ~34:00… Epstein uses a straw person about policy, another deception meant to associate clean safe renewables with things the right wing doesn’t like, and then comes up with more cherry picking and unquestioned assumptions about which energy we use, accompanied by ignor-ance of the efficiency savings from electrifying-and-renewablizing. He even says he’s cherry picking and pretends it’s a good thing to ignore all the evidence except what he likes.

      Epstein makes no attempt to answer McKibben’s point about the non-fossil fuel things that are the actual reasons for increased life expectancy, he just repeats the same argument, different country. But polls show the people of China are no happier than they were when they were using a lot less energy and had fewer things. Again, with the rural vs. urban story, what he calls reality is just more cherry picking.

      False correlation. The number of cheap and short-lived tiny plastic chairs has gone up tremendously in stores in the US and I’m guessing also in China and other developing countries, at the same time lifespans have increased. So cheap tiny plastic chairs must cause longer life, correct? And taking a closer look shows that while the lifespans of some within a certain mid-range of wealth are increasing, parallel processes of psychological projection, scapegoating, economic externalities, etc. are either decreasing lifespans or, since many of the externalities are countered by ever-increasing effort (increasingly desperate, some might say, like ever-bigger and more technologically sophisticated fishing fleets chasing ever-scarcer less desirable fish ever more successfully—for now) much of the externalizing is done to people in the future. There’s manna and there’s extractive industry and the 2 are incompatible.

      Are people happier than they were as hunter-gatherers? There’s no evidence that they are, and considerable evidence to say farming people are less happy than gatherer-hunters and industrial people are less happy than farmers. Archeological records show farmers for many generations were less healthy, at least, after that transition, and only in the past few generations in a few places, has that been reversed. And it’s been accompanied by the projective counter-trends of the extractive industry of colonialism (now neo-colonialism) and future projections. The idea that fossil fuels were ever a “boon” as McKibben says, is debatable. Use of them has created the world we have but is it “better” by any objective measure? There’s no objective way to answer that; it seem to me that the closest we can come is talking about health, happiness, and ecology, which are all damaged by fossil fuels. (Certainly, to do my own more indicative cherry picking, the deadliness and horror of war and oppression have increased because of fossil fuels.)

      At the end, (1:01:50) Epstein again uses the straw person he’s used over and over here, (with a qualifier this time) then makes a plea for a food system that is exactly what small-scale low-meat organic permaculture is, and a plea for energy that is exactly what’s happened with clean safe renewable energy and which is exactly what Epstein is fighting against. McKibben does an understandably less-than-perfect job of pointing out that nukes are not scaleable, and that we are running out of slightly-less-harmful fossil fuels as EROEI falls (oil, 100:1 in the 1930s, 13:1 now) and we resort to ever-dirtier fuels like tar sands and going farther, deeper, and more difficult.

      The arrogance of people like Epstein and their willingness to blatantly lie and stick with the lies no matter what, depends entirely on having audiences who don’t know the science, and on those people’s refusal to do the work to refute the nonsense in their own minds, or to not invite the liars into our lives in the first place. Dombroski’s willingness to put this psychopath in our path is an even more disgusting tactic than his or her usual defense of indefensible nukes, and it has no place here. Or anywhere; it’s 30 years past time for such lies to be tolerated. McKibben and I together have answered only a tiny percent of the decades-old lies created by fossil fuel corporation minions like focus-group-using Marc Morano and Steve Milloy and spread by syncophantic trolls like Epstein and canman. Here are a couple of places that use science and reason to answer more:
      David Roberts at Volts, formerly at vox and Grist
      Common Dreams
      and here at Climate Crock of the Week. Such an apt title for the video canman has supplied.

    • “Fossil fuels are now destroying civilization, and will without any doubt continue to accelerate that process, while also destroying most life on Earth.”

      • J4Zonian Says:

        “Fossil fuels are now destroying civilization, and will without any doubt continue to accelerate that process, while also destroying most life on Earth.”

    • “The fossil and fissile trolls here are always trying to push the lie about energy density but this video is an even more falsehood-dense piece of garbage than Michael Moore’s friend’s digital dogpile or TVMOB’s egregious slide show.”

      Can you state a specific lie that has been told about energy density?

  3. All this hating on Alex Epstein — the truth is, we wouldn’t have a thriving civilization without fossil fuels. We know this because no one has created one without fossil fuels.

    • jimbills Says:

      On the statement that fossil fuels created the civilization we live in – no duh. That’s a really observant statement.

      The problems involved with fossil fuel use, though, are either unacknowledged or downplayed by you and by Epstein, and that’s the issue here. We can choose a future of increasing fossil fuel use, argued by Epstein, or one where the energy used in our civilization is derived from cleaner sources. We don’t HAVE to choose the former. The technologies for alternatives to FF have advanced sufficiently to where we can build newer facilities using those alternatives and replace the old ones using FF. Our past does not necessarily equal our future, which is the fallacy Epstein is pushing. – one in which he also derives his living.

      Other than that ‘small’ little detail, Epstein continuously brags about his philosophy background and his rationality, when his arguments are a constant barrage of logical fallacies. It’s either stupidity, extreme hypocrisy, or actual psychopathy as claimed by J4.

    • J4Zonian Says:

      The usual bad logic and motivated unreasoning from canman. [Sentence deleted by author thinking better of being completely honest. Everyone can fill in their own opinion of canman.]

      Even if something hasn’t been done it doesn’t mean it can’t be, and it’s a phenomenally stoopid thing to imply otherwise. [Yes, just because I’m not embracing it 100% doesn’t mean I’m giving up honesty completely.]
      No one has created a civilization anywhere but Earth, but most of the people on canman’s side probably think we will. Until a thing exists, it doesn’t. Obviously, there was a time every thing, idea, and structure we have didn’t exist. Then they did. Duh.

      There have been many civilizations created without fossil fuels—in fact—obviously—every one created during the roughly 8000 years before 1830. Many of them lasted far longer than our COG-based one has or will. And if we keep trying to use fossil fuels, this one will almost certainly end in the next 100 years, and it’s looking more and more likely to be 50.

      Almost everything we have that we value—domesticated plants and animals, writing, math, science, philosophy, psychology, ecology, myth, healing and medicine, cities and architecture, music, art, technology… came from those civilizations. They were all created, developed, improved, and passed on through thousands of years. Buddha, Da Vinci, Hildegard von Bingen…

      As a reminder, here are just a few: Ur, Sumer, Babylon, Qin, Han, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and other Indus Valley civilizations, Japan, Mayan city-states, Hopewell, Aztec, Incan, Kush, Songhai, Great Zimbabwe, Egypt, Greece, Carthage, Rome, Crete/Minoan, Byzantium, Carolingian Empire, the European states whose empires extended globally in the age of sail (Italian, Iberian, French, British (creators of the global weather monitoring system that’s the basis of climate science), German, Russian, US.

      It’s very distressing to find there are still, after 40 years of increasing scientific knowledge and attempts to educate, people so profoundly mentally disturbed and drained of sense by their ideology that they’re still in thrall to the ludicrous nonsense canman is pushing here.

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