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My Energy Story



The most frequent question I get asked is: “How did you end up doing this?”

Most people can’t imagine why or how someone would become a huge champion of fossil fuels, of all things.

And growing up, I never imagined I would devote my life to this cause.

So, for those of you who are interested, here’s what happened.

Part 1: Deciding to become a practical philosopher


Sometimes people assume that I became a fossil fuel champion due to some combination of 1) fossil fuel industry money and 2) my personal background—e.g., my family was involved in fossil fuels, or I grew up in some pro-fossil fuel area.

Both couldn’t be more wrong.

I became a fossil fuel champion before I even knew anyone in the industry, let alone had a financial connection.

I had no family connection to fossil fuels.

And I grew up in a liberal area, Chevy Chase, MD, that had no connection to fossil fuels.

The key to understanding why I became a fossil fuel champion is a decision I made when I was a 19-year-old computer science major at Duke University: to become a philosopher—specifically, a practical philosopher.

Many think of philosophy as an impractical subject.

But at its core, philosophy is the most practical subject, because it studies the fundamental ideas that guide all our thinking and action.

Different philosophical ideas drive hugely different outcomes.

The practicality of philosophy made me fall in love with the field.

I decided to become a practical philosopher—using my understanding of philosophical thinking methods, assumptions, and values to help people think more clearly about complex issues.



Published on 1/11/2023 (20 days ago) Alex Epstein Corner