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New Ideal - Reason | Individualism | Capitalism

The Attempted Character Assassination of Alex Epstein

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate, Keith Lockitch and Alex Epstein discuss recent hit pieces by the Washington Post and DeSmog.com that attempt to smear Epstein, an energy expert, and what these smear attempts reveal about the sorry state of today’s debate over climate and energy.

Among the topics covered:

  • The value of Epstein’s new book, Fossil Future;
  • The failure of our “knowledge system” to publicize the full context of information about energy and climate;
  • The difference between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports and their interpretation by our knowledge system;
  • The Post’s refusal to acknowledge the actual contents of Epstein’s argument;
  • A critical examination of the article’s evidence-free claims about previous criticisms of Epstein;
  • The unseriousness and dishonesty of the attempt to smear Epstein by making insinuations about his college writings;
  • The religious mentality behind the Post article;
  • How Epstein’s public commentary helped preempt the worst claims of the planned piece;
  • Epstein’s response as a model of genuine thought, vs. the Post’s approach;
  • How Epstein’s demands helped prevent the damaging effects of the hit piece;
  • Whether the response had greater impact than the hit piece;
  • Whether it would make sense to address this incident in a postscript to the new book;
  • How the Objectivist moral perspective helped Epstein’s response and his work on energy;
  • What hostility to advocacy for fossil fuels reveals about problems in the knowledge system.

Mentioned in the discussion is Epstein’s new book, Fossil Future.

The podcast was recorded on April 14, 2022. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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Sam Weaver

Sam Weaver, BA in English, is an associate fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and a recipient of the Conceptual Education Fellowship.

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