From Alex Epstein’s newsletter:
Last month I left my position as the Ayn Rand Institute’s Fellow on energy issues to start a new energy startup called the Center for Industrial Progress. Before I say anything about the new project, I just want to thank the Institute for all the support, intellectual and financial, that it has given me over the last decade–and that includes support for my decision to strike out on my own, which has always been a dream of mine.
The basic concept behind the Center for Industrial Progress is that our culture desperately needs to re-embrace industrial progress as a cultural ideal. America’s industrial progress has been declining, and with it, our economy–in large part thanks to the influence of the “green” movemenet, which has opposed industrial progress in the name of minimizing man’s impact on nature. At CIP, we celebrate man’s impact on nature, just as our ancestors celebrated Americans’ ability to “tame a continent.” We celebrate the never-ending project of the industrial revolution: to harness more and more energy to feed machines that do more and more work to make our lives better and better. This project is the key both to taking the American standard of living to the next level and to improving conditions for the desperately poor–the industrially poor–around the world.
We reject the false dichotomy between industrial progress and environmental progress; historically, industrialization has brought with it a radical improvement of the human environment. Indeed, industrial progress is the improvement of the human environment, from sanitation systems to sturdier buildings to less onerous job conditions to the production of creature comforts to having healthy, fresh food at one’s disposal year round, to the luxury of being able to preserve and travel to the most beautiful parts of nature. And so long as we embrace policies that protect property rights, including air and water rights, we protect industrial development and protect individuals from pollution. What “green” policies do is not improve the human environment, but sacrifice it to the non-human environment–just ask anyone trying to build an industrial project today.
For too long, Americans have taken industrial progress for granted, and carelessly embraced “going green” as an ideal–expecting that the unprecedented standard of living we had would automatically continue, even though we permitted environmentalists to oppose new energy production and new development at every turn. Today, we are paying the price, with an economy whose productive fundamentals are less and less sound. This needs to change–but not just to stave off the current problems. At CIP, our goal is not simply to stop bad policies and preserve the status quo. It is to champion great policies, policies that fully respect property rights and fully allow free markets, such that the brilliantly talented individuals of this great country can lead us to the next industrial renaissance.
At CIP, we believe that the potential for industrial progress is unlimited. Human beings, if left free, have unlimited potential to produce more energy, create more wealth, create more productivity, raise living standards for every hard-working person, increase leisure time, transport things more quickly, conduct more complex scientific experiments, build sturdier, more comfortable places to live, travel farther and faster, experience more, and generally make life better and better. We can do this as a nation if we make industrial progress a cultural ideal, a goal to strive for. That is the goal of the Center for Industrial Progress. Or, to use one of our slogans, our goal is to convince Americans to stop “Going Green” and start “Going Industrial.”
As for how we’re going to do that, including what collaborators will be involved, stay tuned. And keep up with our various websites:
Also, note that I will be doing a lot more public speaking this coming Fall and Winter, so if you want to hear an illuminating, entertaining talk on today’s most important energy/industrial/
environmental issues, go www.alexepstein.com and click on “Book Me” for my all new lineup, including “The Green Blackout,” “In Defense of Fracking,” and “Why America Needs to Stop Going Green and Start Going Industrial.”