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It’s time we teach the virtues of cheap, abundant fossil fuels


October 7, 2015

The Crisis In Energy Education

As originally published by Forbes

by Alex Epstein
The fossil fuel industry, as the leading and most misunderstood energy industry, has an obligation and self-interest in educating its employees and the public about energy, yet does a miserable job at it.

From kindergarten through high school through Ph.D. programs, all of us are taught that fossil fuel use is fundamentally immoral—a self-destructive addiction that’s destroying our planet, or at best a necessary evil that we have to get rid of as soon as possible, even if that (unfortunately) means a few more decades.

But where are we taught that there is a moral case for fossil fuels—an argument that, big picture, fossil fuel technology makes our planet a progressively better place to live, as its benefits to human life, including our environment, far, far outweigh its risks and side-effects? Where are we taught that fossil fuels are not a self-destructive addiction to get off of, but a healthy choice that billions of people need more of?

As a culture, almost nowhere.

This means that the fossil fuel industry has to pick up a lot of the slack—especially in teaching its employees. This is starting to happen, but not enough.

One question I ask CEOs is: “When you bring in new employees for training, what do you train them in?” The answers I get are usually safety, company culture, administrative procedures, and so on.

Then I ask: “What about training employees in the value of what they do—the full impact it has on human life?” Usually the answer is that they do none, or maybe an hour or two.

An hour or two.

So we have employees who have spent a lifetime with our culture telling them what they do is not valuable, is unsustainable, is destructive, and we are only giving them an hour or two on why the career we are asking them to devote their lives to may not be as immoral as they’ve been taught?

How does this affect employee motivation? It leads to many people, particularly among those who weren’t born in the industry, as thinking of their work as “just a job”—something they do because it’s the most money they can get.

Read the rest of the article HERE!

Reposted by Marjorie Haun  10/7/15

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