Skip the eco-guilt on this Earth Day — we largely have clean air and clean water

Every year on Earth Day, we’re supposed to reflect on all the ways we’ve made the planet worse — and pledge to be less bad next year, whether by buying a hybrid or biking to work.

Do the opposite this Earth Day: Reflect on all the ways we’ve made the planet better. Because despite all our eco-guilt, the planet has never been a better place for human beings to live.

Try this thought experiment:

Imagine that we transported someone from 300 years ago, at the very start of the Industrial Revolution, to today’s world. What would he think about our environment? Without question, his reaction would be one of disbelief; not that we had destroyed his pristine, natural world, but that such a clean, healthy environment was possible.

“The air is so clean,” our time traveler might say. “Where I come from, we’re breathing in smoke all day from the fire we need to burn in our furnaces and stoves.

“And the water. Everywhere I go, the water tastes so fresh, and it’s all safe to drink. On my farm, we get our water from a brook we share with animals, and my kids are always getting sick.


About The Author Alex Epstein

Alex Epstein, founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, is a humanist philosopher who seeks to identify the full context of industrial and environmental controversies. His New York Times bestseller The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels has been widely praised as the most persuasive argument ever made against climate catastrophism, and led The McLaughlin Group to name Epstein the most original thinker of 2014.