Best Alex Epstein books

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

Alex Epstein

Best price for this book: $ 9.93

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Could everything we know about fossil fuels be wrong?

For decades, environmentalists have told us that using fossil fuels is a self-destructive addiction that will destroy our planet. Yet at the same time, by every measure of human well-being, from life expectancy to clean water to climate safety, life has been getting better and better.

How can this be?

The explanation, energy expert Alex Epstein argues in The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, is that we usually hear only one side of the story. We’re taught to think only of the negatives of fossil fuels, their risks and side effects, but not their positives—their unique ability to provide cheap, reliable energy for a world of seven billion people. And the moral significance of cheap, reliable energy, Epstein argues, is woefully underrated. Energy is our ability to improve every single aspect of life, whether economic or environmental.

If we look at the big picture of fossil fuels compared with the alternatives, the overall impact of using fossil fuels is to make the world a far better place. We are morally obligated to use more fossil fuels for the sake of our economy and our environment.

Drawing on original insights and cutting-edge research, Epstein argues that most of what we hear about fossil fuels is a myth. For instance . . .

Myth: Fossil fuels are dirty.
Truth: The environmental benefits of using fossil fuels far outweigh the risks. Fossil fuels don’t take a naturally clean environment and make it dirty; they take a naturally dirty environment and make it clean. They don’t take a naturally safe climate and make it dangerous; they take a naturally dangerous climate and make it ever safer.

Myth: Fossil fuels are unsustainable, so we should strive to use “renewable” solar and wind.
Truth: The sun and wind are intermittent, unreliable fuels that always need backup from a reliable source of energy—usually fossil fuels. There are huge amounts of fossil fuels left, and we have plenty of time to find something cheaper.

Myth: Fossil fuels are hurting the developing world.
Truth: Fossil fuels are the key to improving the quality of life for billions of people in the developing world. If we withhold them, access to clean water plummets, critical medical machines like incubators become impossible to operate, and life expectancy drops significantly. Calls to “get off fossil fuels” are calls to degrade the lives of innocent people who merely want the same opportunities we enjoy in the West.

Taking everything into account, including the facts about climate change, Epstein argues that “fossil fuels are easy to misunderstand and demonize, but they are absolutely good to use. And they absolutely need to be championed. . . . Mankind’s use of fossil fuels is supremely virtuous—because human life is the standard of value and because using fossil fuels transforms our environment to make it wonderful for human life.”

Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box

Alex Epstein

Best price for this book: $ 10.01

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A professional TV writer's real-world guide to getting paid to write great television

Everyone watches television, and everyone has an opinion on what makes good TV. But, as Alex Epstein shows in this invaluable guide, writing for television is a highly specific craft that requires knowledge, skill, and more than a few insider's tricks.

Epstein, a veteran TV writer and show creator himself, provides essential knowledge about the entire process of television writing, both for beginners and for professionals who want to go to the next level. Crafty TV Writing explains how to decode the hidden structure of a TV series. It describes the best ways to generate a hook, write an episode, create characters the audience will never tire of, construct entertaining dialogue, and use humor. It shows how to navigate the tough but rewarding television industry, from writing your first "spec" script, to getting hired to work on a show, to surviving--even thriving--if you get fired. And it illuminates how television writers think about the shows they're writing, whether they're working in comedy, drama, or "reality."

Fresh, funny, and informed, Crafty TV Writing is the essential guide to writing for and flourishing in the world of television.

Fossil Fuels Improve the Planet

Alex J. Epstein

Best price for this book: $ 5.5

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The basic question underlying our energy policy debates is this: Should we be free to generate more and more energy using fossil fuels? Or should we restrict and progressively outlaw fossil fuels as "dirty energy"? I believe that if we look at the big picture, the facts are clear. If we want a healthy, livable environment, then we must be free to use fossil fuels. Why? Because for the foreseeable future, fossil fuels provide the key to a great environment: abundant, affordable, reliable energy.

Equal Is Unfair: America's Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality

Don Watkins

Best price for this book: $ 10.19

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We’ve all heard that the American Dream is vanishing, and that the cause is rising income inequality. The rich are getting richer by rigging the system in their favor, leaving the rest of us to struggle just to keep our heads above water. To save the American Dream, we’re told that we need to fight inequality through tax hikes, wealth redistribution schemes, and a far higher minimum wage.

But what if that narrative is wrong? What if the real threat to the American Dream isn’t rising income inequality―but an all-out war on success?

In Equal is Unfair, a timely and thought-provoking work, Don Watkins and Yaron Brook reveal that almost everything we’ve been taught about inequality is wrong. You’ll discover:

• why successful CEOs make so much money―and deserve to
• how the minimum wage hurts the very people it claims to help
• why middle-class stagnation is a myth
• how the little-known history of Sweden reveals the dangers of forced equality
• the disturbing philosophy behind Obama’s economic agenda.

The critics of inequality are right about one thing: the American Dream is under attack. But instead of fighting to make America a place where anyone can achieve success, they are fighting to tear down those who already have. The real key to making America a freer, fairer, more prosperous nation is to protect and celebrate the pursuit of success―not pull down the high fliers in the name of equality.

Crafty Screenwriting: Writing Movies That Get Made

Alex Epstein

Best price for this book: $ 8.75

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The most innovative and creative screenwriting book yet, from an author who knows first-hand what it takes to get a movie made.

Based on an award-winning website hailed as "smart enough for professional screenwriters and accessible enough for aspiring screenwriters", Crafty Screenwriting is the first book not only to offer a successful screenwriter's tricks of the trade, but to explain what development executives really mean when they complain that the "dialogue is flat," or "the hero isn't likeable." Fresh, provocative, and funny, Alex Epstein diagnoses problem that other screenwriting books barely address, and answers questions they rarely ask, like "Why is it sometimes dangerous to know your characters too well before you start writing," or "Why does your script have to be so much better than the awful pictures that get made every day?" As a development executive who has accepted and rejected countless screenplays, and a produced screenwriter himself, Epstein can take you into the heart of the most important question of all: "Is this a movie?" A crucial book for anyone who has ever wondered what it takes to get their movie made.

Climate Change: The Facts

J.Abbot

Best price for this book: $ 15.93

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Tirelessly promoted by princes, presidents, actors and activists, "climate change" has become a dominant theme of global politics. But what's really going on as the "pause" in global warming prepares to enter its third decade? In this new anthology, leading scientists and commentators from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia consider the climate from every angle - the science, the policy and the politics.

Critical Thinking, 4th Edition

Richard L. Epstein

Best price for this book: $ 34.95

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Epstein's CRITICAL THINKING sets new standards of clarity for teaching how to reason well in daily life and how to write well. With over one thousand everyday examples and exercises, the text engages and challenges the student. Featuring its own cast of cartoon characters, it is the only text on critical thinking in which students work with illustrations to convert the non-verbal into arguments and arrive at conceptual understanding. A comprehensive instructor's manual plus many supplements on the ARF website make teaching the course a pleasure for instructor and student alike.

The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World

Abigail Tucker

Best price for this book: $ 9.3

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A New York Times bestseller about how cats conquered the world and our hearts in this “deep and illuminating perspective on our favorite household companion” (Huffington Post).

House cats rule bedrooms and back alleys, deserted Antarctic islands, even cyberspace. And unlike dogs, cats offer humans no practical benefit. The truth is they are sadly incompetent mouse-catchers and now pose a threat to many ecosystems. Yet, we love them still.

In the “eminently readable and gently funny” (Library Journal, starred review) The Lion in the Living Room, Abigail Tucker travels through world history, natural science, and pop culture to meet breeders, activists, and scientists who’ve dedicated their lives to cats. She visits the labs where people sort through feline bones unearthed from the first human settlements, treks through the Floridian wilderness in search of house cats-turned-hunters on the loose, and hangs out with Lil Bub, one of the world’s biggest celebrities—who just happens to be a cat.

“Fascinating” (Richmond Times-Dispatch) and “lighthearted” (The Seattle Times), Tucker shows how these tiny felines have used their relationship with humans to become one of the most powerful animals on the planet. A “lively read that pounces back and forth between evolutionary science and popular culture” (The Baltimore Sun), The Lion in the Living Room suggests that we learn that the appropriate reaction to a house cat, it seems, might not be aww but awe.

Blue Has No South

Alex Epstein

Best price for this book: $ 6.59

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"Epstein has a singular voice. The Moment that he decided to write prose was a blessed moment for the Hebrew literature of our times."
-Gilad Saari Levy

"Their love story ended many years ago. He still writes her name as a solution to crossword puzzle clues of suitable length."

Alex Epstein's miniature stories are indeed love stories, puzzles, stray clues to puzzles he never finishes, the beginnings or ends of philosophical treatises, parables, jokes, modernized legends, or perhaps a vivid handful of images thrown together, then allowed to disperse. This is a form of which he has been hailed as a master, a form as singular and intricate as a collection of fingerprints. His stories are populated by angels, chess players, mythical figures, Walter Benjamin, Franz Kafka, lovers young and old, writers of disappearing languages; they are set in airports, trains, the sites of legends, hotels, bookstores in countries that no longer exist, dreams. In each of them, Epstein draws precisely the smallest possible world, and revels in the great possibilities of a single sentence. In each of them, we are invited to celebrate everything that can happen before "the tip of the pencil breaks against the bright paper."

Winning the Unwinnable War: America's Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism

Best price for this book: $ 29.31

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Eight years after 9/11 and in the shadow of two protracted U.S. military campaigns in the Middle East, the enemy is not only undefeated but emboldened and resurgent. What went wrong_and what should we do going forward? Winning the Unwinnable War shows how our own policy ideas led to 9/11 and then crippled our response in the Middle East, and it makes the case for an unsettling conclusion: By subordinating military victory to perverse, allegedly moral constraints, Washington's policy has undermined our national security. Owing to the significant influence of Just War Theory and neoconservatism, the Bush administration consciously put the imperative of shielding civilians and bringing them elections above the goal of eliminating real threats to our security. Consequently, this policy left our enemies stronger, and America weaker, than before. The dominant alternative to Bush-esque idealism in foreign policy_so-called realism_has made a strong comeback under the tenure of Barack Obama. But this nonjudgmental, supposedly practical approach is precisely what helped unleash the enemy prior to 9/11. The message of the essays in this thematic collection is that only by radically re-thinking our foreign policy in the Middle East can we achieve victory over the enemy that attacked us on 9/11. We need a new moral foundation for our Mideast policy. That new starting point for U.S. policy is the moral ideal championed by the philosopher Ayn Rand: rational self-interest. Implementing this approach entails objectively defining our national interest as protecting the lives and freedoms of Americans_and then taking principled action to safeguard them. The book lays out the necessary steps for achieving victory and for securing America's long-range interests in the volatile Middle East.