Alex Epstein, a prominent promoter of fossil fuels, stands by ethnocentric and colonialist perspectives he pushed as a college student, the Washington Post reports. Epstein, who argues it is “immoral” to encourage renewable energy adoption in the developing world, wrote in 1999 that Duke students should be required to take classes on Western civilization, and described other cultures as “anti-reason” and said “their only academic merit lies in contrasting them to Western civilization as models of inferiority.” 

Epstein viciously attacked the Washington Post reporter ahead of its publishing of his writings, which were unearthed by Documented, in an attempt to discredit her work and get her fired. Epstein said reporting on his writings in college were “so beyond the pale in terms of false content.” He also stood by his statements in a Youtube video posted last week in which he reiterated “Western culture is overall superior.” Epstein has testified before Congress at the invitation of the GOP three times, and is scheduled to speak at a conference in June sponsored by Chevron, and his messages have been repeated by numerous Republican lawmakers and politicians. His self-described “for-profit think tank” does not disclose its funders, but Epstein has admitted fossil fuel firms pay him for consulting services. (Washington Post $)