Environmentalism is a powerful force in our culture. Contemporary environmentalism signals your sensitivity and your virtue. It isn’t a prescription for human life on earth. Look at the guideposts of environmentalism for yourself and see where they lead.
The greens tell me to recycle so that people live better. That sounds great. It also means we need low-cost energy. Low energy costs make it possible to recycle materials rather than extract them or throw them away. What if it costs more money and energy to collect, classify, grade, transport, regrind and remelt a plastic or glass bottle than to produce a new one?
For the greens, recycling is an end in itself and not a means to economic efficiency. We’re told that recycling is good…even when it isn’t. I want low-cost energy AND recycling…where it makes sense.
I mentioned energy prices, but the greens want expensive energy so that solar and wind energy look affordable. Without taxes on energy, those “renewable” sources are frighteningly unattractive. Pandering politicians want the green vote, so they raise energy prices and claim they are being green. We tax poor people who have to pay higher energy prices, or we subsidize wind and solar, or both.
Wind and solar have a much larger carbon footprint than nuclear or hydro power. Wind and solar also cost more lives for each unit of energy they deliver. Why didn’t you hear that in the news? The green celebrities don’t want to be bothered with the facts since wind and solar are “good” and nuclear and hydro are “bad”. Being green is a superstitious ideology rather than a decision to minimize our impact on the earth.
We’ve been sold the fantasy of a “green future”. I have not found a city, let alone a state or region, that made itself energy independent using solar and wind. They always have power plants running to pick up the slack when the wind stops, or they link to regions that do. We’ve had wind and solar for 40 years, so where is their success story? The green mirage is always just around the corner, but we never reach it. That makes it the perfect political platform that can be campaigned for endlessly.
In fact, these energy choices cost money, and jobs, and lives. Raising power rates has the same results we’d see if we raised the price of any other durable good. We raise the market price to every consumer, the rich and the poor alike. The poor are least able to pay higher energy prices.
We also deport entire industries as prices and regulations rise. Power-intensive industries can’t pay the “green tax” of high-cost power. These businesses move to regions with competitive power rates or the companies go out of business. These high-power industries take their jobs with them, as well as the jobs from their suppliers.
Green power is not like a regular commodity in that it can’t be stored. Electricity must be produced on demand. When electrical power becomes unreliable, then high-technology industries have to move as well. Consider this. You lose a few minutes of time when your computer has to restart after a power spike. You don’t lose minutes, but weeks of production when a high-tech assembly line blinks off for a few seconds.
You lose even more when an individual on medical life support is thrown into the dark. That is another price of the green fantasy. Me, I don’t support human sacrifice. If you want a windmill, pay for it yourself.
The greens don’t like nuclear power because they don’t understand it. To be fair, they don’t understand modern combined-cycle generating stations either. They think they understand solar and wind. They don’t, but they think they do.
Ask a greenie if nuclear power is good, and he’ll say no. Ask him if geothermal energy is good, and greens say yes. Geothermal energy is nothing more than diluted nuclear energy. Ask the people who’ve actually worked with geothermal energy and they will say it is a mess. Boiling-hot salt water from inside the earth is hard on equipment and people. The brine contains toxic metals and radioactive materials brought up from inside the earth. Geothermal energy plants release more radiation than nuclear plants. The greens ignore that because “green energy is good” and other technologies are bad.
Let’s get philosophical for a minute. Ask the greenie if it would be a good idea to stop nuclear reactions on earth. He will say yes because “radiation” is “bad”. The feel-good environmentalist doesn’t know that nuclear decay in the earth’s core is the reason we have life on earth. I’m not describing metaphysics, but real geophysics.
If you’re feeling cruel then you can ask a green if we should reduce the amount of radiation on the earth. Again, he’ll probably say yes. Ask him if nuclear reactors are a good idea since they actually reduce the nuclear inventory on the earth…and the greens say,”No.”
The argument isn’t about facts, but feelings. Ignorance of the facts may be bliss, but ignorance is frighteningly dangerous as public policy.
Man-made climate change is a big problem, or so I’m told by environmentalists. Ask the greenie where most atmospheric CO2 comes from. He will claim it comes from our cars and industry. In fact, humans produce less than 5 percent of the CO2 in our atmosphere.
Ask which greenhouse gas is the most abundant and which one is most effective in global warming. The answer is water vapor, and CO2 is far behind.
The hate thrown on fossil fuels is a religion, not science.
Greens say we need to stop using fossil fuels because the earth is heating up. Ask them why was it warmer 800 years before the industrial revolution than it is now, 200 years after the industrial revolution? Environmentalism is about seizing political power, not about atmospheric physics.
Let’s ignore the fact that it takes tons of batteries to equal the energy in a tank of gasoline. Let’s ignore the fact that the equivalent batteries will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ignore the fact that electric cars are energy intensive to produce and energy intensive to recycle. Ignore the fact that many “green” states, like California, have laws that make it impossible to recycle electric cars in their state. We’ve been making batteries for over 200 years and there is no great breakthrough expected tomorrow.
Like the rest of “green energy”, mandating electric cars means rich people will ride and poor people will walk. To the liberal socialist-environmentalists, that is a feature, not a fault. Electric cars are attractive as virtue symbols. With rare exceptions, they don’t help the environment. If you don’t like what I said, then you can verify it for yourself. Unlike the green religion, the real facts are out there.
Being green won’t go away. Posing as an environmentalist is an easy way to signal your sensitivity and virtue to your friends. The desire to stroke your ego in front of your peers is both eternal and insatiable. As emotionally and spiritually narrow as that sounds, I’m fine with it. Let’s not pretend that being “green” has anything to do with living well on earth. Being green is about following a new religion because you didn’t like living with the old religion.
Image: Excerpted: https://pixabay.com/en/iceland-power-plant-1611854/