Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Greens Just Love Us to Death

By Alan Caruba

The vote to end the $6 billion in subsidies to ethanol producers reminded me how much Greens love us all. Surely only love could inspire taking corn and turning it into moonshine, and then mixing it with gasoline. The result caused food riots in far off nations while raising the cost of a gallon of gas every time we fill up at the pump. The ethanol mandates actually reduced the mileage a gallon will provide.

At some point, even the Greens grew disenchanted with ethanol and signaled their permission to end this costly boondoggle to our fearless leaders in Washington, D.C.

You may recall they got off to a strong start when the Environmental Protection Agency was established in 1970. Its first act was to ban DDT and the result of that has been the needless death of millions who could and should have been protected against malaria. The nation these days is experiencing a bed bug population explosion that could be stopped in six months if the EPA would only authorize a pesticide to kill the critters. They won’t.

Nor have Greens given up on the Endangered Species Act which has not truly saved any species in the course of spending billions to protect, for example, a spotted owl that needed no protection whatever or gray wolves that were doing quite well in Canada and Mexico when not wandering across our borders. What the ESA did accomplish, however, was to thwart all manner of development, whether it was a new hospital or the irrigation of farms rumored to grow crops people wanted to eat. The latest proposed use of the ESA is to shut down one of the most productive oil reserves in the U.S. to protect a lizard!

These are the same saintly folk who have managed to get a law passed banning the sale of 100 watt incandescent light bulbs in favor of those twisty ones that come with a complete hazmat instruction manual because they contain mercury. The EPA fears mercury so much it is implementing regulations that have already led a utility to announce it is going to close several coal-fired plants rather than spend millions to rid emissions of mercury so small as to constitute no hazard whatever.

When not interfering with the free marketplace, agriculture, timber and other industries, one Green obsession has been energy and, in particular, oil and coal, which they deem “dirty.” Coal is dirty. I used to shovel a bucket or two into the basement furnace until my folks turned to natural gas. The U.S. has billions of cubic feet of natural gas, but you get more mileage from a teaspoon of oil and more electricity from a tablespoon of coal than from any other source of energy.

The U.S. is the virtual Saudi Arabia of coal in terms of the vast reserves known to exist. We have billions of barrels of untapped oil as well. Greens are insanely opposed to both.

Greens are all about not “wasting energy” so naturally that are advocates of two of the least practical ways of producing it, wind and solar energy. Together they comprise less than three percent of the electricity we use in America. In the process, they fill up acres of desert (where lizards and other endangered species live) with solar panels that only work when the sun is shining or defile other acres with huge, ugly wind turbines that chop all manner of birds and bats into confetti while also occasionally catching fire.

The only way to truly “conserve” energy is to not use it and in a nation where everything runs on electricity or gasoline, that means not turning on the lights or driving anywhere. That is a great way to destroy the economy. Getting more mileage from a gallon of gas is another Green fantasy. It has a finite amount, so that translates into making lighter, more dangerous cars.

The Greens have all manner of plans to save America’s forests, swamps, and other areas from the taint of human beings actually having any access to them for any reason. Pretty soon you will have to settle for a stroll in a local park if you want to see a stretch of grass or a bunch of trees. And please do not disturb the Canada Geese, they are a protected species.

The Greens are always fretting about the way members of the horrid human species are destroying the Earth or just endangering it in some fashion. They spent from the late 1980s to the end of the last decade caterwauling about a “global warming” that, in 1998, stopped happening.

Actually, the Earth had begun to warm again around 1850 after three hundred years of what was dubbed a Little Ice Age. Now scientists are warning that, due to a lack of sunspot activity, the Earth is looking to enter yet another Little Ice Age. Some even think we are looking at the big one because we are literally at the end of the 11,500 year cycle between ice ages. The last Ice Age lasted 100,000 years.

In case I didn’t mention it, “global warming:” was a complete hoax, a fraud concocted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in order to gin up a market for the sale and trade of “carbon credits.” Anyone—and I mean anyone—who tells you that humans are causing climate change is a charlatan or a dupe. Avoid them.

My general recommendation is to avoid anything that has the word “green” attached to it. You are being conned into spending more for something than necessary. Learn to love the concept of synthetic. Plastic, a product of petroleum, is synthetic and we use it everywhere for everything. It is one of the greatest inventions of all time.

You cannot “save the Earth.” The Earth is full of volcanoes, tornadoes, forest fires, floods, hurricanes, blizzards, droughts, earthquakes, and other completely natural activities, any or all of which can kill you. It is an utter delusion to think the Earth cares about you even if you care deeply about it.

This is not to say we should not have a profound respect for the Earth and the good sense to marvel at the beauty and majesty of its mountains, oceans, and other manifestations. Just remember to pack a sandwich and bring along a bottle of something to drink if you plan to wander into its “pristine” parts.

© Alan Caruba, 2011


AMB said...

Well Allan, the Australian Labor government announced the details of our carbon tax plan that will begin next year in July. In order not to lose even more voter support, the package literally takes away from the wealthy to give to their poor voter support. The 'tax' will pay out more in compensation than it will collect. How's that for socialism? And when asked how much the temperature of the earth will fall by us being taxed, the government fudges their answer. The answer? 0.00015 degrees by 2020. Revenue collected in the first year alone? $11 bn. Our government will collect in 3months what the EU scheme has collected in the last 5 years. Us Ozzies are fuming but we can't get rid of this government for another 2 years. And the reason we have a carbon tax? Because we have a hung parliament, where the government relies on the Green vote to stay in power. So, for ONE Green in our parliament, the Australian government is prepared to committ economic suicide.

Glenn Elsden said...

Brilliant article Alan!

This Green Agenda business reminds me of the “Earth Hour” event held annually, and organized by WWF. The event is forced upon all major cities across the globe. Every year these 'schemers' command that non-essential lights and other electrical appliances be switched off for one hour – not to save electricity as many people believe, but to raise awareness of their so-called climate change agenda.

In South Africa where rolling blackouts are the order of the day, due to Eskom’s lack of foresight and mismanagement – and where the switching off of lights is a major security risk, international projects such as Earth Hour are a total farce, but yet every year more and more sheeple participate.

Where’s it all going to end?

Alan Caruba said...

Aussies have to get out into the streets. Resistance to Obamacare began here with a million person march in DC, joint court case by 26 states, and finally a vote in the House to repeal. It is a dead deal eventually. What your government is doing to you is obscene.

Alan Caruba said...

@Tia: As I note, you cannot "save" or "conserve" energy by not using it. It either goes unused or is used. Every nation that provides sufficient energy thrives and those that do not lag. This is not rocket science, but a lot of dumb people just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

The LA Times featured cold fusion in '89 before its debunking. Greens were aghast!
“It’s like giving a machine gun to an idiot child.” – Paul Ehrlich (mentor of John Cook of the SkepticalScience blog, author of "Climate Change Denial")
“Clean-burning, non-polluting, hydrogen-using bulldozers still could knock down trees or build housing developments on farmland.” – Paul Ciotti (LA Times)
“It gives some people the false hope that there are no limits to growth and no environmental price to be paid by having unlimited sources of energy.” – Jeremy Rifkin (NY Times)
“Many people assume that cheaper, more abundant energy will mean that mankind is better off, but there is no evidence for that.” – Laura Nader (sister of Ralph)

CLIMATEGATE 101: "For your eyes only...Don't leave stuff lying around on ftp sites - you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone....Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it - thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that." - Phil "Hide The Decline" Jones to Michael "Hockey Stick" Mann

Here I present A Global Warming Digest:

-=NikFromNYC=- Ph.D. in Carbon Chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)

Rich Kozlovich said...


A phrase I coined some years back is, “To be green is to be irrational and misanthropic”. I haven’t seen one thing that has changed my mind. Your, “draw a line in the sand”, journalistic approach clearly exposes the insanity of the green movement.

Thanks for another great article.


P.S. Congratulations on hitting eight hundred thousand.

kzimm63 said...

Alan, I agree with almost all your points but not sure why you bash solar power. You can bash wind power if you want. I agree with that. But the energy that comes from the sun is enormous. If we can capture / harness just a fraction of that energy we could provide more than enough energy for the entire earth. The issue is how to capture / harness it efficiently and have it be cost effective. Mankind doesn't have to be so short sighted as to say fossil fuels are the only way to provide energy for the planet. Kind of like saying "this is the way it always has been done and the only way it can ever be done" as in how to provide energy for the earth. I believe that ingenuity is a characteristic of mankind. It feels very shortsighted to think that fossil fuels are the only way to focus for the earth's energy needs when the sun beams down on us every day.

Laurie Williams said...

"how to capture / harness it efficiently and have it be cost effective. Mankind doesn't have to be so short sighted as to say fossil fuels are the only way to provide energy for the planet ... ingenuity is a characteristic of mankind. It feels very shortsighted to think that fossil fuels are the only way to focus for the earth's energy needs when the sun beams down on us every day"

No part of the earth's surface has sunlight shining on it all day and all night. Clouds get in the way. Find some reliable figures on average sunlight power reaching the earth's surface in various places, then calculate how much area would be needed to be covered in solar panels to capture the same amount of power generated by an average coal or gas powered electricity generating plant.

Then investigate the efficiency of solar cells, and allow for that in your area calculation.

Now consider the biggest problem - energy storage.

Work out some cost figures. Coal and oil are looking good.

The answer to your concern is that as costs of existing optimal technology (as coal and oil generation are) increase the appeal of alternatives will grow, so their development will accelerate, with little or no specific action from government needed to force it to happen.

On top of that, the term "fossil fuel" may be misleading. At least some of it seems to result not from biological processes but from reactions deep in the earth's crust. Rather than "running out of oil", as careerist researchers have been telling us for decades, we may be "running into oil".

Erl Happ said...

In the tradition of Mark Twain. Love it.

cloa513 said...

Sorry agree with most things but energy efficiency is no death to the economy. If every home and business was the maximum energy efficient then we'd need less building of power plants (if a power system fails we could handle it like in Japan) and power prices would be suppressed. Less money spent on power, more on actual production- no problem if that production is power hungry. Who do you think uses the most power- the richest people.

Alan Caruba said...

@Cloa: What do you have against rich people? They generally employ a lot of other folks and spend money that helps employ still more.

kzimm63 said...

I do not want to answer for Cloa but I guess I sort of amd doing that and I also am going off topic a bit. Living in the USA my biggest problem with the rich is that they are no longer patriotic. They may pretend to be patriotic but it is just a charade. Back in the early 1980's they took the tax breaks they received under President Reagan and they created jobs in our country. In 2001 the wealthy received a large tax decrease and what did they do? They thumbed their noses at the USA and moved / created jobs in other countries. Now the USA has 20 million (maybe 30 million) unemployed people looking for jobs and only 3 to 5 million available jobs. The rich job creators sold out the USA for the almighty dollar. President Obama's policies have not been too great either at creating jobs. But during the Bush administration jobs were leaving this country at a record pace. I can understand if a business is having serious financial problems if they have to go eslewhere to find cheaper labor. What I don't understand if a business makes 500 million in profits employing mostly workers from the USA and they pick up and move the jobs overseas so they can make 700 million in profits and their CEO can make another 10 million in bonuses.

Alan Caruba said...

I am sure that, when you become "rich" you will see things differently.

kzimm63 said...

Alan, I respectfully disagree. If I were rich and owned a small or large business that was doing well and I personally was also doing well I would not sell out my employees and send jobs overseas so I could make a few million more. It seems to me that many first generation business owners recognize what I am saying. They realize it is their employees who play a major part of how they (the business owner) became wealthy. They tend to look out for their employees. When the business later changes hands the new owner or owners don't seem to care. They are just concerened with making money. The human factor goes out the window. I just don't understand how a business that is doing well can just layoff hundreds of people just so the companies stock goes up and the CEO can get a few million more in bonuses. In the 1970's the average CEO made 50 to 60 times what the average guy working at that company did. Now it is 300 to 500 times what the average guy at that company makes. That is crazy. It makes me want to support labor unions which I at one time really despised. But the facts are facts. The middle class of the United States is being destroyed. Over the past 20 years the income of the middle class has remained flat while the top 1% of of wage earners in this country has seen their income rise dramatically. People want to work and they want to work for decent wages. Walmart and McDonalds wages aren't going to cut it.

Brian H said...

Conservation is nice. Surplus is nicer.

Frak gas gets us about a century of surplus, maybe more. Long before then, fusion will pick up the slack. If things continue to progress, it might be much sooner; could have a globally licensed mini-plant design out well before 2020, which will cut power prices by a factor of 10 (compared to the cheapest now available anywhere).

Then Erlich's wonderful nightmare will come true. And I know where the first shots should be aimed.