July 23, 2024

Environmentalists, Progress, and Fantasies

I enjoyed Jim’s letter to the Bryan/College Station Eagle so much I had to re-print it here:

Power to the people

The environmentalists claim the electric car is the answer to "saving our world." Let’s see, they have stopped construction of new coal fired plants for electric generation. Nuclear powered generation has been tied up in lawsuits filed by environmentalists and no new generators have been built for 30 years.

Environmentalists claim wind powered generators kill birds and make noise so they are bad. Environmentalists filed lawsuits and stopped solar panel electricity generators in Arizona and New Mexico because they claim it casts shadows on the ground where the panels are placed.

Exploration for oil and gas in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge is at a standstill because environmentalists are worried about the love life of caribou. Hydrogen powered autos will cause global warming because they release water vapor which is the No. 1 greenhouse gas.

Are environmentalists really trying to "save our world" or are they trying to destroy capitalism and send the human race back to the Stone Age? Since environmentalists offer no clue as to where the electricity is to come from to power electric cars maybe their hot air can be used to generate electricity for the electric cars. Oops. Hot air contains greenhouse gases.


College Station

The most fundamental question of all – "Where does electricity come from?" – never seems to be asked or answered by hard-core environmentalists.

Their ostrich act reminds me of the government regulators so richly detailed in Atlas Shrugs.  In Ayn Rand’s novel the bureaucracy thoroughly tied the hands of the protagonist’s railroad company, then proceeded to make demands on it that were impossible to fulfill in the environment their own regulations had created.

Where will "eco-friendly" electric cars plug in if no more power plants can be built in this country?  Where will the hydrogen-based transportation system of the future spring from if no nuclear plants are constructed to drive the electrolysis process that hydrogen production requires?

Environmentalists seem to want to regulate mankind back to the stone age.  Undoubtedly they would be happier there in a time and place where no decisions had to be made or responsibilities assumed.  But getting there would entail a near species suicide because the economy and lifestyle they envision could only support a fraction of the current population.

There is environmental risk in developing new power-producing technology.  Spills, meltdowns, and pollution could happen as a result.  Will happen, on a greater or lesser scale.  Yet the way to a cleaner, safer, more self-sufficient nation is not to be found in historical regression.  Rather, we must move ahead with all possible speed and safety and trust ourselves to make the correct compromises between risk and reward along the way.


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

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