Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Green Agenda

At the beginning of the Bush Administration, Vice President Cheney attempted to bring together representatives of various energy industries (imagine, the nerve of him, asking people who actually knew something about the issues) to try to work out a more reasonable energy policy than the self-defeating jumble that then represented American policy. His efforts were so castigated by left-wing politicians and media (using against him his own energy business experience) that nothing came of this effort. We are paying the price now, as families in northern states go bankrupt trying to stay warm and poor people around the world go hungry.

Other than Iraq and Senator Obama's phoney moves to the center, the one thing that can elect Senator McCain is Obama's role in this catastrophe. He thinks $5.00 gas is good for us; doesn't he understand that $5.00 gas also means $5.00 heating oil and huge increases in the cost to grow and transport food? My daughter in Maine paid $1000 for each fillup last winter that lasted about three weeks (no global warming there).

How the Greens Captured Energy Policy
By J.R. Dunn The American Thinker July 10, 2008 (Excerpts)

"U.S. energy policy -- to stretch the meaning of the term - is appalling. It has been thrown together piece by piece over the decades to create a system that is dysfunctional, over complex, and internally contradictory. It is a system that victimizes American citizens, cripples the U.S. economy, makes the government a laughingstock, and empowers our enemies worldwide. While it's conceivable that somebody could actually design a policy that would do worse, they'd really have to work at it.

The only group in American that sees energy policy achieving some of their goals are the ones who oversaw its implementation from the beginning: the environmentalist Greens. It's obvious that our energy policy was intended not for the benefit of the public, or industry, or government, but almost solely to fit the agenda and goals of the Green movement, and not even the public agenda and goals, but the core agenda rarely referred to except through euphemism.....

The Green Agenda

Through its influence in the media and government (both bureaucracy and congress), the Greens effectively abolished nuclear power, curtailed domestic oil production, and left the American energy industry in the comatose state in which it abides to this day. Nor was this an error or overreaction - it was a deliberate effort to fulfill the Green agenda.

What is the nature of this agenda? Greens were much more open about it during the early years of the movement. (As for example in the utopian novel Ecotopia.) The end point of all Green efforts is a kind of Edenic state in which humans exist in "partnership" with nature. In which humanity is simply another species. In which the human "footprint" (a purely Green concept with no literal meaning) is reduced to a minimum. A world which has returned in large part to a pre-industrial state, where whatever small amounts of power are needed are provided by solar and wind. Where every last damn item is recycled. A kind of universal Northern California, where all living things from spirochete to grizzly exist in harmony under the cloak of Gaia (Earth Mother).

(Such a world could sustain perhaps a hundred million human beings, tops. What happens to the rest is something most Greens have been less than straightforward about.)

Greens have become quieter about this vision as it has grown more distant. Which does not mean that they have ceased working toward it. Like all true believers, the Greens simply grow more fanatical the more unlikely their dreams become. And that is why the long overdue reform of America's energy sector, of the kind supported by John McCain and a few forward-looking GOP politicians (now there's a threatened species), is no certainty, in no way a slam-dunk, and will require a lengthy and hard-fought battle if it's going to happen at all.

Current energy policy -- or non-policy, however you wish -- lies at the very center of the Green agenda. It is the only element in which any progress has been achieved. First, we need to rid ourselves of our "addiction" to nukes and oil. Then we adapt to solar and wind, and.... Here it peters off into silence. Because no such second step has ever, or will ever be made. Solar, wind, alcohol, ethanol... all these are single-digit energy sources. (And the low single digits as well, able to replace perhaps two or three percent of power generation at best.) Replacement of oil and nuclear power is a fantasy. Therefore, the rest of the Green dream is as well.

But the gutting of the American energy sector remains the Green's chief accomplishment, their single achieved step toward paradise. They will defend it tooth and nail. The Green lobby, comprised of organizations such as the Sierra Club and the World Wildlife Federation, is immensely powerful and has deep pockets -- not to overlook the many politicians who are avid converts (e.g., Hudson Valley congressman John Hall, who as leader of the execrable 70s soft-rock band Orleans wrote an anti-nuke anthem, "Plutonium is Forever").

The Green crisis ahead

They'll still lose. Americans are not going to freeze in the dark. Nuclear technology has gone through several revolutions in the past decades. Entire families of reactors exist -- including the CANDU and pebble-bed designs -- that simply cannot melt down or suffer any other kind of catastrophic failure. Evolution in oil drilling and exploitation has followed similar paths. We need to catch up on these technical advances.

Other aspects of the Green argument have also collapsed. New discoveries off Brazil and in the Gulf of Mexico have nearly doubled international oil reserves, pushing backwards from the "peak oil" date. And global warming, that notorious by-product of "oil addiction," has faded to the point that its advocates are now reduced to threatening dissenters with prison.

Energy reform is an egg and rock situation for the Democrats. (From the old Irish proverb: "When the rock hits the egg, alas for the egg. When the egg hits the rock, alas for the egg.") The Democrats -- Obama chief among them -- can neither adequately defend it nor abandon it, as is clearly shown by their refusal to even consider loosening drilling restrictions. The GOP holds all the cards on this one, and all they need to do is keep building the pressure. (Always granted, of course, that they play it better than their last few runs of hands.) No better electoral tool will be found during this cycle. We just can't expect results immediately - this will be a long and drawn-out battle, requiring maximum, sustained effort from all involved.

It has gone almost completely unacknowledged that with oil shale, offshore deposits, and new resources such as the hydrocarbon sludge deposits off B.C. and Alaska, the OPEC of the late 21st century is going to be right here. That's a goal worth working toward. Breaking the power of the Greens is yet another possible benefit.

Environmentalism is a luxury, and like all such, is best taken in moderation. The environment requires protection, but that's all. Primitive panthiesm has no place in this millennium. Nature is not an utterly benign continuum, and human beings are not a disease. Pseudo-religious environmentalism has long outlived its welcome. It's time to bring down the curtain." American Thinker

We HAVE had some energy-related disasters (Exxon Valdez, Three Mile Island). The appropriate response in these cases would have been to convene a panel of experts, send out investigators, hold hearings, issue recommendations, and see to it that reforms went into effect. This is what occurs following aircraft disasters, large-scale fires, building collapses, or any other catastrophic incident where suspicion exists that things were not being handled according to best practice. (Consider the investigation following the Challenger disaster, for one example.)

But this is not what occurred in these cases. Not in any meaningful sense. Under the new Green paradigm, oil and nuclear energy were not industries to be reformed, but "evils" to be either contained or destroyed. The Greens could have served a useful purpose by pushing for serious reform in management of critical energy industries. Instead, we got the religious impulse, distorted into sheer apocalypticism, with the environmentalists fighting oil and fissionables (plutonium in particular) as products of dark sin, placed on earth to tempt humankind from the path that Earth Mother, Gaia, intended.

Some editorial changes made.

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