Greens promote child slave labor and ecological destruction

Why don’t African black lives and ecological values matter? or impacts in and beyond Virginia?

Paul Driessen

The US Supreme Court recently ruled 7-2 to reverse a lower court ruling that had invalidated a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will bring West Virginia natural gas to Virginia and North Carolina, for home heating, factory power, electricity generation and manufacturing petrochemical feedstocks.

Environmentalists had claimed the US Forest Service had no authority to issue the permit, because a 0.1-mile (530-foot) segment would cross 600 feet below the 2,200-mile-long Appalachian Trail, which is administered by the National Park Service. Justice Thomas’s majority opinion scuttled that assertion.

Pipeline project developers Dominion Resources and Duke Energy should receive the USFS and other permits relatively soon – and have the pipeline in operation by early 2022 – unless a Biden administration takes over in 2021 (with AOC as woke climate and energy advisor to Biden and Democrats) and imposes Green New Deal bans on drilling, fracking, pipelines, and eventually any use of natural gas, oil and coal.

Meanwhile, environmentalist groups plan more lawsuits. They insist the pipeline would put rivers and streams at risk of increased sedimentation, scar pristine landscapes, and harm sensitive species.

These plans and assertions underscore how inflexible they have become in opposing any US fossil fuel use. How incapable of recognizing or rationally discussing the far greater human and ecological impacts from energy systems they favor. How reliant on blatant double standards and mob rule, instead of on rational, cohesive, persuasive discussion.

Barely a few years ago, the Sierra Club and allied groups gladly took $187 million and more from Michael Bloomberg, natural gas producers and other financiers to wage their War on Coal. Having closed down most US coal mines and power plants, they then turned gas from a “climate friendly bridge fuel” to evil incarnate. Today they to end fossil fuel use nationwide. Via delusion, incantation and cancellation of debate, they have convinced themselves that wind, solar, battery and biofuel “alternatives” are somehow “clean, green, renewable and sustainable.” Reality says otherwise.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will be underground, mostly invisible beneath a grassy right-of-way. Any sedimentation will occur during short term construction operations, when some wildlife will be scared off or displaced for a spell. Any threat to sensitive species, even in the event of a leak, will be minimal.

In stark contrast, their preferred energy systems will have massive, permanent impacts – in Virginia and far beyond its borders. Virginia solar panels will blanket more than eight times the land area of Washington, DC. Hundreds of 850-foot-tall bird-killing wind turbines will create an enormous obstacle course for whales, ships and planes off the Virginia Beach coast. Many thousands of 1,200-pound batteries will provide backup power to replace coal and solar for a sunless, windless day or two.

Hundreds of miles of new transmission lines will soar into the sky and snake across the countryside. Just bringing wind-based electricity from West Virginia to Blacksburg, Roanoke and Lynchburg, Virginia – and solar energy from all those Virginia panels to Staunton and Harrisonburg – will require several new transmission lines across the Appalachian Trail. Not 600 feet below it; right across it.

But somehow, we and our courts are supposed to believe, all these enormous industrial facilities – and the blasting, tree clearing, machinery, noise and other impacts associated with building and maintaining them – will cause no stream sedimentation, landscape scarring or harm to sensitive species.

In reality, the radical greens, utility companies and Democrats promoting these projects under the Virginia “Clean” Economy Act will simply demand that courts ignore the arguments they raised and environmental laws they cited when they raged against coal and gas power plants and the pipelines and transmission lines associated with them. They’ll demand that citizen groups opposed to these monstrous wind, solar and battery complexes be thrown out of court. They’ll want the same double standards applied nationally.

Eliminating fossil fuels would mean America would have to replace 100% of its gasoline and all its oil and natural gas feed stocks for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, paints, synthetic fibers, fertilizers – and plastics for cell phones, computers, car bodies, packaging, wind turbine blades, solar panel films and countless other products. That would require turning some 700 million acres of food crop and habitat land (four times the land area of Texas) into biofuel corn, sugarcane and canola plantations for ethanol and biodiesel.

More extreme versions of the Green New Deal would eliminate coal, gas and nuclear electricity and backup power, gas for home heating, coal and gas for factories, and internal combustion vehicles. We’d replace it all with wind or solar – and use wind or solar on good days to generate enough extra electricity to charge batteries for seven windless, sunless days. That’s 8.5 billion megawatts – twice what we used in 2018!

We’d need some 75 billion solar panels … or 4.2 million 1.8-MW onshore wind turbines … or 320,000 10-MW offshore wind turbines … and some 3.5 billion 100-kWh backup batteries. The concrete, steel, copper, lithium, rare earth elements, aluminum, cobalt, plastic and other materials to build them would require vastly more mining and manufacturing than the world has ever seen – nearly all of it with fossil fuels.

Environmentalists oppose almost all mining anywhere in the United States, and even by US companies operating overseas under rigorous Western rules. That means essential metals and minerals get mined and processed in places like Baotou, Inner Mongolia, Bolivia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, mostly under Chinese control, under minimal to nonexistent labor, wage, environmental, reclamation, and worker health and safety regulations. The mining and industrial areas have become vast toxic wastelands.

For cobalt alone, over 40,000 Congolese children, as young as four years old, slave away alongside their parents in mines, for a dollar a day, risking cave-ins and being exposed constantly to filthy, toxic, radioactive mud, dust, water and air. That’s today – for today’s battery, solar panel and wind turbine needs. Imagine how many would be needed to serve the Green New Deal. 400,000 perhaps? 4,000,000?

China alone will soon have 200 times more coal-fired generation than Virginia will be shutting down. During 2020, says consulting company Wood Mackenzie, Europe and the United States will close down 22,000 megawatts of coal-fired power capacity – even as Asia opens 49,000 megawatts of new coal-fired power plants, on top of those it already has and in addition to its growing fleet of gas-fired units.

China is building or financing numerous coal and gas power plants in Africa and Asia. India already has hundreds of coal-fired units and is building or planning 400 more. China and India are also building or planning hundreds of new airports, and putting millions of new cars and trucks on their roads. That (plus the GND mining, processing and manufacturing) means, even if Virginia or the entire USA eliminated all fossil fuel use tomorrow – it wouldn’t make an iota of difference for global carbon dioxide levels.

These environmental and human rights travesties can happen only under a system of rampant double standards: the same kinds that excoriate and ban religious services and funerals, anti-lockdown protests and Trump rallies – while permitting, excusing and praising Black Lives Matter marches that have too often turned into anti-police mobs, riots, looting, arson, beatings, and murders of people like David Dorn and Patrick Underwood, whose also precious black lives certainly haven’t mattered much to this crowd.

They also require that the woke Campus Cancel Culture spread its intolerant, authoritarian rule to our cities, media, social media, and even legislative bodies and courts – to instill constant anger and anarchy, and silence, defame and punish anyone who dares to offer nuanced or contrarian viewpoints. Every victory brings new demands, with no accountability for the mayhem and destruction they inflict.

Why should rural, poor, minority and working class families and communities have to accept the ecological, health and economic damages inflicted in pursuit of this pseudo-renewable energy utopia? Why should Africans, Asians and Latin Americans have to accept slave status to advance this agenda?

The situation is coming to a head. Let’s hope the now-silent majority can restore law, order, civil debate, thoughtful reflection on our complex history, and rational resolution of these thorny problems.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, environment, climate and human rights issues.

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57 thoughts on “Greens promote child slave labor and ecological destruction

  1. It’s worse than just the Congo. Democrats are the party of slavery, KKK, Jim Crow. Joe Biden praised noted democrat senator KKK member Robert Byrd. Hillary and Barack toppled the government in Libya that had ended slavery in that country. Today, black Africans are sold into slavery there.

    • Maybe, just maybe if your black two-term president did not have a single line of policy dedicated to this so-called problem, then what is your problem?

      Indeed the great black hope helped resurrect the slave trade and thus declared “Black Lives Don’t Matter”

  2. They insist the pipeline would put rivers and streams at risk of increased sedimentation, scar pristine landscapes, and harm sensitive species.

    And why forget these arguments in case of windmills ?

    • Down here in Oz, in the state of Tasmania, the home of Dr Bob Brown, founder of the Greens party here who cut his teeth and made his name opposing hydro-electric dams, said Dr Brown is now virulently opposed to new windfarm proposals for exactly those reasons. On mainland Australia windfarms are almost like religious statues such is their utter lack of opposition from so called environmentalists.

      Go figure. It grieves me to be on the same side as Dr Brown but ‘such is life’ as said Ned Kelly just before the trapdoor opened under him.

        • I read that NSW is going all out for wind farms in ‘designated zones’. I wonder if Dr Brown will be doing an Adani Convoy to NSW to deliver his version of a Jerilderie Letter? If he had all kohonas or credibility he would but I can’t see it myself.

  3. Balkanization is what’s called for, ten years ago if possible. Two Americas, two Canadas, two UKs, two Australias, etc. One can use fossil fuels, the other “renewables.” One can have police, and the other “restorative justice” administered by “community organizers.” One can allow its citizens to advance through merit, and the other can ensure equality of outcome regardless of talent or discipline.

    If you want to know what the latter versions will look like, the experiment is being run in California and Seattle right now.

    • Oh, forgot a big one:

      The former can continue to use their ingenuity and energy to help lift the rest of the world out of poverty and reduce human suffering, and the latter can, in the words of Michael Oppenheimer of the Environmental Defense Fund, “stop these Third World countries right where they are.”

  4. “Why don’t African black lives and ecological values matter? or impacts in and beyond Virginia?”

    Simple. They don’t support the narrative.

  5. “For cobalt alone, over 40,000 Congolese children, as young as four years old, slave away alongside their parents in mines, for a dollar a day, risking cave-ins and being exposed constantly to filthy, toxic, radioactive mud, dust, water and air. That’s today – for today’s battery, solar panel and wind turbine needs”
    ..
    WRONG…..cobalt is not used in solar panels or wind turbines.

    • However, we all understand that it’s needed for the batteries used to store energy from those sources, right? Next!

    • When ran out of arguments start nitpicking. Cobalt is essential in the cathode of rechargeable Lithium batteries, which will supposedly be used as storage and backup for solar panels and wind turbines.

      • Hmmm is cobalt used in wind energy convertors? perhaps you mean neodymium?
        “A neodymium magnet (also known as NdFeB, NIB or Neo magnet) is the most widely used type of rare-earth magnet. It is a permanent magnet made from an alloy of neodymium, iron, and boron to form the Nd2Fe14B”
        neodymium is not necessary for magnets in some wind energy convertors:
        “Neodymium has made the headlines recently because its extraction partly involves significant environmental damage. China, where neodymium-containing rocks are quarried in mines, is the main supplier of this so-called rare earth element. According to investigations by Germany’s NDR TV station, separation of neodymium from mined rocks results in toxic waste products (Menschen und Schlagzeilen and Panorama television magazines aired on 27 and 28 April). In addition, radioactive uranium and thorium are released by the mining process. These substances find their way into the ground water, heavily contaminating plant and animal life. They are seen as harmful to humans. According to the reports, part of the locals at the neodymium production sites in Baotou in northern China are already seriously ill.

        ENERCON feels that these environmental and health aspects support its choice of WEC design. “We are a high-tech company that sets great store by environmental protection,” says ENERCON Managing Director Hans-Dieter Kettwig. “Our choice to rely on separately excited generators was the right one, not only from a technological but also from an environmental point of view.” According to Kettwig, renewable energies need to be viewed in their entirety in order to offer a convincing alternative. Producing clean energy is one thing; however, sustainability in production is just as important.”
        and where it is used it can be recycled!

        • When I write cobalt, I mean cobalt.

          The new alloy—a potential replacement for high-performance permanent magnets found in automobile engines and wind turbines—eliminates the use of one of the scarcest and costliest rare earth elements, dysprosium, and instead uses cerium, the most abundant rare earth.
          The result, an alloy of neodymium, iron and boron co-doped with cerium and cobalt, is a less expensive material with properties that are competitive with traditional sintered magnets containing dysprosium.

          Source

          Further source

          Features & Characteristics of Samarium Cobalt Magnets
          Common applications for SmCo magnets include:
          High Performance Motors
          Actuators
          Generators
          Turbo Machinery
          Electric Motors
          Magnetic Separation Devices
          Traveling Wave Tubes
          Magnetic Couplings
          Magnetic Bearings
          Sensor Systems
          Drilling Equipment
          Wind Turbine Equipment

          SmCo magnets are widely used in the automotive, aerospace, medical, military, industrial manufacturing, semiconductor, wind, power, oil and energy industry.

    • But, Henry, do not the “storage systems” needed to support these intermittent systems require the output of the mentioned mines?…

    • But batteries do, and solar panels and wind turbines will increasingly need batteries as their penetration increases

    • While Cobalt isn’t used in the production of Solar Panels, Coal IS required.
      AND since Solar Panels don’t produce much power from 6pm to 10am and are at max efficiency only from 11am til 3pm local time, battery backups would be required and they DO require Cobalt
      https://www.cobaltinstitute.org/renewable-energy.html
      For Solar to function 24/7 Cobalt is required

    • Wind turbine magnets include cobalt. Compositions: NdFeB, SmCo, AlNiCo.

      Here is a run-down on the pollution and ruined lives the mining of rare-earth metals has produced in China.

      The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says of wind power. According to the American Wind Energy Association, the 5,700 turbines installed in the United States in 2009 required approximately 36,000 miles of steel rebar and 1.7 million cubic yards of concrete (enough to pave a four-foot-wide, 7,630-mile-long sidewalk). The gearbox of a two-megawatt wind turbine contains about 800 pounds of neodymium and 130 pounds of dysprosium — rare earth metals that are rare because they’re found in scattered deposits, rather than in concentrated ores, and are difficult to extract.

      Renewable, indeed. Sustainable, indeed.

      The whole thing is a nightmare driven by political psychopaths and crony greedsters.

      The excess deaths already on their heads will be as nothing if they ever gain power.

      • gear boxes are like all gear boxes steel.
        neodymium is in some generator magnets but not all generators use permanent magnets
        dysprosium is in some generator magnets but not all generators use permanent magnets
        https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301420717300077

        Better materials efficiency could also contribute to producing permanent magnets at a lower materials cost. According to the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), the measures applied by the wind industry have already led to a fall in dysprosium content in the new PMSG wind turbines (DERA and BRG, 2014). Instead of using magnets with 3–6% Dy,3 newer generator models can use permanent magnets with only about 1% Dy or even less. Some companies aim to completely eliminate dysprosium from PM in wind turbines. Siemens, a leading turbine manufacturer in the offshore segment, has announced that by 2017 its DD-PMSG turbine will not require any heavy-rare earth elements (HREE) such as dysprosium or terbium (Pulkert, 2014, Semmer and Urda, 2014). This efficient HREE-free generator was specifically developed for wind turbines by changing the magnet design. The magnet will be larger and will require more neodymium, thereby compensating for losses in coercivity. It is unlikely that this concept would be suitable for other applications.

        • “The magnet will be larger and will require more neodymium”

          A rare earth, highly polluting in its extraction.

          Foot in mouth again ! so funny !

          That’s what happens when you copy/paste with zero reading or knowledge.

        • Shammugam, et al. (2019) Raw metal needs and supply risks for the development of wind energy in Germany until 2050 Journal of Cleaner Production 221, 738-752

          https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.02.223

          From the paper “The requirement of PMs [permanent magnets] is of special interest due to the presence of REE [rare earth elements], particularly neodymium and dysprosium. … Neodymium magnets (NdFeB) are predominantly used in wind turbine generators, with an average composition of 31% neodymium and 2.3% dysprosium (Viebahn et al., 2015). The specific amount of the PM in wind turbine is listed in Table 6.

          That is, ostensibly neodymium FeBNd magnets include 3.6% dysprosium.

          Table 6. Specific weight of permanent magnets in different drive train concepts (Viebahn et al., 2015).
          Drive train_______Specific weight [kg/MW]
          PMSG-DD______________650 (1,430 lb)
          PMSG-MS______________160 ( 352lb)
          PMSG-HS_______________80 ( 176 lb)
          PDD__________________1350 (2,970 lb)

          So, let’s see: a nameplate GW of wind power, using PMSG-Direct Drive turbines will require 650,000 kg of magnets.

          It appears that 2015 technology was still state-of-the-art in 2019. Siemens’ 2014 optimism apparently was misplaced.

          Full abstract: Facilitated by the environmental goals set by the government, wind turbines will be one of the main pillars of the future electricity production in Germany. In this paper, a comprehensive assessment of the future metallic raw material requirements for the development of the German wind energy sector was conducted, which is closely based on the current and future market conditions. Copper and dysprosium are identified as the most critical materials since they face the possibility of supply bottlenecks while being fundamental to the functionality of wind turbines. While the cumulative demand for copper may require 0.2% of the current known reserves, the demand for dysprosium may reach up to 0.6% of the reserve levels. Both metals clearly exceed the allocations for renewable energy technologies in Germany and would face strong competition from other sectors in securing raw materials. Although recycling is able to reduce the bottleneck risks, it does not completely mitigate them. More efforts are therefore required to improve material efficiency by means of alternative turbine designs, efficient production techniques, highly reliable components and material substitution.

          And even if the rare earth needs for permanent magnets is fully resolved, wind turbines plus batteries will never, ever be competitive with fossil fuels for power generation.

          • Consider this Mr. Frank, all the alternators in automobiles do not contain permanent magnets. Gear driven wind turbines do not have permanent magnets either.

          • Guilty of attempted diversion, Henry. The discussion was about permanent magnets, not about wind turbines per se.

    • “That’s today – for today’s battery, solar panel and wind turbine needs”

      Cobalt being extensively used in batteries, the author is right.

    • Cobalt has a wide variety of uses, from alloys to catalysts in addition to its use in batteries.

      From the Cobalt Institute: ” Cobalt has a key role in developing renewable energies such as solar power, wind power and bio-gas. Cobalt is an important component of the strongest permanent magnets and is therefore a vital element for renewable wind power.”

      https://www.cobaltinstitute.org/renewable-energy.html#:~:text=Renewable%20Energy,wind%20power%20and%20bio%2Dgas.

  6. None of these lawsuits are about the environment, they are 100% about the ego’s of the litigants or the litigant facilitators where the actual litigant is some eco scheme front organisation confected by their marketing consultants.

    The fact that the US Supreme Court, with a current 5-4 ‘conservative’ balance, threw out this utter junk 7-2 indicates just how vexatious and manifestly fluffed up this case was.

    This is about eco insiders being on committees, getting publicity and the glory of making speeches at gatherings and conventions and backstage getting laid, be that literally or figuratively. These people are eco groupie junkies first and committed to the environment a very, very distant second. If they don’t come up with these publicity hunting schemes then they suffer relevency withdrawal and it just hurts their poor, sad, shrivelled little egos so much.

    Why aren’t they taking legal actions against the buck toothed, hillbilly, dog pack culture, techniques, training and practices including blasting away with firearms at the drop of a hat in certain county police forces across the US that is ripping communities apart and actually killing people in plain sight?

    • Lost me at the last paragraph. Unless this was sarcasm intended to be aimed at the anarchist scum of Portland and Seattle, and it doesn’t look like it, you sound like one of those anti-“deplorables” bigots to me.

      If you want to see inbred dog packs, go look at mugshots of the arrested (and immediately bailed out and released) geeks from those locales.

    • ‘buck toothed, hillbilly, dog pack culture, techniques, training and practices including blasting away with firearms at the drop of a hat.

      Haven’t seen a hell of a lot of these.

  7. FWIW, I had a friend who had the gas pipeline to England from St. Fergus in NE Scotland laid through some of his fields. He said that the topsoil srtucture, which was of course destroyed during the process, recovered within 10 years, and there was no other damage or change to anything on the farm.
    I was involved with it where it crossed the Forth and the seabed where it was buried was back to normal in just a couple of years.

  8. Production of hydrogen is another way to store energy from solar and wind. It will be needed to fuel heavy plant and transport anyway. Also potentially synthetic fuel for aircraft.
    We cannot accept the argument that production of alternative energy components will require carbon-based energy. All energy must come from zero carbon sources if we are to stabilise the environment. Don’t assume that China and India don’t know this:
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj6guu0iJbqAhVuQEEAHYHQBGEQFjAGegQIBxAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.forbes.com%2Fsites%2Fdominicdudley%2F2019%2F01%2F11%2Fchina-renewable-energy-superpower%2F&usg=AOvVaw3OZI73ciXybKZm9p-e3AOY

  9. Equally virtuous as environment group lawsuits would be if one could sue government or private entities for actions tending to increase poverty among the poor and dispossessed of America.

    Every time a harassing lawsuit succeeds in delaying an economically valuable project, those harmed by lost economic activity should be allowed to pursue a class action lawsuit to recover their losses.

    There’s more than one side to most social and environmental justice issues Everybody who is harmed by actions or negligent inactions has a right to be at the table. If the environmentalists had to make whole the people they harm, they would be slower to push their way into court.

  10. There is a simple solution register all Democrats, environmentalists, socialists, communists and then turn off all the gas, Petroleum products, electricity and anything else that relies on fossil fuels including their housing, make them live in the caves they want us to live in. Let’s see how long the protests last after that.

  11. Why don’t African black lives and ecological values matter? or impacts in and beyond Virginia?

    Reminds me of Planned Parenthood:

    “Planned Parenthood Clarifies Black Lives Only Matter Once They’ve Been Born”

    https://tinyurl.com/y8o7wkmf

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