Thanks to the California Globe for running this piece. You can visit the website at: https://californiaglobe.com/
Energy has to come from somewhere.
This may come as a shock to some, but if one plans to eliminate fossil fuels from the production equation, that energy creation capacity must be replaced.
But there is a problem – a big one. With the green energy movement eschewing clean natural gas, nuclear, and hydro and defining only wind, solar, wave, and geo-thermal as renewable – and therefore the only politically acceptable replacements for oil and coal – the cost of energy has skyrocketed, when it is available at all – https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220922005921/en/New-Report-Shows-How-High-Retail-Electricity-Prices-Are-Slowing-California%E2%80%99s-Progress-Towards-an-Equitable-Clean-Energy-Future and https://californiaglobe.com/articles/california-backlash-over-telling-californians-not-to-charge-electric-vehicles-during-heatwave/ .
While California may have been the tip of spear, green-wise, that spear is now plunging directly into the hearts of millions of bank accounts around the globe – https://www.marketwatch.com/story/gas-is-going-up-but-this-is-how-inflation-really-hurts-older-americans-11649873119 and https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-heating-oil-islanders-react-1.6616664.
This brings up one very simple question – why is society robbing Grandma to pay Gaia?
The leaders of the greenergy movement are not, it seems, too intellectually deficient to understand that the technology they say will alleviate the problem simply does not exist – nor will it exist any time soon.
Why, then, knowing the impossibilities of the future and the disasters of the present, has the movement gained so many adherents in the government, finance, media, and the social spheres?
The answer is rather simple – power. The movement is far more about justifying the well-renumerated continued existence of bureaucrats, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, professorships, pundits, and everyone else who has realized it is really comfortable to be part of unaccountable and – so far – unstoppable gravy train than it is about the “environment.”
Of course, if one is actually a Luddite that is less of a truism – when the point of a policy stance is to literally turn back the clock on civilization, the elimination of production capacity not only makes sense but is in fact a crucial aspect of the effort. As that would cause the death of literally billions of humans (the math is simple: less food + less warmth + less transportation + less knowledge + less of everything else = less people) it is not “toplined” in most green public relations messages.
Neither are the concomitant socio-political impact – the fewer people you have in a group the easier it is to control the group – nor the inevitable actual environmental destruction – for example, pre-abundant fossil fuel Vermont had a forest coverage of 20 percent, now it’s about 80 percent – often mentioned, for obvious reasons.
The majority of the green-apocs do not publicly espouse such radical notions but emphasize that the energy needed to power the modern world can be found if we just look hard enough, are extra careful in how it is used, and pay just a little bit more. Wind, solar, geo-thermal, wave capture, etc., can be used to replace fossil fuel. It should be noted, however, that two forms of energy production that produce not a milligram of extra carbon – nuclear and hydro – tend not to be included on the alternative list as hydro means dams and dams are bad and nuclear means radioactive waste and the inevitable catastrophes associated with the technology.
As for natural gas – the cleanest, to the point of negligibility, of fossil fuels – that is verboten as well because, um, it comes from the ground? I guess?
A ”knock-on” trend following in greenergy’s wake is the worship of electricity. From restroom hand dryers (even before this whole thing a bane of existence) that claim to be good for the environment to cars to home appliances (no more home gas hook-ups to be allowed in California and New York City in a few years and if you don’t live there just wait, the “be very afraid” ground is already being laid: https://slate.com/technology/2022/10/gas-stoves-brain-development-air-quality.html ), using only electricity has attained worshipful fetish status. Just plug something in and you never have to worry and – Bonus! – you are deemed a better person than someone else.
This essential invisibility of electricity is part of its green appeal. When other fuels are used, it is readily apparent to the user – they can see the gas burning in the blue flame on the stove and every time they fill up the tank they vaguely remember from junior high that gas comes from dinosaurs that got smooshed a long time ago and now it’s what your car eats.
In other words, there is a certain noticeable physicality to fossil fuels, while electricity is simply on/off and pay the bill once a month. It is the disconnection caused by this ubiquity that creates the psychological shield of simple ever-presence around electricity, making it nearly immune to “up-stream” concerns and questions about being able to use more – a lot lot lot – more of it.
That is, until you can’t pay the bill or the power goes out because it turns out electricity is not a magical force conjured for free out of the universal aether, but an actual thing that has to be created by people and – no matter the form – that act of creation both impacts the environment and has to be paid for – https://www.kornferry.com/content/dam/kornferry-v2/pdf/briefings/pp16-17_Briefings54_Voices_Constable.pdf .
Don’t like drilling for oil in your home state? Okay, get it from somewhere else. Have you had a positive impact – which is the whole point of the endeavor – on the global environment? Absolutely not – the pollution is just not happening near you where you can see it. Run everything on batteries because oil and gas are evil? Ok. Better for the environment and for people around the world? Nope – the mining practices alone involved in the process are brutal, to both the land and the people involved as labor laws and environmental quality assurances are not terribly high on the ”to-do” lists of the government-owned Chinese multinationals currently tearing through the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In the end, the greenergy fad is not saving the environment, cannot hope to provide enough electricity to cover current demand let alone the explosive growth planned, and is very specifically crushing economies, fueling international conflict, and pointedly making people poorer.
I think I’ll go with Grandma on this one.