Commentaries, Global Warming, Opinions   Cover   •   Commentary   •   Books & Reviews   •   Climate Change   •   Site Links   •   Feedback
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
WEBCommentary Guest
Author:  Alan Caruba
Bio: Alan Caruba
Date:  March 29, 2011
Print article - Printer friendly version

Email article link to friend(s) - Email a link to this article to friends

Facebook - Facebook

Topic category:  Energy

Against All Energy Anywhere

One of the great afflictions of the environmentalists—Greens—everywhere is a profound lack of understanding of the role that energy plays in whether a nation prospers or just limps along, barely keeping the lights on.

One of the great afflictions of the environmentalists—Greens—everywhere is a profound lack of understanding of the role that energy plays in whether a nation prospers or just limps along, barely keeping the lights on.

A classic case is the communist paradise of North Korea that is almost completely dark at night while just across the 38th parallel, South Korea is ablaze with light, energy, and a thriving economy.

North v. South Korea

Dedicated Greens don’t really like any kind of energy whether it is nuclear, provided by burning coal, from natural gas, oil or from hydropower. They think that wind power is trouble-free and cost effective when it is neither. They feel the same way about solar power. Both are deemed acceptable because they don’t “emit” anything. This viewpoint is not merely naïve, it is profoundly stupid.

Before we go further, let’s examine the basic facts of U.S. power, give or take a percentage point or two, coal provides over 50% of electrical power. Nuclear provides around 20%, natural gas is just over 20%, hydroelectric is close to 7%, and so-called “renewables” like wind and solar are credited with about 3%. Petroleum generated electricity is 1% and “other sources”, whatever they may be, come in at around 0.3%.

These are figures from 2009 and, suffice to say, are subject to change, but not much.

Friends of the Earth, an international Green organization, (FOE) is no friend to humanity. Hardcore Greens think Earth’s problems would be solved if human beings were not part of its ecology.

Following the Japan earthquake, FOE sent an email to its members and fellow travelers saying, “We must learn from this disaster. Tell your members of Congress that nuclear power should not be part of our energy future.” Ironically, FOE is very unhappy with President Obama and his administration which has been very inclined toward nuclear energy.

The Sierra Club, another ultra-Green organization, put out a newsletter reminding its members that it is “unequivocally opposed to nuclear energy” and has been “for more than three decades.” The same newsletter warned that “politicians who owe their primary allegiance to the fossil-fuel industry (coal, natural gas, and oil) are quick to promote domestic drilling and deregulation, as if that would make the gauge on the gas pump start to run backward.” In point of fact, it would. U.S. domestic oil is always cheaper than imported oil.

The Sierra Club just conjured up a petition “to tell the Obama administration to protect the Arctic Refuge” because “We cannot allow these oil companies to destroy the pristine wilderness of the Arctic Refuge.” Every time you hear the words “pristine wilderness” think of a place no human would ever want to live, let alone visit. And no one is really addressing the economic devastation the Obama administration has visited on the Gulf States because of its refusal to allow oil drilling to resume.

FOE recently was fulminating against the use of coal to light up the homes, businesses and streets of South Africa and was equally unhappy about the effort to install a pipeline from Canada to the U.S. to transmit oil derived from its tar sands. A lot of our “imported” oil comes from Canada. That’s because it has been government policy for decades to make it difficult, if not impossible, to drill, extract, and refine oil here in America.

The March 21-27 edition of Bloomberg Business Week has an article by Brendan Greeley that is a good analysis titled “Facing Up to Nuclear Risk.” When nuclear plants have been built as many safety factors as possible have been built into them, but it is impossible to calculate the impact of an earthquake. The U.S. has its own tectonic fault lines, all well known, but the fact remains nuclear plants have been built near or on them.

“David Okrent, who advised the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on reactor safety for 20 years, points out that reactors are designed for only a set of defined events. ‘The early nuclear reactors weren’t designed for tornadoes,’ he says, ‘until one came along in Arkansas, and then we thought, ‘we gotta design for tornadoes.’ It’s not easy to be all-knowing.”

Were it not for Green propaganda, the U.S. would not be wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on idiotic wind and solar farms that are utterly dependent on government subsidies and mandates that require utilities to use the pitifully small amounts of electricity they produce.

The same can be said of the equally idiotic regulatory mandates for ethanol that drive up the cost of every gallon of gas pumped while, at the same time, reducing the mileage and damaging to your car’s engine. Even Al Gore thinks ethanol is a bad idea.

Ironically, more people have died from wind turbines than nuclear plants. In 2008, there were 41 recorded deaths. The carnage on birds and bats is rarely mentioned by the media. Despite all the blather about Three Mile Island not one person has died from radiation since nuclear plants were first introduced.

It is surely worth noting that coal-burning plants in a nation that is the Saudi Arabia of coal do not have meltdowns causing radiation that can make large areas uninhabitable. That “smoke” you see coming from the smokestacks of such plants is steam. Water vapor. Clouds are made of water vapor.

If we were really serious about safety and the provision of more electrical power, the U.S. would be building a hell of a lot more coal-burning plants right now and into the future.

Alan Caruba
National Anxiety Center

Send email feedback to Alan Caruba


Biography - Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba passed on June 15, 2015. His keen wit, intellect, and desire to see that "right" be done will be missed by all who his life touched. His archives will remain available online at this site.

Alan Caruba was the founder of The National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about media-driven scare campaigns designed to influence public opinion and policy. A veteran public relations counselor and professional writer, Caruba emerged as a conservative voice through his weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on the Center's Internet site (www.anxietycenter.com) and widely excerpted on leading sites including this one.

A member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and a charter member of the National Book Critics Circle, Caruba applied a wide-ranging knowledge of business, science, history and other topics to his examination of issues that included protecting our national sovereignty, environment and immigration, education and international affairs.

Caruba resided in New Jersey and had served in the US Army, had been an advisor to corporations, trade associations, universities, and others who used his public relations skills for many years. He maintained a business site at www.caruba.com.

Caruba performed many reviews of both fiction and non-fiction at Bookviews.Com, a popular site for news about books of merit that do not necessarily make it to the mainstream bestseller lists.


Read other commentaries by Alan Caruba.

Visit Alan Caruba's website at National Anxiety Center

Copyright © 2011 by Alan Caruba
All Rights Reserved.

[ Back ]


© 2004-2018 by WEBCommentary(tm), All Rights Reserved