Showing posts with label Environmentalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Environmentalism. Show all posts

Sunday, March 22, 2020

We Are Now Living The Green New Deal

No traffic in Los Angeles!
Thanks to the panic of Covid-19, we are now living in the world of the Green New Deal. You remember what that was, right. That was when the country, and the world, was free and prosperous enough to contemplate what the climate will be like a decade in the future. Thanks to far left liberal politicians like New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the predictions were that the world will end in a decade unless drastic action was taken to prevent climate change.

They proposed the elimination of all use of fossil fuels. Everything would have to be powered by electricity obtained from clean renewable energy sources like wind or solar, but not nuclear. There would be no more airplanes, automobiles driven by fossil fuels, and boats. Homes and businesses would not be allowed to turn the lights on unless the electricity came from clean energy. And even cows were demonized for emitting too much methane into the atmosphere.

The GND was rightly mocked for being impractical and unrealistic, a fantasy of the privileged elite who don't have to drive to work every day to earn their paychecks. They idolized their beliefs to the point of declaring a teenager who espoused those views to become Person of the Year by Time magazine despite having no formal education in environmental science.

Now we know what living in a GND world is like. Through (overly?) draconian actions taken by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the American economy has ground to a halt. Practically all air travel has stopped as people are told to hunker down. All cruise ships have cancelled their trips. Millions of people have lost their jobs because all nonessential businesses are told to close until further notice to prevent gatherings of crowds. Millions of children and college kids are out of school with no clear idea when they will return to finish the school year, if at all.

The consequences of these actions have been terrifying. Billions of dollars have been lost in the economy as people are confronted with no income. The stock market is crashing by astonishing amounts almost every day. The federal government is looking at spending trillions of dollars to prop up the economy and it may still not be enough. People are panic buying and hoarding food and survival supplies. There are long lines to purchase guns as people think civilized society is hanging by a thread.

The only bright side for me personally is that my commute to work has been cut in half. A traffic map I took in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday showed virtually no traffic jams anywhere in LA County. Normally there would be red lines through all the freeways. Now they're all green. Los Angeles really is glorious when it's easy to get around. The skies are wonderfully blue. It's easy to see the distant snow on top of Mt. Baldy. The air feels crisp and clear. The only problem is that there is nowhere to go despite so little traffic as everything is closed.

For all those who talked a few months ago about the urgency of implementing the Green New Deal, be careful what you wish for. It's easy to advocate for those policies when you know there is little likelihood of their implementation. This current crisis is just a taste of the chaos that will happen to society if those ideas ever come to pass.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Economic Confusion

President Obama has proposed that cars in the U.S. should average 56.2 miles per gallon by the year 2025. Sounds ambitious but I'll give him credit for having an environmental vision. Yet just last week he decided to release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower oil and gas prices. Oil prices have since dropped about ten percent.

Now I'm no economist, but it seems to me one plan negates the other. If I understand the laws of economics correctly, the best way to get consumers to do something is to give them an incentive to do so. Therefore, if the president wants people to drive high mileage cars, shouldn't he allow gas prices to rise? Look how well hybrids and 40+ MPG cars are doing right now with gas prices around $4.00 per gallon. Take a look at the automobile markets in Europe and Japan. Over there, it's not unusual to have gas prices at least double what we pay in the U.S. due to high fuel taxes. Yet the people have a smorgasbord of fun high mileage cars to choose from.

So which is it Mr. President? Are you trying to bolster your environmental credentials by forcing car companies to add thousands of dollars of gas saving technology that nobody wants to buy? Or do you think we could lower our dependence on Middle East oil by letting gas prices go up and incentivizing people to buy fuel efficient cars? I'm not a lawyer like you but I think I know which method will works better.

Monday, May 3, 2010


You can cross off-shore oil drilling as a future source of energy in this country.  After the devastating explosion in the Gulf of Mexico of an oil rig, there are loud outbursts of rage from environmentalists for a moratorium of off-shore drilling.  But let's count down the possible alternative sources of energy we have at our disposal.

Coal fired power plants--huge no-no.  Don't you know there is global warming going on?

Gas fired power plants--you still have to drill for it somewhere.

Shale--it's okay to overturn huge swaths of forests for this oil as long as it's in Canada, right?

Nuclear power--are you kidding? 

Hydroelectric power--we don't want to kill off the fish population that requires an intact stream to spawn, do we?

Wind power--would you want one of these giant turbines within the visible horizon of your house?  Just ask the residents of Cape Cod.

Solar power--can't disturb the delicate environment that would be covered up by acres and acres of solar panels to make this endeavor commercially worthwhile.

Geothermal--do we really want a power plant anywhere near Old Faithful?

Fusion--might as well ask for dilithium crystals from the Star Trek Enterprise.

So there you have it, the possible major sources of energy for our planet.  Somewhere along the line somebody has to decide what is an acceptable compromise in energy exploration or we'll all be sitting in the dark burning candles.  Oh wait.  Candles produce soot and worsens air pollution.  Scratch that idea too.