Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Green Myth

Today thousands of children across Ontario and probably much of North America will be picking up garbage. It's Earth Day and Ontario schools will be demonstrating to their little clients what it means to be "stewards of the planet", the official propaganda of the Ministry of Education.  Students will don rubber gloves, go to local parks and be reminded that humans are a blight on the environment. Back in class they will be told that we use the wrong kinds of fuel, and we are melting the Polar Ice Cap causing thousands of innocent Polar Bears to drown. Students will be told that they must prepare to live more modest lives than their parents, reduce, reuse and recycle. Our collective guilt can only be assuaged if we are GREEN!

Thankfully most students will not take this to heart, and this lesson will have the same effect on school children as telling your own kids to clean their room - it won't happen. The temptations of technology, of having fun for its own sake, of living this life while you can, are the things that will drive this group of children. They will pay lip service to the new environmental religion but that's all. Either that or they could be driven to this sort of thing: No Impact Man. Ugh!

Unfortunately our governments do not just pay lip service. Pressure from within, from special interest groups and industry, have caused the Ontario government for example, to misallocate funds on our behalf (they are good at it).  A recent deal with Samsung Corporation will have Ontario consumers paying far more for wind and solar electric power than the market price for electricity. Up goes our electric bill! Who needs the Machiavellian "cap and trade" schemes that were being touted at the Copenhagen Climate Conference last December. The McGuinty government is doing it through the back door. Wind and solar look good, but cost lots and are somewhat intermittent, so conventional power generation must be built as well to ensure adequate power production. Nuclear is also climate friendly, but very expensive and prone to premature breakdown as we have seen from half a century of use. No one makes money on nuclear power, more government subsidy.

The McGuinty government will also give tax breaks (up to $10 000) for electric cars which have no emissions! if you happen to forget how electricity is produced. Oh well, it looks good and that is what is important.

We have been told in the media and by politicians that the new economy will be GREEN, thousands of new jobs will be created. Does this mean that entrepreneurs are rushing to invest in all things green? No, most of the money is coming from government coffers which are pretty empty these days, so the green future will be financed by debt, and those children who are being indoctrinated today will indeed have a more modest future. Happy Earth Day.  


  1. At what price do we deal with oil spills? Nuclear, wind and solar don't kill.

  2. Everything has a price, life is risk.
    This is unfortunate and BP will be compensating people for losses. How the environment is repaired? Oil is a natural substance, yes it kills wildlife, but it will be dealt with by humans and nature - in short order.....just years.
    Chernobyl affected hundreds of thousand of humans, untold numbers of wildlife/plants, and still poses a risk. It will take centuries to minimize the risk.
    People don't want wind power farms near them - witness recent protests.
    There is no simple fix that respects human liberty, property, happiness.
    We could decide to live in the woods, eat roots and berries and kill each other for food or die of exposure. That I think is the logical consequence of obeying the ecological movement.

  3. Sure, oil is natural and so is anthrax, formaldehyde and gamma rays. 'Natural' does not imply 'good'.

    As for Chernobyl there were adverse health affects and deaths. However, what many people don't realize is that Chernobyl was a first generation nuclear plant (therefore low safety standards) and the entire incident was due to staggering stupidity by incompetent managers.

    The only other nuclear incident of note was Three Mile Island. It, too, was the result of human incompetence but the damage was completely contained - exactly as it was designed to do in such an emergency. The failure of Three Mile to cause a disaster was actually evidence of the great success of nuclear power design. Safety is many times greater today.

    I wonder how you'd react if your ocean-view, libertarian farm in Louisiana were destroyed by an offshore oil spill causing catastrophic environmental destruction and the answer was that the oil company would hand you a cheque on the condition that you sit on your porch and wait for "just years" for the mess to go away?

    How building a clean energy system would lead us back to living like hunter/gatherers is baffling. What could be more liberating than generating all the power I need without risk to my global neighbours?

  4. 'Natural' does not imply 'good'. The toxicity of oil is not in the same category as plutonium. Oil will be degraded by bacterial action and nourish a food web.
    "Staggering stupidity (and) incompetent managers" are hallmarks of the fascistic government/business entanglements that commonly characterize the large projects involved in power generation. See my comments above.

  5. Yet again, greenman3610 uses his journalistic prowess to address the concerns with wind energy (and a bit of nuclear).

    Sure, wind is more expensive but the elephant in the room is the related environmental, security and healthcare costs that 'dirty' energy causes. If energy costs were to double what would be the savings from less pollution and fewer wars over resource imbalances?

  6. Thanks for the video, I liked it. I always thought that technological solution(s) would be how the energy problems and shortages would be resolved, rather than turning off lights and sitting in the dark as many environmentalists suggest. Wind power has been around for centuries as he suggests and it will be one tool available.
    I wonder when greenman3610 will do the video on how fossil fuel use has created the wealthiest societies in the human history, extending the life spans of millions of people. Allowing food to be transported to the farthest corners of the planet to help millions. Allowing people the freedom to travel anywhere on earth and into space. Raising the lowest of us to levels unimaginable before the advent of modern transportation methods. Moving medicines, physicians, and aid to remote disaster regions to bring relief to those in need. When will he do that video? When?


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