The Madness of Environmentalism

Energy is the life-blood of industrial civilization. As long as energy is available and comparatively cheap, industry will thrive; if it is not available or too expensive, industry will be throttled.

Before the Industrial Revolution there were very few sources of energy. There were of course wind mills; and since the days of Prometheus man has used fire as a source of energy; but that was about it. Then the steam engine was invented; and today we have many more sources of energy: fossil fuels (coal and oil), hydroelectric power, nuclear power; and in the future we may have fusion and who knows what.

The environmentalist movement aims to throttle all those energy sources; which means that it aims to throttle our industrial civilization and bring us back to pre-industrial times. The only sources of energy they approve of are solar cells and wind mills; but this is because those energy sources are comparatively inefficient (and cost a lot of money to construct). Should anyone make a scientific breakthrough that makes them efficient, I am certain they will turn against them, as well.

The environmentalists claim that this throttling is necessary to prevent global warming (or global cooling, or any kind of climate change); but I believe this is a rationalization and a smoke screen. If it weren’t, they would advocate nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels, and they don’t. Also, if this global warming or climate change were to take place, the solution will have to be more technology, not less.

Recently, I have read two stories that illustrate the madness (or evil) of the environmentalist approach.

First, a blog post called The Grand Prize in Obama’s War on Coal by Willis Eschenbach. This blog post cites a “climate scientist” who thinks it is necessary to gradually abolish the use of coal in order to counteract global warming and instead achieve some measure of global cooling. When pressed about how much cooling will be achieved by this, he finally gave the figure of 0.02oC! To achieve this figure, which is hardly even measurable, he is willing to sacrifice industrial civilization and drive us back to pre-industrial times. And he is an advisor to Barack Obama.

Then to Barack Obama himself. Here is what he says:

Ultimately, if you think about all the youth that everybody has mentioned here in Africa, if everybody is raising living standards to the point where everybody has got a car and everybody has got air conditioning, and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over — unless we find new ways of producing energy.

This should speak for itself. The people of Africa should not be allowed to have cars and air conditioners (or any of the amenities that we in the West take for granted) – and for how long? Well, presumably for as long as it takes to drive the West back to where Africa is now, or even further: to pre-industrial times. And all this, allegedly, to prevent the planet from “boiling over”.

Obama’s “war on coal” has aptly been characterized as a “war on the poor”. And everything that throttles industry is indeed a war on the poor. The rich (Obama and his minions, and certainly Al Gore) will be the last victims of this war on industry. The first victims will be the poor.

Is this “just” madness, or is it evil? I would say: both.

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Recommended reading: The Toxicity of Environmentalism and The Arithmetic of Environmentalist Devastation, both by George Reisman. Also Taxing Us For Breathing by Robert Tracinski. And, of course, Ayn Rand’s essay “The Anti-Industrial Revolution” in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution.

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