Wednesday, October 10, 2007

You Can't Win!


The Orange County Register reveals the shocking truth about Hollywood:

For all its high-profile posturing on matters environmental, the entertainment industry is second only to the oil industry among major California polluters....
As someone who relies on the entertainment industry for moral and scientific guidance, I'm crestfallen, to say the least.

The op-ed concedes that "while moving in the green direction Hollywood's realized economic benefits switching to more efficient lighting and cooling systems, and cutting back gasoline consumption with hybrid cars" (while hinting that these benefits will amount to less than nothing, so long as anyone in the industry feels smug about them).

However, it draws the line at any attempt to reduce or offset CO2 emissions:
CO2 is an essential atmospheric gas, the very stuff on which plants subsist.
And as everyone knows, you can't have too much of a good thing.

To sum up, we should henceforth be guided in "matters environmental" not by trendy celebrities, but by anonymous hard-right editorialists who agree with Zeno that it's impossible to make progress via discrete steps. Please make a note of it.

Next, an editorial in The Monitor announces that environmentalists were correct when they argued that "we need to develop alternate fuel sources if we expect to be able to generate electricity very far into the future."

The problem is, this has emboldened them to think that they're right about other stuff. As if!
[Y]ou might logically assume that South Texas environmentalists would be jumping for joy over news that someone actually wants to invest millions of dollars to build two wind farms in Kenedy County capable of generating 388 megawatts of cleanly produced electricity — enough to power about 90,000 homes.

Sorry, bad assumption on your part — maybe because it involved using the words “logically” and “environmentalists” in the same sentence.
It's very pleasant to be lectured on logic by someone who believes that the chain of causality magically ends once you've designated a particular course of action as a "solution."

The environmentalists in question comprise radical groups like the Audubon Society and the American Bird Conservancy, who are worried that the turbines (and their construction and maintenance) "will have some sort [!] of adverse impact on the area’s bird population." According to the author, this is typical of the environmental movement's absurd desire to "have it both ways" (e.g., to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and protect migratory birds).

The editorial fails to address the possibility that the wind farm could be re-sited, redesigned, or otherwise improved, so that it'd generate wind power without destroying the unique wetlands and grasslands that lie along this central migration route, and serve as the winter home of 90 percent of the world's redhead ducks. Apparently, logic decrees that industrializing the lower Laguna Madre is the price we must pay for "clean" energy.

And if you can't manage to grasp this cold, hard fact of life…well, you'd better steel yourself for the consequences:
Environmentalists need to get their act together or they will never be taken seriously and will continue be derided as “enviro-nazis” by the likes of commentators like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh.
There's another, more plausible option: compromise, and be called names by O'Reilly and Limbaugh anyway. In this case, at least, I suspect environmentalists can have it both ways.

(Illustration via Idioms By Kids.)

9 comments:

ntodd said...

I just skullfucked an entire migratory bird population in Reno, just to watch the ecosystem collapse.

dan mcenroe said...

Just a thought - are the tall, screened in screw-like wind turbines that they propose for use within city limits less of a threat to bird populations? I imagine that, due to their configuration, they produce less energy than traditional turbines but perhaps that could be countered by building more of them.

Cervantes said...

Rush, Bill, please call me bad names! I love it when you talk dirty to me.

Phila said...

Just a thought - are the tall, screened in screw-like wind turbines that they propose for use within city limits less of a threat to bird populations? I imagine that, due to their configuration, they produce less energy than traditional turbines but perhaps that could be countered by building more of them.

Not sure about that. But the infrastructure it'll take to build and maintain these things is a huge problem too, so having to build more isn't a solution, at least on this site.

It's just a ridiculous location for a wind farm, period. But we're going to be hearing a lot of this bullying in years to come. And Texas is particularly...weird when it comes to wind projects, as I discussed here.

chris said...

after a hopeless Friday, i'm beginning to worry.
anybody home? i need my nudibranch fix.

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