Monday, March 15, 2010

Common Ground

The Washington Examiner has hacked into the Intertubes and discovered a shocking new eco-scandal, which we may as well call Websitegate.

They don't discuss the subject too openly outside their own circles, but environmentalists make crystal clear on their Web sites that they want to stop all coal-based power production in this country. They claim coal can never be made clean, so it must be eliminated before it's too late to do anything about global warming. Ted Nace puts it succinctly in a Grist Web site post: "The stakes, for all life on the planet, surpass those of any previous crisis."
It's just like Poe's "Purloined Letter": if you don't want anyone to know about your radical agenda, you should explain it in crystal-clear terms on a popular Website that's closely monitored by your opponents.

Incidentally, the quote attributed to Ted Nace is actually from a press release by James Hansen and nine other scientists. But what does it matter? These green doomsayers are all alike!

"Regardless of whether one agrees with the goal of eliminating coal-fired power production," the editorial informs us, it's hopeless. Although it'll always be possible for new and better technologies to extract more coal and oil -- and to mitigate the effects of AGW, should they ever materialize -- the average glibertarian's starry-eyed technophilia evaporates the moment we start talking about renewables.
What [environmentalists] don't want to talk about is the fact that there's no way those sources are going to replace coal-fired power production by 2030.
So let's all just stop trying. It's the American way!

Know why else environmentalists are stupid? Because they hate natural gas:
[T]hey don't want to talk about the fact that there's another extraordinarily plentiful and much cleaner energy source — natural gas — that can readily replace coal and lower energy costs more effectively than any alternative source. In fact, the same environmentalists who are shutting down coal plants are also opposing increased natural gas production.
As everyone knows, Grist speaks for all environmentalists everywhere, so it'll be instructive to see what its writers have to say about natural gas. In an article called "Should Greens Ally with Natural Gas Against Coal?", David Roberts acknowledges that "rapidly shifting the nation's power dispatch from coal to gas would be the fastest way to reduce emissions in the short-term." This echoes points made by Joe Romm, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and -- wait for it, now -- Ted Nace, who says that "from a climate perspective shutting down gas while keeping coal would be the wrong outcome because coal is far more carbon-intensive a fuel than natural gas."

Of course, these writers also acknowledge that natural gas isn't a risk-free panacea for all our ills, because they're neither liars nor lunatics. But that's not quite the same thing as saying "no one's allowed to increase production of natural gas, ever, under pain of our displeasure."

We hear a lot about the importance of finding common ground on climate issues. But oddly enough, the fact that many environmentalists basically agree with this editorialist's point on natural gas doesn't obviate the need to lie about their "extremism." Quite the opposite, in fact. I wonder why that is?

In other news, a new study looks at the opportunity costs of extracting tar sands:
The £250bn cost of developing Canada's controversial tar sands between now and 2025 could be used to decarbonise the western economy by funding ambitious solar power schemes in the Sahara or a European wide shift to electric vehicles, according to a new report released today.

1 comment:

charley said...

just because it seemed appropriate to this post.

which i admit i did not read all that closely.

i'm looking for the pics.