Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How Green Is Your Valley?

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time." That was Abraham Lincoln's opinion, anyway.

George Hull, competitor of Mr. P. T. Barnum, thought differently. "There's a sucker born every minute."

Maybe neither of them is far off the mark these days, at least when it comes to "green" ideas and the "global warming" controversy. Facts seem to be few and far between as environmentalists on both sides of the political arena push their agendas for changing the way America does business and how it lives and drives.

I don't think I have the energy today (wind or solar or ethanol) to argue the "global warming" controversy. Suffice it to say that evidence doesn't support Al Gore's campaign to make us believe that the earth is growing dangerously warm and we are all headed for doom.

No, today, I want to bring to light some facts about the "greening of America," facts which main stream media sources seem set on ignoring. One source for my information is Newsweek Magazine, anything but a left wing organ of news. Robert Samuelson wrote the article April 27, 2009, so it's almost hot off the press.

"Here's a typical claim, from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF):

" 'For about a dime a day [per person], we can solve climate change, invest in a clean energy future, and save billions in imported oil.'

"This sounds too good to be true, because it is. About four-fifths of the world's and America's energy comes from fossil fuels—oil, coal, natural gas—which are also the largest source of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas. The goal is to eliminate fossil fuels or suppress their CO2. The bill now being considered in the House would mandate a 42 percent decline in greenhouse emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels and an 83 percent drop by 2050."

A dime a day? Really? Who did the math on that one? If you read the entire article, you find that the projects for dropping the levels by that much are totally unrealistic, not to mention expensive and maybe impossible.

"One estimate done by economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that meeting most transportation needs in 2050 with locally produced bio-fuels would require '500 million acres of U.S. land—more than the total of current U.S. cropland.' "

That's for one alternative, bio-fuel. Even Sen. Thune of SD, my own senator, says that half of SD farmers are invested in raising corn for ethanol, so it is a good idea. No, it isn't. Remember when your mother used to ask, "If Jane jumped off the roof, would you jump, too?" Just because farmers in SD are putting all their eggs in one basket doesn't mean it's a smart move! Ethanol isn't the answer, so keep looking for one.

The article concludes, "The selling of the green economy involves much economic make-believe. Environmentalists not only maximize the dangers of global warming—from rising sea levels to advancing tropical diseases—they also minimize the costs of dealing with it...."

And therein lie two really important reasons why we shouldn't rush into passing bills like the one being considered. We don't have enough information! Or we aren't looking at the information, when we do have it.

So what are some facts we could look into? How about we take a good look at Spain. Spain has invested a number of years, and billions of dollars in turning their country green. On March 27, reported on a study done by a Spanish professor at King Juan Carlos University (ranked 1189 in the world ~ compare Oxford at 11, University of AZ at 81, Harvard at 2 and Princeton at 9 ~ still a respectable top 14% of 8750 Universities world wide), Gabriel Calzada. A few days ago, Glenn Beck had him on to discuss his findings, as well. He's a very personable young man who speaks excellent English. There was no difficulty understanding what his study discovered.

Here are some facts the study uncovered in Spain:

  • For each green job, 2.2 jobs in other industries disappeared.

  • In Spain, where wind turbines provided 11 percent of power demand last year, generators earn rates as much as 11 times more for renewable energy compared with burning fossil fuels.

  • The premiums paid for solar, biomass, wave and wind power - - which are charged to consumers in their bills -- translated into a $774,000 cost for each Spanish “green job” created since 2000....

  • “The loss of jobs could be greater if you account for the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to higher energy prices,” Calzada said in an interview.

The reason I picked up on the interviews and Spain is that it is the country the greenies point to with pride. This is the example they say we should follow.

If you look up on or and put in the search string "Cost of going green," you will find dozens of articles on how to turn yourself, your home, your car, and your business "environmentally responsible." You'll find very few offering the facts that go with making that choice.

People are *not* killing the earth. There were climate changes before people ever rose to power over the earth. There will be climate changes after we are gone on to other parts of the universe. I'm not saying don't recycle. I'm not saying don't use efficient appliances, or cars that provide better mileage. I am saying approach the "green" issue with caution and keep your eyes open. You could easily find yourself jumping off the roof right after Jane . . . er, Spain.

1 comment:

Gail said...

If one really researches the facts about alternative energy sources, you will find that it is more costly not only monetarily but environmentally to produce these items. Solar panels it appears are more expensive to produce then they will ever pay back. I know I would love to go solar, but I can not afford to, then what do you do with the batteries at the end of their life. Electric is that electric made....humm??