Drive a hybrid. Coal is bad. Recycle. How often have we been told these things that we must do in order to save Mother Earth? Environmentalists seem to want Americans to realize we are all going to die unless we drastically change our ways, and they are willing to get their way across by any means necessary, ranging from governmental intervention to outrageous sorts of public displays. Environmentalists believe that they are watchdogs for the planet and protectors from evil coal and oil corporations. But if I had only one word to describe them, it would be wrong. I think that environmentalists can’t see the overall big picture, and only use current events to defend their points.
Take global warming, or climate change, or whatever they feel like calling it now. They point out heat waves over the past two summers, and the increase of storms over the past decade help define this global change. In fact, NASA scientist James Hanson pointed out in 1988 that if we did not change our pollution output, global temperatures would increase by almost two degrees between 1970 and 2020. This all may seem like the foundation of a good argument, until you realize that since the late-eighteenth century, in the middle of America’s Industrial Revolution, global temperatures have increased almost three-quarters of a degree Celsius. That’s close to one and a third degrees Fahrenheit for us in the States. This debunks the estimates made by Hanson, despite a continuous increase in greenhouse gases by man. Why is Hanson so important? Hanson was actually an adviser to Al Gore, and we all know how that turned out, with visions of flooding and violent storms drilled into the heads of environmentalists unless human beings act.
Next, the lie about hybrid cars. First of all, we all know that hybrids do save people money on gas by being more fuel-efficient and reducing pollution. But, as previously mentioned, it doesn’t even matter how much greenhouse gases are admitted, because the evidence that more pollution equals dramatic temperature change is false. Now, there are many solutions to make cars more environmentally friendly. One is to make the car lighter, whether by size or materials. But this has more of a negative consequence than a benefit. Lighter cars are more dangerous for people, and contribute to more deaths of people than their heavier competition. Are we willing to risk the individual safety of America’s drivers just so our grandchildren can have the pretty good chance to see the polar ice caps? Plus, even though consumers will be saving on fuel, the savings from buying a hybrid car does NOT go into effect until multiple years, even a decade for some, after buying a hybrid. Is that an investment Americans are willing to take; a car that is less safe than a heavier car and one in which drivers have to wait a decade in some cases in order to get a positive investment? We can see that Americans are not willing to take that chance, even causing General Motors to lose as much as $49,000 on each Chevrolet Volt built. Just don’t tell that to Joe Biden.
Recycling also has its drawbacks. Sure, reusing products, like coffee mugs, does reduce the need to cut down trees. At the same time, however, recycling actually INCREASES greenhouse gas emissions. I know I just pointed out that greenhouse gas emissions have little to do with temperature increase, but if they are willing to argue that point, then I’m willing to debunk them on it. We know that recycling paper reduces the cutting down of trees, but at the same time, the extra fueled burned while picking up recyclables creates more pollution. Think about it like this: you put a newspaper in the recycling bin. Someone comes up and picks up the recyclables in a truck, has to deliver it to a station for treatment, and then turn the pulp into new paper. Recycling newsprint actually creates more water pollution than just making new paper, and no one wants dirty drinking water. Of course we ask the government for more regulation. But then again, we would be giving responsibility to the group that can’t manage the Post Office, Social Security, Medicare, or the national budget effectively.
Finally, the complaints against coal and oil. It’s almost impossible to realize a world without these two powering us. Both have a low costs compared to their “environmentally-friendly” competition, and can be considered secure energy resource, as we have almost one and a half trillion barrels of oil that we found in the Green River and Washakie Basins in Wyoming ALONE, not to mention the amount of oil we can find by offshore drilling. But, the main debate is that both are dangerous for our health. Coal burning can cause carbon pollution, a release of toxic mercury, and ecosystem destruction with mountaintop removal mining, and oil can damage ecosystems through spills and incidents, such as the Deep Horizon oil spill in 2010. So, while the solution from a conservative’s stand point is to let the companies develop better technologies to match the wants of consumers, the environmentalists want to force us to use more environmentally friendly options. But do environmentalists know that coal companies like Peabody Energy do countless hours of research when planning a site, and have actually restored thousands of acres of mined lands, while oil companies like Exxon-Mobil are using new products to cut down on environmental waste? It seems like they fail to realize that even oil executives live in the same world as us, and even drink the same water we do. I’m willing to bet that if oil executives aren’t willing to drink polluted water, they aren’t willing to give their customers the same treatment.
There is nothing wrong with the idea to protect our planet and ensure a better tomorrow for the next generation. But using false statistics, making cars more unsafe, and failing to realize all programs sponsored by a company is not the solid foundation for a debate. If environmentalists wish to ensure a better future, they must understand the benefits of the current system, and better develop these technologies rather than replacing them with more expensive options. I guess Kermit was right: it’s not easy being green.