The most obnoxious and hypocritical people are those who are always preaching a “greener” way of life, insisting that anything that constitutes our modern lifestyles are destroying the Earth and depleting its natural resources. Never mind that we depend upon oil, natural gas, coal, and a host of minerals and chemicals for that lifestyle, the absence of which caused people in earlier eras to live shorter, far more unpleasant lives.
Oil, other than ust an energy source is also a component in countless products, starting with plastic, and is so vital to modern life that its value goes far beyond just being able to drive our cars to visit grandma.
Greener than thou has replaced holier than thou ever since Rachel Carson penned her pernicious and seriously flawed attack on DDT and other chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides in 1962. The result has been the needless deaths of millions from malaria in Africa and subtropical nations after the U.S. banned DDT and other nations followed suit. If there was a comparable pesticide available today, the U.S. would not be suffering a biblical plague of bed bugs.
A bone fide environmentalist, David Owen, has written a book that quite literally filets environmentalism, “The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse.” ($14.00, Riverhead Press, softcover).
Owen, who has authored 14 previous books, examines the way environmentalism frequently makes no sense at all. This is not to be confused with conservation, the earlier movement that led to the preservation of some of the nation’s natural wonders.
To live an environmentally acceptable way of life is the same as striving to be a saint, avoiding “sin” in order to secure a place in heaven. It is not only virtually impossible, but to be human is to consume what Nature provides. If you think about, all of Earth's creatures are consumers, depending on where they are on the food chain.
For example, when environmentalists convinced Congress to reduce the amount of water in toilet tanks, the only thing they accomplished was to require that the newer, smaller tanks had be flushed twice to rid he toilet of feces and urine, i.e., more use of water, not less. The EPA has just issued a ruling they claim is necessary to reduce mercury emissions despite the fact that your average volcanic eruption puts more into the atmosphere than any human imposed restrictions could ever achieve. Congress, however, passed a law banning 100-watt incandescent light bulbs, thus requiring people to purchase mercury-filled ones that, if broken, require a hazmat team to clean up after.
Environmentalism is essentially irrational.
It believes that humans actually have anything to do with “saving the Earth” when the natural forces of the Earth are so far beyond any “control” that it routinely reminds us of this fact. We have zero impact on the climate and, as for carbon dioxide, the villain of all “global warming” claims, humans exhale about six pounds of it every day. And there are seven billion of us. Even so, it constitutes barely 0.033 percent of the atmosphere.
Owen begins by posing the question, “How do we truly begin to think about less—less fossil fuel, less carbon, less water, less waste, less habitat destruction, less population stress—when our sense of economic, cultural, and personal well-being is based on more?”
The real question at the heart of all environmentalism is what do we do when there are seven billion humans using the resources of the Earth and the real answer for environmentalists is how do we reduce the Earth’s population and how do they grow rich in the process? That is what lies at the heart of all the “solutions” put forth by the United Nations environmental program; an enemy of the human race if there ever was one.
What environmentalists want is “a vast, unprecedented transformation of human behavior in our relationship with energy and consumption.” The next time you hear anyone call for a “transformation” know also that they are a charlatan seeking control over your life.
The environmental assumption is that the Earth is running out of the sources of energy and that consumption is bad. Both are equally wrong because the Earth is not running out of the sources of energy and consumption is what humans and all other species on Earth do every day.
Owen believes that humans are “the world’s main emitter of manmade greenhouse gases” and this is utterly false. The so-called greenhouse gases are the ones in the atmosphere that not only keep the Sun from turning the Earth into a desiccated version of Mars or the Moon, but in the case of carbon dioxide, it is responsible for every single element of vegetation upon which all life depends.
Owen and many environmentalists would prefer that all of humanity live packed side-by-side in crowded cities, using mass transit or bicycling to work to save the Earth, but anyone who gives two thoughts to the amount of energy consumed to maintain a city knows this too is yet another idiotic environmental conceit.
Indeed, Owen notes that “There are many downsides to density, including the fact that squeezing people and their destinations close together makes diseases, wars, and natural disasters more efficient, too.”
That, says Owen, is a conundrum. Indeed, his book is filled with environmental conundrums that he tries to resolve while overtly and inadvertently exposing the idiocy of environmentalism.
Simply put, farmers are the world’s natural environmentalists, relying on the weather—which they cannot control—and the stewardship of their land to feed themselves and others. They must, however, have a means to move their crops to places where other humans can acquire them and that requires a massive system of transportation which, in turn, requires the affordable use of energy.
Environmentalism’s goals, clean air and water, are laudable, but a massive governmental bureaucracy to require that people use less energy and consume less is not.
Time and time again we see examples of environmentalism that only manage to kill people, whether it is the banning of beneficial chemicals or the use of the least efficient forms of electrical power, wind and solar energy.
The least reported story out of Europe these days is the extreme cold that is literally killing people because it puts the lie to all the environmental “solutions” advanced since the 1960s. Environmentalism has been decried as a religion and, for those who want to deny a greater power, Nature or God, it remains their holy grail.
© Alan Caruba, 2012.