Free Markets, Free People

Earth Day

Why it pays to be an environmental skeptic

Because, you know, their track record is sooooo good.  In the wake of Earth Day, yesterday, let’s revisit another Earth Day – say the first one in 1970 – and take a look at all the predictions we were then treated too in order to scare the devil out of us:

  1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald
  2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner
  3. “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”New York Times editorial
  4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich
  5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich
  6. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
  7. “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter
  8. “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.”Life magazine
  9. “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
  10. “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich
  11. “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
  12. “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.”Newsweek magazine
  13. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

Yes, that’s right dear friends … then all this pollution was going to spawn a new Ice Age and we were all going to starve in the cold.

Now add in a dash of Al Gore and a few others and you can see why they’ve been so interested in quelling skepticism.   It goes against the n0nsense they’ve been trying to sell for 50 plus years.  Note all the appeals to authority (Demographers almost unanimously agree?) that came to naught.  Look and the dire conclusions presented without caveat that were just flat wrong.

There is nothing new among the enviro radicals today except we’re headed for a heat wave instead of an Ice Age.  The “science?”  Just as flaky now as it was then.  But their belief in the correctness of what they’re pumping out there now?  Just as total as it was then.

Their only problem, as usual, is reality continues to bitch slap them.   Meanwhile the skeptics are the one’s called names.


I don’t know about you, but I left my lights on last night

You may not have even known about Earth Hour last night when environmental activists were urged to turn off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30.

Instead I celebrated “Human Achievement Hour” by leaving mine burning brightly.  Helen Whalen Cohen explains:

Technology and innovation have made our lives immeasurably better. We can fly to other countries in hours. Medical achievements have made formerly deadly diseases curable. The poorest people in the United States have what would have, until recently, been considered luxury items. There are seven billion people living on this planet, and lives have never been so long and so prosperous. Talk about a cause worth celebrating.

Nothing makes that clearer than the light at night made by man.

Of course that doesn’t mean, then, that I am against good stewardship of the earth’s resources, all for  wiping out animal species or want dirty air and water.

Hardly.  That, of course, is the usual false choice set out there by radical environmentalists.  I, and most people like me, believe that human achievement and good stewardship can coexist.

What we don’t believe is that human beings are a blight on this earth and that technology does more harm than good.   In fact, I think Earth Hour is probably a good thing for demonstrating that point.   I’d even go a step further for those who like to do that and tell them to go to the breaker box in their house and trip the main breaker and turn off all the electricity.  Then turn off the gas.  Finally, walk out to the box in the front yard and turn off the water.  And let’s extend it for a while.  Say a day?  2 days?  A week?

A few days of drawing water from the creek, washing clothes on scrub board, cooking over a fire and reading by candle light might drive the point home. Oh, wait, no books … produced by technology, right?  No phones, fast food or driving a car either.  Have a doctor’s appointment during that time?  No CT, MRIs or much of any sort of test.  Sorry … but enjoy!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with what humans have achieved and we should celebrate it.  Not sit in the dark for an hour each year pretending things are worse.  That doesn’t “save the planet” … the planet is fine, thank you very much.

Anyway, I’m pushing for “Earth Days” next year.  Let’s see these folks put their actions where their mouths are.

2 to a week of fun without technology.  Make it attractive and better and you may get my attention.

In the meantime I’m planning to celebrate of "Human Achievement Days” during that time where I will essentially live as I am now (yup, I celebrate HAD every day).

Guess who will enjoy their days more?


Twitter: @McQandO

Obama’s Earth Day Windpower Claim

Back on Earth Day of this year, while visiting a wind farm in Iowa, President Obama said:

“Now, in comparison,” Obama said, “Denmark produces almost 20 percent of their electricity through wind power. We pioneered solar technology, but we’ve fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in generating it, even though we’ve got more sun than either country.”

“I don’t accept this is the way it has to be. When it comes to renewable energy, I don’t think we should be followers, I think it’s time for us to lead.”

Well as with most of the things he’s been talking about lately, it is factually wrong and the only place it may lead is bankruptcy. You see, apparently, despite all but blanketing Denmark with wind turbines wind isn’t producing anything close to 20%.

The Institute for Energy Research cites a study which finds the statement made by the president to not be accurate (that doesn’t mean he told a lie – Obama was only repeating what was supposed to be true at the time):

The report finds that in 2006 scarcely five percent of the nation’s electricity demand was met by wind. And over the past five years, the average is less than 10 percent — despite Denmark having ‘carpeted’ its land with the machines.

In fact, Denmark, as small as it is, has 6,000 wind turbines and it still hasn’t enough to shut down a single coal fired power plant.  In fact:

It requires 50% more coal-generated electricity to cover wind power’s unpredictability, and pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36% in 2006 alone).

And, of course, the other part of the promise is lower rates and more jobs.

But those too have proven to be false claims:

Danish ratepayers are forced to pay the highest utility rates in Europe. And the American people are led to believe that, though wind may only provide a little more than one percent of our electricity now, reaching a 20 percent platform – as the Danes have allegedly done – will come at no cost, with no jobs lost and no externalities to consider.

Speaking of jobs, the report also pulls back the curtain on the wind power industry’s near-complete dependence on taxpayer subsidies to support the fairly modest workforce it presently maintains. Just as in Spain, where per-job taxpayer subsidies for so-called “green jobs” exceeds $1,000,000 per worker in some cases, wind-related jobs in Denmark on average are subsidized at a rate of 175 to 250 percent above the average pay per worker. All told, each new wind job created by the government costs Danish taxpayers between 600,000-900,000 krone a year, roughly equivalent to $90,000-$140,000 USD.

The obvious lesson – beware of all claims coming out of any politician’s mouth. They’ll pick and choose any “fact” that supports their agenda and not do a lick of research to ensure it is true. Spin is is king and they have absolutely no shame about spinning you until you puke.

But here’s the other thing to watch for now – since we now know that Denmark hasn’t even approached 20% electricity produced by wind, and this info is available to both the president and his advisers, if we hear it again, then it most likely is a lie.