Fracking, Jawohl?

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A recent Wall Street Journal piece indicates that the Germans are beginning to face the consequences of their devotion to the environmentalist faith. Two years ago, under pressure from their Greens, the German government announced that it would end its use of nuclear power, and move to the so-called “renewable” energy sources of wind and solar power. It stopped any expansion of nuclear power and started phasing out the sector, with six of its plants due to close over the next seven years.

But this Green revolution has resulted in the same problems that have been experienced everywhere else it’s been tried. Both wind and solar are massively more costly than even nuclear power, which is itself more costly than conventional power, derived from fossil fuels. This is because both the wind and the solar facilities are at best only intermittent (much of the time, the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine), and because the power source is comparatively feeble (winds don’t often blow very hard, and the sun is 93 million miles away). So you need huge installations that have their own environmental costs. All of this requires massive taxpayer subsidization.

In Germany, the subsidies are directly passed on to the consumers, which has resulted in German households seeing what were already some of the highest electricity rates in Europe soar by a staggering 40% in just the past five years. German families now pay 15% more than the average for the EU zone.

Not only are average consumers feeling the pain, but businesses are as well. As you might surmise, businesses that use a lot of energy (such as many manufacturers) are cutting back their investment in Germany.

Ironically, the move to terminate nuclear power has hurt the environment. Since the only scalable and affordable alternative is fossil fuels, mainly coal, Germany say its CO2 emissions actually increased last year by 1.6%. If it has to rely on coal to replace all the nukes it plans to shut down over the next seven years, these emissions — as well as the emissions of other major pollutants — will skyrocket accordingly.

So — surprise, surprise! — fracking is beginning to look good to both the German government and many of its citizens. And — again, surprise! surprise! — German Greens are rising in opposition. Like environmentalists here, they typically only support sources of power that don’t actually work very well.

The German government, seeing the problems that “renewable energy” is causing, now proposes to allow fracking so long as it is not near any water sources, nor in any national parks or other conservation areas, and is subject to regulatory oversight.

While Germany has nowhere near the amount of frackable natural gas as nearby countries such as Poland and Ukraine, it still has an estimated 50-year supply.

But the German government should be under no illusions here. No matter how tightly it regulates fracking, the Greens will oppose it. They will oppose it not because they fear it won’t work, safely and efficiently, but precisely because they know it will.

The hard core of the Green movement consists in many cases of nature-cultists, people who view humans as a blight on the otherwise pristine, garden-of-Eden planet. They want economies to fail, so that humans will die off.

These worshipers of Thanatos can never be happy with anything that helps humanity flourish.




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Comments

JEyon

awww - why ruin a good essay with a manifestly ludicrous ending

do the Greenies really want humanity wiped out - or do they want fewer but greener people

Johnimo

Either, or .... doesn't matter does it? How many fewer people might they want? Perhaps three or four billion fewer? Wanna' volunteer? The author's point is that they want to sacrifice mankind to their own, pastoral view of a fossil free world. Notice that the author qualified his statement with "the hard core of the Green Movement." The folks he's referring to are irrational in their desire to go back to some previous point in time that they thinks was "perfect," and they believe that you, and your desire to be warm, mobile, and consuming is very much worth getting rid of.

Gary Jason

I said that the HARD CORE of the movement wants humanity to die out...except themselves, of course, but not many others. "Fewer but greener people" means to them (using the figure cited by at least one of them) about 400,000 TOTAL people on the planet. There are currently 7,103,575,000 people on the planet, so that would mean that they want 99.994% of the people to die off. Still think I am exaggerating?

JEyon

yes - you're exaggerating - 100% of those 7 billion people will die off - it's called 'attrition'

when you end your article with "[they want the] humans to die off" - that's called 'dramatics'

frankly - i like what you have to say - but you do tend to end them in a dramatic flair - rather than allow the quiet facts to speak for themselves

Gary Jason

My thanks for reading my piece, and offering the critique, and your complement. But I think we are not engaging here, so let me see if I can make my position more clear.

Yes, all existing humans will die off. But they will in many cases also reproduce. The problem I am pointing to is that a subset of environmentalists, by no means the whole movement, but a highly influential part of it, have in mind an "optimal" total population that they want to enforce (if they can) of a very low number, with the figure 400,000 sometimes bandied about.

I believe this drives them to oppose all energy policies that ACTUALLY WORK, because these folks realize that the rapid increase of the total human population brought on by the industrial revolution depends crucially on energy, and so if energy supplies can be choked off, birthrates will plummet.

The germ of this thinking, by the way, goes back at least to Rousseau, who held that city life creates morally bad people, and that we should all return to nature. He, of course, never did that himself!

Now, I don't think there is any "optimal" number of humans--if the human race doubled in population, or halved, I would not care either way, as long as it was the result of individuals making their own voluntary choices. My problem with the paganist environmentalist core is that they not only have a preferred level of population, but that they are trying to impose it on the rest of us.

Perhaps that makes my view clearer.

JEyon

i'll leave this last post - then I won't bother you again

you're preaching to the choir Gary - i knew what you were getting at - but i thought it was counter productive to end a litany of facts with that one loose cannon statement - here's why

imagine a Greenie happening upon your piece - he'll shift uncomfortably as he reads - wondering how he'll respond to the facts - then he'll come to the statement "They want economies to fail, so that humans will die off." - and he'll guffaw - and call his liberal friends over to the monitor - to belly laught at this "looney's" claim that they want to see humanity die off

they probably never heard of the "400,000" number - and have no idea what an ideal figure would be - they just know they want humanity's number to find an equilibrium in a "green" world - they have no intention of deliberately killing anyone off - 'cept maybe the technocrats & industrialists etc

they want to reach that unknown equilibrium thru attrition - not murder

the Greenie will close your page with a sense of relief - and all your carefully argued facts will be rendered irrelevant by one allegation that was not introduced or supported - except in your recent comments to me

resorting to such a demonizing statement is a tool of propaganda - and you're not a good propagandist - which is a good thing - just bear that in mind the next time you find yourself lashing out - rather than summarizing

you're a interesting analyst/philosopher - one of the few who draw me back to here - so it affects me more to find something little that trips me up in your work

Gary Jason

Thank you again for your constructive comments, and they certainly don't bother me...I find them useful and enjoyable.

First, a note on style. I have always been a big believer in the force of logical analysis. That is why I teach the classes I do....mainly, ones in critical thinking and logic. But perhaps it is precisely BECAUSE I teach such material that I realize the limitation in its power to move people. I have always felt that there is a role for philosophical irony, or logical send-ups.

Consider Voltaire's great book "Candide." He is tackling the theodicy of the great philospher and logician Leibnitz, who held that the misery we see around us is not proof of God's nonexistence, but merely is there because God made "the best of all possible worlds", and a certain small amount of evil is unavoidable, even to an all-powerful creator.

One can argue against that perspective logically. But Voltaire chose to force its supporters to look at it in the face, warts and all, by a richly ironical tale of an innocent accompanied by a Leibnitzian philosopher "Pangloss" (meaning: "all words", nothing but words)who intones after every disaster that befalls them, "This is the best of all possible worlds". At the end, the innocent is moved to ask, "If this is the BEST of all possible worlds, what must the others be like?"...

Now let me tie this to the piece. You say that Greenies view themselves as only wanting an equilibrium in a Green world, not as wanting to "murder" anyone.

But my dear sir, that is just the problem. They are blind to the evil they bring, and are indifferent to the suffering their views bring. In reaching an equilibrium with wind and solar power, ther result will be a hugely impoverished nation, with vast unemployment and underemployment, and people living in many cases in unnecessary poverty. To cheerfully intone "That is the best of all possible green worlds" is to be morally obtuse--which I believe that they truly are.

Need I remind you of the Spotted Owl fiasco--about which I have written repeatedly in this journal--where greenies worried so much about the disappearance of a species of owl (which, it turns out, is merely being dispaced by a more adapted owl) that they ravaged the logging industry in much of the Northwest...actual families suffered, with actual men losing jobs by the tens of thousands, some of whom wound up killing themselves, and many families destroyed. It wasn't intentional murder, but it was the morally obtuse actions of committed greenies.

I want to force those smug, morally complacent people to see how really morally vicious they are.

Thanks again for reading my work.

Kant feel Pietzsche

And who gets to choose who is attrited? Only certain people will be allowed to reproduce? Sounds like quite the utopia.

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