I have been talking with liberal friends about energy. Here’s what I have learned. Its amazing.
The biggest lesson is that electric cars are good. Everyone should have an electric car. The government should subsidize electric cars, charging stations, and everything else necessary to get people to buy electric cars. Here are a few other things.
- Windmills and solar panels are good. They provide clean, “free” energy that does not endanger the planet or cause climate change. The government should subsidize windmills and solar power and give them legal preferences. This will create “green jobs” and pull the U.S. economy out of recession.
- The fact that solar power and wind power take up huge areas of land is not important.
- The fact that windmills are very noisy and kill birds is not important.
- All fossil fuels are bad. Fossil fuels create carbon dioxide and are responsible for changing the climate on planet Earth. The internal combustion engine is the single greatest danger to humanity.
- Oil is especially bad. Oil requires drilling in sensitive areas like the arctic and the oceans and oil spills damage the environment. Oil from shale in the United States or tar sands in Canada requires huge amounts of heat and water to remove.
- Natural gas is really bad. The methods used to get the gas can pollute water in wells and other underground water supplies. The gas can escape into the environment and pollute the air.
- Coal is the devil. There is no such thing as clean coal. It changes the Earth’s climate even more than oil and is difficult and dangerous to mine. No one should be allowed to use coal for energy.
- Hydro-power from dams is bad. Dams kill fish. No new dams should be built. We need laws banning dams and we should tear down dams whenever we can.
- Nuclear energy is bad. It is dangerous and creates radioactive waste that is dangerous for thousands of years. No new nuclear power plants should be built. Existing nuclear power plants should be torn down.
- The best way to get people to use clean energy is to drive up the cost of oil and all its derivatives. This will make it too expensive to use and people will be forced to stop using gasoline, diesel, heating oil, etc.
So, where does this leave us? Large scale solar power and wind power are years (or decades) away. Electric cars have limited utility because they are expensive and can only go short distances.
According to my liberal friends the best way to speed up solar power and wind power is to drive up the price of energy from fossil fuels and heavily subsidize solar and wind power. They say the only reason solar power and wind power are not in widespread use after decades of trying is because the government has not provided enough support.
So that’s the summary of the liberal view of U.S. energy policy. Restrictions on drilling for oil, efforts to drive up the price of oil and oil products, no energy from coal, restrictions on drilling for natural gas, no dams, and higher prices to force people to do as they are told. They want huge subsidies for “alternatives” and for electric cars with either higher taxes or more deficit spending and more borrowing. Even though it will take years or decades to build all the solar panels and windmills they want this just proves the need to get started now.
The problem with the liberal’s view on energy is that they start by focusing on all the negative aspects of energy production and use and none of the positive aspects. Of course there are hazards and dangers. Of course there will be occasional accidents and even disasters. Life is not risk free. But we cannot ignore the enormous benefits that have been created by cheap energy from fossil fuels. The world has been on a path of fabulous prosperity for the last 150 years. Now, liberals want us to only use energy that they believe is “friendly” to the environment.
But how friendly will it be if they are wrong? How friendly will it be to freeze or starve to death in the dark?
I just can’t figure out where these liberals expect to get the electricity they will need to charge up their silly little electric cars. But I suppose I am just being too practical. Maybe we will all just walk or ride bicycles while waiting for the clean, friendly, free solar power and wind power. Or maybe we will just stay at home and make candles for light and raise chickens and rabbits for food. Boy, that sure sounds great.
Maybe it’s time to bring back the Fred Flintstone car. No fuel, no exhaust, lots of exercise, and lower speeds for safety. Just look how happy Fred and Barney are. This could be you!