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Environmentalists Against the Environment By: Aindriu Colgan
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, June 27, 2005


“Summer jobs for the environment,” read a pamphlet produced by Environment California on my windshield this morning, but like every mob of environmental rabble, they have neither the interests of the environment nor those of the country and its citizens at heart. Instead, their loyalties lie with the dangerous ignorance and the egregious misconceptions that define the activist left today. The three goals that Environment California laid out in its pamphlet are both preposterous and detrimental to the American economy and people.

“Work with Environment California,” the pamphlet continued, “to: Stop oil drilling off our coast! Clean up our air! Pass a law that will create 1 million solar homes and businesses in CA!”

 

Environmentalists’ main arguments for stopping oil drilling off the coast are that it will lower the risk of an oil spill and it will return the beauty of California’s coast, now marred by rigs. First, it is absurd to disassemble an entire industry because of the slight chance that there may be an oil spill. Second, the rigs are not on the beach; they are miles offshore. If an uninterrupted horizon is so important to them, let these environmentalists explain to a poor, elderly woman in New York City that she cannot heat her house this winter because leftists in California do not want their pristine view of the Pacific soiled by the miniscule silhouette of an oil rig during their tanning sessions on the beach. Stopping this offshore oil drilling is obviously also the answer to our country's economic difficulties. Doing this would lower domestic oil production, which would force the United States to import more oil, thereby increasing our dependence on foreign oil and our trade deficit.           

 

If the environmental lobby really cared about clean air, it would put its entire fiscal, legal, and political weight behind nuclear power, the “clean air energy.” Instead, they have attacked and vilified the nuclear power industry. Consequently, states like California have repeatedly struck down plans to construct nuclear plants, relying on coal, oil, and wood power plants, which release millions of tons of harmful gas every year. Instead, environmentalists claim that renewable energy, like hydropower, wind power, or solar power, is the only viable solution to our nation's energy needs. Wind power and solar power are inefficient and expensive. First, both require a great deal of space to produce enough energy for a small population. Second, they only operate when it is windy or sunny. It is a great energy solution for the Sahara, but in most of America it is not viable.

 

Legislating solar power is an egregious misuse of taxpayer dollars. California would only have two ways to accomplish its legislated goal of one million solar powered homes and businesses: the state could build solar homes or mandate that people adopt solar power.

 

If environmentalists really wanted to promote solar power, they would live in a solar home and drive a solar car, but they do not. Why? Because they do not want to be burdened by the unreliability of solar power.

 

Neither do most Californians, or most Americans.


Andriu Colgan is a classics and economics major at Dartmouth College.


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