Commentary from the liberterrain…
Going green has nasty un-environmental consequences that rank-and-file greenies either don’t know or don’t care about.
For example, those multi-acre wind farms not only kill millions of birds while delivering a mere fraction of the electricity compared to nearly every other power source but 420 of them in Pennsylvania killed 10,000 bats last year.
Bats, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, eat millions of crop-destroying insects. Fewer bats (“nature’s pesticides”) mean more bugs, causing farmers to spend more on chemical pesticides, raising food prices for everyone.
Bats also eat millions of mosquitoes, many of which may carry West Nile virus and other diseases deadly to humans.
The result: Everyone loses except Obama’s taxpayer-subsidized “green jobs” cronies.
Meanwhile, localities nationwide are banning both paper and plastic bags, forcing grocery shoppers to switch to those reusable cloth bags.
But after all the tradeoffs are considered, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (PDF), reusable bags require far more energy and other resources to manufacture, and consume energy and water to wash them, so they must be used 103 times before yielding environmental benefits over paper or plastic bags (studies show they’re typically reused 51 times).
The impact of swapping America’s 193,979,654 fossil-fueled Light duty vehicles (cars, pickups, SUVs, etc., per Bureau of Transportation, 2009) for electric cars has so many negative impacts they can’t even be touched in this article. Go to eHow.com instead.
Problems like increased strip mining for the hazardous metals (lead-acid, nickel-metal hydride, lithium ion, etc.) plus processing to make those $8,000 car batteries that only last three years, and the hundreds of recycling plants and hazardous waste dumps to process the throwaways, all of which are energy intensive, are only the beginning.
What is rarely considered elsewhere, however, is explaining where all of the additional electricity required to keep all those car batteries recharged will come from.
It may mean doubling, tripling or quadrupling the nation’s electric grid.
The most likely, realistic, way to do that is building hundreds of new coal-fired power generating plants.
City-dwelling green voters will be happy with their cleaner air, unmindful that the pollution has simply been shifted into other people’s backyards out in Flyover Country, along with all those additional strip mines and hazardous waste dumps.
Libertarians rightfully insist that all environmental trade-offs be considered. Otherwise it isn’t environmentalism, its just politics.
See also: Filthy lucre for clean energy?
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