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Monday, September 10, 2007

8. Happily Ever After

“…While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.” - Clement C. Moore

Why is it that some people can distinguish between fantasy and reality and others cannot? Does it come from childhood fairy tales? You remember – after a harrowing start our hero and heroine ride off into the sunset to live “happily ever after.” An adult knows that those are words of pure fantasy. But to those whose minds still live in this child-like world, “happily ever after” is real. Somehow, someway if we just believe enough, things will magically all come together and work out.

At the beginning of the first gulf war a liberal co-worker of mine said, “I can’t believe that we would go to war for something as stupid as oil.” No, oil is not a living, breathing thing, but it does ultimately power almost everything we use in this country as well as in most other countries in the world. Turn off the flow of oil and imagine what would happen. Food could not be grown and harvested. Food and products currently stored in silos and warehouses could not be transported. Electricity that powers almost every aspect of our lives would be shut off. People living in areas such as Las Vegas and Phoenix would die by the thousands from heat stroke. What about water? There would be no electricity to power the pumps that bring water to most Americans. Stop the flow of oil and America will quickly start to die. “Stupid as oil?” I can think of almost nothing less stupid to fight for.

I do agree that our dependence on foreign oil is stupid. But here’s where the “Sugar-Plum Dancers” confuse me. They want alternate energy but they deny the realities of such a change. They want power plants to switch to cleaner burning natural gas but they block the drilling of new wells. They love the idea of hydroelectric power but protest against the building of dams. They believe in conspiracies hampering the development of hydrogen cars yet ignore the fact that we would have to burn oil to generate the hydrogen needed to fuel those cars. They also ignore the problems with transportation and storage of hydrogen. When confronted with such dilemmas, they reply, “Well, I don’t know anything about that” and retreat back to fantasy land to continue their ride on the carousel.

The Left protested viciously against the drilling for oil in ANWR, the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve. ANWR lies in the northeast corner of Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle. If developed, less than one-half of one percent of the total 19 million acres of ANWR would be affected. The drilling and development is supported by both the Alaskans and the Inupiat Eskimos who live in and near ANWR. In spite of its extreme location and that its development would leave only a small footprint, the Left has successfully blocked the drilling of oil in ANWR leaving little to feed our voracious appetite for oil.

In a recent article by Jesse Ausubel, a well-known and long-time “Greenie,” Mr. Ausubel stated that most renewable energy the Left so passionately embraces is actually damaging to the environment. Here are some of his examples:

1. Biomass – This is the use of living and recently dead biological material which can be used as fuel, for example, corn. It would take almost 618,000 acres of prime farmland to produce as much energy as one nuclear power plant. Almost five acres of land would be needed to support just one automobile.

2. Hydroelectric Power – To meet the needs of each American, over 247 acres of land would need to be set aside as a reservoir of water behind a hydroelectric dam. To meet the electricity needs of Los Angeles County alone would require over 200 million acres of land committed to water storage. That is an area over 75 times the size of the county itself.

3. Wind Farms – To support the electricity needs of New York City the entire state of Connecticut would have to be turned into a wind farm. This assumes there would be enough constant wind to keep those turbines turning.

4. Solar Power – Over 37 million acres of land would need to be committed to solar cells to meet the electricity needs of the United States. Again, this assumes the sun will always be shining without those pesky and annoying clouds.

If the Left won’t agree to drill for oil in a remote area such as ANWR how will they ever agree to the environmental scars left by solar cells, wind farms, areas flooded by dams? Even worse what of farmland used not to feed the world but instead to feed our energy needs? Yet, somehow in their sugar-plum minds everything will just magically work out.

I know, let’s all wear ribbons – green ribbons. That will fix everything. A green ribbon shows that I care. Caring is all that matters. Caring makes me feel like I’m doing something. Caring makes me feel good about myself. Reality? Forget it.

1 comment:

Biz said...

This article reveals the fact that there is a lot of 'missing' information in the current discussion about oil. Being wise in the stewardship of the resources we have may mean asking the right questions and actually taking responsibility for the answers and our further research.