Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Strangling Fracking in the Crib

Our planet has been in a constant state of change since if first solidified out of rocky bits circling the sun. The first thing that changed the environment was the emergence of photosynthesizing plants, like algae. These plants, deriving their energy from the sun, took in great quantities of carbon dioxide, belching forth from the pervasive volcanoes, and exhaling oxygen. Soon enough, the oxygen content of the atmosphere was such, that oxygen breathing bacteria emerged. The next great change to the environment was when plants began colonizing the earth, not just the oceans. More plants, more oxygen, larger and more complex animals followed. But you would not recognize the plants that dominated the earth then. They were mostly giant fern like plants, and spread not seeds but spores to reproduce. The next great change, and it changed the environment with it was the rise of the flowering plants. Today, flowering plants dominate the landscape, including the grasses, which cover more area of the earth than any other plant. Some believe the dinosaurs were done in by a giant meteor. Personally, I think they were as much done in by the changes occurring do to the rise of flowering plants, which had a negative affect on their food sources. For every animal depends, at rock bottom, on the photosynthesis of plants for their energy source.  Carnivores can only exist if there are herbivores on which to prey.

With that as background, I point my readers today to a piece at the American Thinker entitled Why Environmental Professionals Hate All of the Above by Jeffrey Folks. Folks:
In terms of carbon emissions, natural gas is twice as clean as coal. That was once good enough to earn it lukewarm praise from many green supporters. Now, with the U. S. Energy Department projecting that gas will be the fastest-growing global fuel source through 2040, environmental leaders have turned against it. They now claim that hydraulic fracturing causes catastrophic damage to the earth, air, and water, and that natural gas was never that clean to begin with.

What's behind this change of heart? Maybe it's the need to continue the struggle. Admitting that natural gas is clean and that America has enough of it to power the country for a century -- where would that leave the leaders of environmental groups that now raise hundreds of millions in donations? It might leave them having to make a living like everyone else.
And it could be that they just need to keep things stirred up in order to raise money. Certainly the race hustler industry has found that to be true, and capitalized on it. But in this case, there is more to it. Many extreme environmentalists have stated their belief that man, as a species is destroying the planet. They believe that man does not belong here, that unlike the other creatures who follow their nature, man should not be following his. They will not be happy until the earth is returned to its state before man came along and mucked things up. But, at what stage are they referring to? Is it after flowering plants, but before man evolved? Is it before flowering plants, or before plants at all. Because as we have seen, the most humble of creatures on earth the, blue green algae, changed the world in the most profound ways. The earth's atmosphere was literally suffocating before these plants came along, and as they slowly raised to oxygen content to it's 20 percent today, we animals could evolve.

While some wish to see man eradicated from the planet, though they are not leading by example, others nostalgically look to man's agrarian past as the golden age.  Everything man accomplished in this pre-industrial age was by muscle power, with the help in some cases of beasts of burden.  Of course, when we look at this past, we see it was not so golden.  People often lived in filth with their animals, ate poorly processed grains, so that by 25 or so their teeth were ground down to nubs, and lived short, hard scrabble lives.  If their crops failed, they didn't eat that winter except what could be hunted or begged from neighbors.  Even when harvests were good, a not insubstantial percentage of their crop was eaten by rats and mice.

By contrast, with the invention of the tractor, a farmer could plow many more acres of land, with less pollution per unit of work, and for more hours per day.  Tractors were also versatile, giving the farmer a power take off for a saw and other power tools.  It could be used to haul his crop to town where it could be sold to others for cash.  Long haul trucks could haul it to far cities, where the residents didn't necessarily have space for a garden.  Trucks don't tire out, and they move things faster than the old teams of horses, and again produce less overall pollution per unit of work.  But the internal combustion engine made other things possible.  Think of how things were moved around the warehouse before the invention of the forklift.  By relieving men of the need to haul heavy stuff around all day, they could extend their working lives, thus feeding their families and being around longer to help with older children.  Now that children didn't need to work to feed their families, they were free to get an education.

Most people, I think, see through the energy alarmists, and recognize that they are living in the golden age right now.  And our politicians are too cynical to actually believe any of the hype surrounding the energy sector.  They also realize reality, that so called "green energy" will always be a niche industry.  So what is driving the push to limit the American energy sector from achieving net exporter status?  I think it is here in this article from Hot Air.
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has warned that the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy is increasingly vulnerable to rising U.S. energy production, breaking ranks with oil officials in Riyadh who have played down its impact.
Prince Alwaleed has huge influence in this country. He sits on the boards of many corporations, and if he is afraid of losing the strangle hold OPEC has had on the world, he can make at least some of the politicians dance to his tune. Whether they will be able to stop it completely remains to be seen.

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